As we approach the end of 2016, we can now begin to look back at the year that will go down as one not to be forgotten.

The country has been shown to be divided after it was placed under a microscope during this year’s presidential elections.The false veil of politicians that actually stand for the people is unraveling and as we peek behind the curtain what we are able to see is to say the least unpleasant. The perception of informational safety we once thought we had is gone, the internet has changed all that.

Our secrets are now all, but a hack away from being exposed to everyone. We are in the age where we cannot rely on the past to have any indication of what the future may hold because this time is unlike any before. The unexpected can happen and it’s making many of us fearful.

“Sometimes I feel like we on the verge of collapsing as a country. Nothing seems to be functioning as it should. Our healthcare system, our government, even our educational institutions have proved themselves to be faulty.” – David Whitaker

Democracy seems to be crumbling under the camouflage of what it pretended to be. Even the political parties can’t seem to get along anymore. The Democratic party, as the recent hacks have shown, was all along sabotaging one of its own candidates. A candidate that had a real chance to win it all.

While the whole world was turned into the constant media attention that was placed on the presidential election one couldn’t help but think where was all the media attention when the elections for the members of the Senate and the House of Representative? The reality is it would be quite difficult for the majority of the country to name three members from either of these two branches of government.

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That is not an insult to the majority we just are not informed on the matter. However, the cracks of change are starting to appear. More and more the people of this nation are no longer willing to tolerate the oppression of the knowledge to invoke change.

“The system is built for a time that doesn’t exist. We have a system that has these people represent us. I don’t need them to represent me. I can represent myself. That’s how a presidential candidate can win the majority vote and still lose. That does not even make sense.”-David Jackson

Just a mere year ago I would say that it was unfathomable for him to win. I didn’t have him peg to win and I’m certainly not alone. In every step of the way from the republican primaries all the way up to the presidential elections the majority had him pegged to lose. In the end, the underdog claimed victory obtaining the ultimate prize the most powerful position in the world. Above all Donald Trump’s win was due to one factor, his ability to take advantage of a situation.

In this case, he took advantage of the political state of the United States which was prime for a change. Hillary, his final opponent and the one person who seemingly could defeat him on the way to the presidency, could not, in the end, escape the amount of controversy she was under. Like a person in quicksand, the more time went on the deeper she fall into the controversy.

“Donald Trump the former host of a reality show is our next president. Waking up the night after I thought that the scene I witness of him winning the election had to be a dream.”Then once I read the twitter news posts the mourning after it was clear that it was real. There is nothing to be done about it now which truly is disheartening.”Joel Anderson

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Is everyone noticing what is happening in Dakota because it is a situation that on the whole speaks to the state of the United States? One side you have the “Water Protectors” who want to not only protect land that has been proclaimed protected burial ground but also the drinking water of millions of people. The other side you have a corporation that is intent on laying a pipeline. As an ally to the corporation, you have the media who has portrayed the “Water Protectors” as violent protesters.

Through all the coverage of the situation, there is one vital question that fails to come up, is the pipeline even necessary? To my knowledge, that answer has yet to be determined however the pipeline, as of yesterday, has been halted for rerouting. Even if that’s the case, the government has shown that their allegiance lies with the corporations taking this long of time to halt the pipeline contraction for further investigation of the situation.

“I am currently more than 100,000 in debt because I chose to better myself through the pursuit of higher education! Now no one is hiring me because I “don’t have any experience” so guess what I can’t pay back my student loans on time driving my credit into the ground. That has been a big help when trying to find a place to rent.

So now you ask what I think about the direction of the United States well to put it nicely I don’t really care. This system has already fucked me and many others. I look around and it seems as if the people benefiting from all of this are the people already with money. I see the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.” –Roger Duarte

Reading up until now you probably think you have an idea of how I feel about the state of the United States, but I can assure you that you don’t because I don’t know how I feel about it all myself. However here is the thing, it doesn’t really matter how I feel. I can only be optimistic that the greatest nation on the planet continues to improve.

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“The United States is my home for better or worse. I came here as a child from a place where everyday life is harsh. Let me share with you something personal. This morning I got a call from my cousin telling me his home was broken into.”The robberies tied him up and beat him until he gave up the whereabouts of every valuable thing he had in the home. Do you know what’s the chances of those guys getting arrested for their horrific actions? Let me give you a hint it is very low.”

“I don’t care how bad people make The United States out to be. it’s a paradise to me. A world of opportunity lays around every corner just waiting for someone to take it.”Kevan J. Smith