Hannah Friedland (USA, AC 09-11)
I want to see my country throw off the shackles of relatively recent precedents, such as a century of staunch interventionism after an equally extreme century of isolationism, and act not upon the confines of antiquated doctrine but what is right for the people of our country and the world. I want my country to stop its attempt to remake the world in its own image, an image that is still evolving, and remember that lasting political change must come from the people, a truth my country’s founding can attest to. I want my country to challenge its definition of patriotism and learn to redefine its identity in an age when new countries are taking the mantle of superpower. I want my country to see the possible pluralism of being a citizen of America, of the world, of a religion, of a race, of a history other than its own. I want my country to care for its land, to treat it as a national treasure like any other and not as a divine right. I want my country to stop focusing on the differences of parties and remember the uniting miracle that both sides believe in the constitution, a stronger tie than varying interpretations. I want my country to marvel at maps. I want my country to remember that we were once all immigrants.
More concretely, I want my country to interpret the right “to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as one involving universal health care coverage and laws that forbid insurance companies from committing indirect man slaughter by withholding necessary coverage from people. I want my country to challenge the notion that national security is worth the sacrifice of freedom and that freedom cannot exist without capitalism at the center of the world. I want the children of my country to grow up respecting teachers and doctors, not just celebrities and CEOs. I want my country to wean its addiction from oil and corn syrup. I want my country to leave Jesus out of it. I want my country to apply the Constitution to all citizens and let picking and choosing be something of the past. Most of all, I want my country to never stop interpreting and questioning the ideals and history we hold to be true.
-United World College Student Magazine-