Politics are frustrating, but not worth overthrowing our government

By Caitlyn Meisner | Staff Writer

No matter how frustrated we get with the government, overthrowing it is never the answer.

The state of the nation is not good. It doesn’t take a genius to tell you that. Unfortunately, the nation is polarized across party lines over contentious issues. The 2016 and 2020 elections, the Jan. 6 riots, impeachments and the midterm elections are all events that have divided the American people.

But I don’t think this division is necessarily our fault, so we shouldn’t revolt.

I can understand the frustration — trust me. It’s aggravating to watch our elected officials vote against our wishes and fight like cats and dogs in the chambers.

As someone who studies and writes about politics, I’m in the trenches when it comes to policy issues and the happenings within government. If anyone is going to be angry, it’ll likely be me.

So, take it from me when I tell you we need to relax when it comes to talks of “overthrowing the government.”

About 20% of Americans reported having low trust in the government in 2022. The percentage was highest during the 1960s and 1970s, but it has fluctuated since the mid-1970s. Trust in the government was restored (54%) immediately after Sept. 11, 2001, but it has declined since then.

The percentage of Americans satisfied with the government has fluctuated as well. Only 12% of Americans were satisfied during 2020 and 2021.

Americans’ emotions are mixed when it comes to the state of the country since June 2020. 17% of Republicans and 26% of Democrats say they’re proud of the nation, while 60% of Republicans and 54% of Democrats say they’re fearful.

A study done by the Washington Post asked if it’s ever justified for citizens to take violent action against their government. In 1995, almost 100% of respondents said it was never justified to use violence. Now, only 62% of those respondents say it’s never justified.

And I don’t think I need to bring up the Jan. 6 riots in too much detail.

I may fall into some of these statistics myself, but I don’t think it’s necessary at all to use violence to get change. While it may state in our constitution that if we are unhappy, we can overthrow the current system and implement a new one, I don’t think our current system is even broken.

The division we experience is merely a symptom and cannot be fixed with a violent revolution. That would just create more division.

We can look to the American Revolution and try to emulate that, but it is no longer 1776. We no longer have a monarchy and a mother country to revolt against. Instead, we should study the French Revolution.

Do you know how that ended? With a military dictatorship. Personally, I’d rather have a president and Congress with a bit too much power and money.

The decision is yours — but if this has any influence on you, I recommend rethinking your violent plans to overthrow and riot at the Capitol.