OPINION: Americans Must Avoid Apathy, Buck Norms, Make Bold Decisions

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Change is always discussed and planned during an election year. It's an opportunity for our fellow citizens to express their concerns, views, and present ideas to the candidates in hopes of seeing some type of change in their personal lives and within their communities.

Right now, across the nation, people are expressing their viewpoints and positions on issues most important to them and demanding change. Nineteen Democrats are currently running for president, and while they are busy laying out their platforms and agendas to the American people; Americans are also laying out their demands on both sides of the aisle. It's the time of year that we come together and have real discussions with potential leaders of tomorrow to exchange views that affect us all.

Meanwhile, the rest of the country is erupting in loud public discourse, and it seems as if apathy has gripped a large portion of our political leaders in Congress and the Senate. The days are behind us where lawmakers once led at the forefront of the movement for change. Instead, we have now become content and reliant upon others to do the work as we no longer see the plight of "our" responsibility. Somehow, we have decided that it is now our responsibility to remain silent and only speak when it benefits us politically.

The blame for this, as well as other issues, rests squarely on the shoulders of not just our political leaders, but we the people of the United States of America. Our educational system is suffering due to a lack of funding. We have a student-loan debt crisis in this country. Many corporations are now even refusing to do business in our rural communities — all because of the decisions politicians make. Many Americans are facing a health-care crisis while working two to three jobs

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