Keep a close eye on the government


Many students that walk the halls of SHS don’t care about what their government is doing, whether at the federal, state, or local level. They think that the decisions the government makes and things they do don’t apply to them, when in fact they could not be more wrong.

The majority of our student body has a job. Any of us who work see where the government takes a portion of the money we make in the form of taxes. Some of the student body drives or is working towards getting their license. Any of us who are licensed have had to go through the BMV to get our license and we drive on the public roads. The BMV and roads are services provided by the government.

Even if none of this applies to you, you attend a public school which is provided by, you guessed it, the government. Most aspects of your life that you take for granted are provided for you by the government.

Now, I personally believe that in some aspects, the government needs to ease up on how much it is involved with. However at the same time we live in a democracy where we have a say in how our government works and what it does.

We live in a country where you can pick up the phone and call your City Council Representative, Assemblyman, Congressman, Senator, even the President and voice your opinion on how you feel about something, yet most of us don’t. About half of our country doesn’t even vote, according to Many people around the world would love the chance to have a say in the law they have to live by or to make their own decisions, but they can’t. They live in a country that oppresses them. We as Americans do not realize the great privilege that has been granted to us, and with it the responsibility.

Our government has gotten away with quite a bit because of the fact that the people of the United States have turned a blind eye to the issues at hand.

The Patriot Act of 2001 has allowed for many egregious acts of invasion of privacy against each and every one of us. The government can now listen in on phone calls, intercept texts and emails, check any records such as your search history or what you bought and where you bought it, can enter your house without telling you, the list goes on and on. Many of these actions are unconstitutional with the first and fourth amendments in the Bill of Rights.

However, the federal government is not the only level to get away with stuff.

We all remember RFRA from back in the spring. In case you don’t, it was a bill passed by Governor Pence that, at the basic level, allowed for discrimination against members of the LGBT community.

Of course there was a huge uproar against it because it was brought to our attention by the media. However, what if the media hadn’t issued a story on it or people on social media had never started posting about it? Would you have known that this bill was going to get signed by the Governor?

It was because of people around us raising cane against the state assembly and governor about it that caused them to basically repeal the bill, but what if that had never happened?

What if you and your friend were walking into a business and either you or your friend identifies with the community and you were denied service because of it? Naturally you would ask on what grounds that denial could be justified and you would get angry. The shop owner would tell you that with the Religious Free Restoration Act they had the right not to serve you. You would ask what act, and you would find out that this bill was passed right under your nose without you even getting a whiff of it.

We can’t count on the media and other people to catch everything that goes on. We need to individually keep an eye on the government to keep our democracy working. I’m not saying you have to sit and watch a bunch of debates and whatnot, just keep an eye on what laws are being discussed right now. is a great place to check to see what is on the up and up with the federal government. All it takes is five minutes to help make our country a better place to live.