Rehmer Wins Voices of Democracy Contest

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Rehmer Wins Voices of Democracy Contest

Kaleb Rehmer

Kaleb Rehmer

Kaleb Rehmer

Kaleb Rehmer

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Kaleb Rehmer won the Chester VFW Voices of Democracy contest.

Rehmer wrote his essay “What Makes America Great” in Mr. Cowan’s Civics & Government class.

He received a cash prize.

His essay follows:

What Makes America Great Essay

“America is a tune. It must be sung together.”(Lee) Many countries perceive America as an uneducated, gun-happy civilization that’s too idiotic to have anything to say about modern issues. The irony here is that these countries are the ones who are uneducated. America gives us the freedom to educate ourselves with the problems that we are facing to this day. We don’t have technology/laws that prohibit us from expressing how we truly feel about other people/companies. We make the decision, not the government, and in order to make a brighter future, the people are the ones to hold the burden together. Other countries/people may think that hate speech does not mean freedom of speech, but what other people perceive as hate speech can be interpreted as fair and honest criticism. We have to keep America in a state of freedom, and we have to criticise any form of law or technology that prohibits what we say, because these freedoms are what makes America the Land of Second Chances.
If what a citizen says is not a threat, than an American citizen has the freedom to say or see whatever they please, and Congress will not punish the individual for speaking their opinion, “(The first amendment) guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.” (Cornell) Other countries don’t allow you to speak out your opinion without major consequences to your overall livelihood. China’s grasp on their citizens’ education is astounding to say the least, “The Chinese authorities maintain controls on internet access. Some services, including Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are permanently blocked. Other websites may be blocked from time to time.” (GOV.UK) America is a one of a kind country, allowing us to educate ourselves with our own research and express how we feel on issues without being prohibited from seeing real world issues first-hand.
The citizens of the United States have the power to build wealth with hard work and business. The definition of capitalism is “an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.” (Webster) Capitalism allows us to own our property and earn a business, but communism allows your government to control everything you have and give you a fixed amount of pay. For example, a doctor gets paid the same amount as a Mcdonald’s employee. The definition of communism is “a theory advocating elimination of private property.” (Webster) America allows us to take ownership of what we buy/make, and we can be proud of what we own, not what the government owns. Everyone in a communistic society is a pawn of the government, and everything that we work hard for can be taken away in a blink of an eye.
America allows her citizens to enjoy the fact that they have the freedom to vote for which people can be allowed in our three branches of government without paying a ridiculous fine or being excluded because of race/gender. Amendment 15 states that, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude” (Cornell) This amendment allows anyone who is 18 or above the right to change the political landscape of the country without worry of racism. This right also extends to women, which is stated in amendment 19, “The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” (Cornell) These amendments give us the power to work together as a community, giving a voice to minorities across the country.
Our power as a citizen is great, but when we work together, we can produce amazing results. America allows us anyone to rise to the top of the social ladder if they work to that goal. We have the freedom to speak our opinions about issues without the government limiting our freedoms as a citizen. Many other countries limit the freedoms of their citizens, but America continues to give us the power to maintain a position in our modern climate. Our power as a community has led us to what we are today, and we have to continue our legacy as a country for future generations to come.

Work Cited

Lee, Gerald Stanley. “Gerald Stanley Lee Quote.” Az Quotes, https://www.azquotes.com/quote/702616.

Bruce, Thomas R., and Peter W. Martin. “15th Amendment.” Legal Information Institute, Legal Information Institute, https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxv.

Webster, Noah. “Communism.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/communism.