Remember Who We Are. In light of issues discussed in political election, people should recall America’s optimistic culture.

Remember Who We Are. In light of issues discussed in political election, people should recall America’s optimistic culture.


As I see more politics creeping into the news each day, I can’t help but cringe.  Don’t get me wrong; this election will be one of the most critical decisions we’ve made as a nation in a long time. It will also be the first time I get to put my ballot in the box. But all the finger-pointing, name-calling and half-earnest promises being thrown around don’t make our government or this election very attractive. Candidates are constantly letting the public know what we are in need of as a country. It’s like a constant commercial, luring Americans into thinking their country is lacking something essential to our existence. But no matter who takes office, no matter what that person says our country needs and no matter what he or she tries to provide for us, we’ll already have all that we need. They may be intangible, but our values and unique characteristics are the most important assets the United States possesses and must be tapped in order to really change our country for the better.

For the most part, we Americans are a pretty optimistic bunch. A Pew Research study from the spring of 2015 showed that people in poorer countries were more optimistic than those in more wealthy countries. The United States, however, is an exception. We have a surprisingly high rate of optimism relative to our wealth sector. About 41 percent of Americans described their day as “a particularly good day” while just 21 percent of Germans and 27 percent of British expressed the same optimism on a given day. In another study conducted by Pew, Americans stood out from 44 other countries with the highest percentage of people who believed that working hard was crucial to success by over 10 percent. Our relentless individualism and optimism are shown through America’s famous spirit of innovation and opportunity, which, over time, have become our biggest strengths. With a history so rich in overcoming crisis, war, economic strife and corruption, it makes me proud to say that we are still hopeful for tomorrow, striving to be better today.

We have accomplished so much in the past seven years as a country, and it would be illogical to pin all of our downfalls and imperfections on one presidency. It is also irrational for a candidate to promise a fix to problems that have always plagued us as a nation. What I wish I heard more as a future voter and future member of a new American generation is reassurance that not everything has gone astray in this country. The values that make us who we are and give us our unique, bright, hopeful place in the world are the characteristics that make me proud to be American. And they are still very alive in us today. I hope that in that midst of the election madness we can remember that at the core, we don’t need to be fixed by politicians; we already have what it takes to be better.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Lilly St. Angelo at [email protected]