The start to 2021 has not been any good indicator that this year will be anything more than an even more terrible sequel to 2020. Both sides of the aisle are fighting back, and actions are ever more favored than words. Large media corporations silence anyone who disagrees with them, and many politicians say one thing to earn votes and then do the opposite once they are in office. It does in fact feel as though we have lost our outlet to express ourselves in a meaningful and constructive way. We see provocative news stories of impending doom and violent outbursts. We are inundated with despair and shock at what is happening to our country, regardless of what our political beliefs happen to be.
The Founding Fathers issued the First Amendment not only as a law to be upheld by our government but also as a standard to guide every American throughout their lives. Speak out, and allow others to speak. Hold true to your beliefs, and permit others to hold theirs. This right is our first, and in my honest opinion, our strongest defense against tyranny and injustice.
Thankfully, it has not been and truly never can be stolen away from the masses. Though you may not be a Shakespeare or Seuss, you still possess the ability to write out your thoughts effectively and persuasively. Speak out online, in newspapers and in public. Engage with your state and local politicians: your senators, representatives, governor, mayor — whoever is willing to listen. Let them know what you want from them and the actions you believe they should take. It is politicians’ duty to listen to their constituents, and it is our civic duty to speak when we perceive any form of injustice.
Tanner Engles is a junior majoring in computer science.