One Nation

By Carly Henry
Distinguished Young Woman of Pennsylvania for 2012

In the midst of all my papers, exams, and orchestra rehearsals, the presidential election a few weeks ago seemed to occupy a lot of my time.  Whether I was on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, or watching TV, there was a buzz about the election.  I love hearing about politics, but the one thing that really made me crinkle my nose was that everyone was so divided!  My Twitter feed was polluted with arguments about which side was right.  Quite frankly it drove me nuts!  I myself am a very conservative minded individual, but I would be lying to you if I said that everything the republican party said was golden.  To be a well-informed voter and citizen, you have to figure out what really matters to you and stick to your guns!  However, being confident in your opinions does not need to result in arguments.  It seemed to me that people were forgetting that we are one nation.  At the end of the election there would be a winner and a loser whether we liked who it was or not.  No matter who represents us, we stand as a single United States.  We are all one family who has to respect one another and their opinions.  We all want a successful country, it is just that the different sides of the political spectrum have opposing ways of accomplishing that. 
I think it is time for the voters to take a stand and only support those politicians who are willing to walk the line between the aisle.  Nothing can be accomplished if everyone is too busy arguing!  It is time for a new wave of creative politicians who can concoct a new recipe for success.  As for the voters and citizens (that’s all of you reading this!), it is time to get informed!  Read as much as you can, from all kinds of media.  It is no secret that news stations are biased, so watch them all!  From Fox News to MSNBC to the Washington Post to the New York Times, pull out as many facts as you can and then make your own opinions.  And we must also remember that it is great to have opinions, but not everyone has the same ones!  It is time to stand together as one nation.  It doesn’t matter if you are Pro Life, Pro Choice, like the Affordable Care Act, like private healthcare, support government involvement in the economy, or want to let the economy be run privately—we are still one country.  For the next four years, even though I am a conservative, I plan to back President Obama one hundred percent.  It is impossible for our country to rise to greatness if we are too busy fighting between ourselves.  So, I challenge all of you to get informed!  And next time politics come up, practice your compromising skills rather than your argumentative skills!
Carly Henry is a college freshman at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania majoring in biochemistry with a minor is business. Originally from York, Pennsylvania, Carly was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Pennsylvania for 2012. Learn more about Carly here!

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