America the Beautiful

Imagine the government blocking your Internet access. Imagine not having money because you don’t have access to your bank account. Imagine schools being shut down, businesses being closed, and the country being put on a curfew.

Today, Egyptian citizens don’t have to imagine this scenario because they are living it.

Their stock market crashed on last week, looting and rioting are now commonplace, and a country that was once considered safe is now under military lockdown, its citizens forced to create private militia to protect themselves from dangerous, roving mobs.

Watching these frightening scenes on CNN, I am truly grateful to be a U.S. citizen.

No, my country is hardly picture-perfect. It has a legacy of grave social and political wrongs, but it is a democracy where its citizens get to exercise choice.

Collectively, as citizens, we get to decide who will govern us.

Our political system allows two very differing groups to try to solicit our votes, and if we don’t agree with their views, we can always vote for a third party contender—a wealthy independent candidate or a green party favorite, both equally destined to lose.

But once elected, even our President doesn’t have absolute power:

He is checked by our legislators, who are in turn checked by our judges.

And his reign is limited.

Our President has to try to get re-elected four years later, and if she or he wins another term, has to leave office after two terms because of term limits.

Our founding fathers had enough forethought to create safeguards; for this I am grateful, more now than ever before.