COLUMN: Is the government working for us?

More than ever, the U.S. Government feels an ever-tightening web of Quid Pro Quos, grabs for personal advancement and downright absurd antics. Those already ensnared in the web are going about their daily lives like nothing is wrong—like the house isn’t on fire. While those on the outside, especially young people, are raising eyebrows. There are days that test whether I truly believe that our republic can weather the storm. But with what can only be described as naive optimism, I still have faith in our government. It has major problems, but at the end of the day, it works… most of the time. 

For many young people, the faith that the federal government is working for us is up in the air. A stark example in the front of people’s minds is the 15 rounds of voting it took to elect a speaker of the house. This was the first time since before the civil war that it took this long to elect a speaker of the houseit’s not exactly pointing to a balanced functioning government. 

While a speaker was elected—eventually—at what cost? Is our new normal a game of tug of war for power guaranteeing positions to people in power who do not deserve them for a vote? The example at the front of the news cycle is the placement of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene R-GA on the Homeland Security Committee. This comes after Greene was removed from both the Education and Labor Committee and the Budget Committee after social media posts surfaced of her spreading dangerous and frankly untrue conspiracy theories

But for some voters, the recent turn of events on capitol hill isn’t any reason to be alarmed. 

“I think that the government’s potential to get things done hasn’t really changed,” DePaul freshman Michael Stage said. “We are a resilient, if even stubborn country, and our government’s ability to get things done is only hindered by our ability to pick a productive government.”

There is a lot of merit to that conclusion. It seems like as long as any of us can remember the congressional deadlock and infighting have been stagnant. Checks and balances and federalism are designed to hold the government to a certain level of gridlock. 

However, the divisiveness and infighting within parties have led to nothing being able to get done. But,  some moments stand as glimmers of hope. 

The landmark, Respect for Marriage Act, codified interracial and gay marriage into federal law on Dec. 13.  But there is more to be done. 

At the end of the day, I have hope that the government can do what is best for the citizens. Not because of the politicians themselves, but because of every person working day and night to make change, and do what they think is best for the country. 

While it’s easy to lose hope, because honestly who hasn’t, it’s important to take it with a grain of salt, and remember the wins along the way. Also, young people have to remember their power, voting is how we steward democracy. If you can vote, do it; and in that way, it all can seem a little less hopeless.