What happened to “A government by the people, for the people?”

I’m extremely proud to be an American, I love this country with my heart and soul. And while our country’s history may not always be “sunshines and roses,” we have always lived by this core principle that America was founded on principles that that we can be proud of. We are a nation founded on laws, we are nation founded by immigrants, and we are a nation of opportunities for our citizens.

So it pains me to see what is happening to my country today. Somehow we took a wrong turn and our government stopped working for us. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address says that we are a nation “by the people, for the people,” but I sure don’t see any of that happening in much of our government today.

Last night, the House of Republicans and the Senate passed a bill that is the largest transfer of wealth from the core of our nation to the richest 1%. Somehow they stopped working for us, the people that built this country; and they started working for the corporations and themselves. They started working to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else.

And I just really don’t get it, we are all people. We have the same wants, the same needs, and the same desires; no matter what our skin color, our place of birth, or the amount of money in our bank account. We all need clean air to breath, clean water to drink, a roof over our head, and love.

As Americans we all have one thing in common, the United States is our home; and as humans we all have another thing in common, planet Earth. And this planet is all we have got, I don’t know about you, but condos on Mars don’t look too appealing.

So it angers me to see what is happening today in the United States of America, my country, that has been hijacked by a few hundred people in Washington that seem to have stopped listening to the rest of the country. Regardless of the fact of who voted them into office, it seems to me, they are not severing those people; those people that trusted them with that position of authority in our government to represent them and keep them safe.

Instead, they are doing anything and everything they want that seems to be putting more money in their own pockets. And it is coming at the expense of our environment and our people.

I really just don’t get it either, how much more do you need? I have been traveling for about a year and a half now as a nomad, and I live quite comfortably out of what fits just in a suitcase and a backpack. I don’t need a huge mansion or fancy cars, none of that really matters. What matters is the people around me and doing things to make the future of this planet better for our children. Remember the principle of “leave it better than you found it?” We need to start living by this, and start now.

I couldn’t be more upset about the reduction in our federally protected lands. These protections were put in place by our government to keep that land safe and untouched for our children and grandchildren. There is no turning back once those bulldozers arrive, to destroy what is currently beautiful land that is meant for us as Americans and for our foreign visitors. And those people in the capitol don’t seem to understand that that land is actually more valuable untouched, but I’m guessing that not many of them have been out hiking recently.

I think that’s where a lot of this is coming from too. These people seem totally disconnected with the rest of us. They are able to tap into the core desires of the nation to get elected, but once they are there, they forgot to live up to their promise. They forget to talk to the people, to experience what the people need and what they want. And it is so blatantly apparent that they are ignoring us, but it seems they just don’t care.

They are changing core principles of our nation faster than we ever thought possible. And I don’t think that they even know the consequences of what they are doing. But the fact of the matter is, that it is going to be my generation, the millennials, that will be left with this mess to clean up. And I’d rather get started sooner than later, so let’s start figuring out how to make them understand.

Recently, Casey Neistat and a bunch of other creators from Samsung and YouTube put together what I can only consider one of the heartfelt things I have seen in quite a while. They went to Wisconsin and turned an abandoned mall into a winter wonderland for kids. They gave them all Samsung Note 8 phones and got the kids involved in creating a holiday video for the world to see.

It was amazing to see the smiles and the joy on these kids faces in the video. I’m sure it put such a positive spirit in their hearts and minds this holiday season and they will be talking about that for the rest of their lives. It’s moments and people like this that are what make America great. We need to do more for each other, because this planet and the people around us are all we have.

The people that came before us fought to create a this amazing nation, and I’m not going to let it be destroyed, not without a hell of a fight.

I’m calling on all videographers, photographers, and journalists out there to start interviewing people in this country. Start telling their stories, start doing things for each other. It’s important to call your congressmen often but it’s also important to talk to your neighbors about what is happening in our government and get the ideas flowing to ask ourselves is this where we want our country and the world to be heading. Our future depends on it, quite literally.

The Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln

November 19, 1863

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Patrick Farrell

Photographer, Software Engineer, and world traveler. Join our 90 Day Content Challenge with Those That Inspire!