Our Nation's Fractured Future

What contemporary issue or trend relating to politics, culture, and society, or foreign policy particularly concerns you and why?

Few things make my grandfather more proud than fulfilling the sense of duty that comes with casting a ballot. A Cuban political refugee, my grandfather never misses an opportunity to reinforce just how important voting and democracy are. The sad reality, however, is that the very democratic system that the United States prides itself on is broken.

Through shameful gerrymandering practices, campaign finance loopholes, and consistently low voter turnout rates, democracy in the U.S. is failing to protect the principle of one person, one vote. The consequences are tremendous: the country faces increased polarization and is left unable to effectively find bipartisan solutions to its most pressing challenges in education, infrastructure, and social services.

This year, I launched a voter registration campaign at my school with three friends, with the goal of registering 85% of our senior class to vote. While increased voter participation in elections would have a significant impact on the current political system (since politicians would be forced to appeal to their entire constituencies) this would not be enough to resolve the issues that lie beyond the control of the voters. Even with a mandatory voting system such as Chile's, the...

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