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Honoring Blake Huddleston

Rep. Pete Olson

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Mr. Speaker, I am privileged to interact with some of the brightest students in the 22nd Congressional District who serve on my Congressional Youth Advisory Council. I have gained much by listening to the high school students who are the future of this great nation. They provide important insight into the concerns of our younger constituents and hopefully get a better sense of the importance of being an active participant in the political process. Many of the students have written short essays on a variety of topics and I am pleased to share these with my House colleagues.

Blake Huddleston is a senior at Pasadena Memorial High School in Harris County, Texas. His essay topic is: In your opinion, what role should government play in our lives?

The American form of Democracy is built upon the principle that every man has the right to have his voice heard, yet today many Americans revoke this right. Neither Congress nor the President can adequately govern such a vast land and people as the United States without participation in government, which has been declining in recent years due to an increase in American apathy. Adequate governance does not require petitions, marches, or protest; simply voting for issues and candidates is enough to ensure that the American voice is heard in the white halls of the Capital. But in order to create a sense of honor in participating in our centuries old processes, both those who are in positions of power and those who seek office must offer their constituents something worth speaking for. In times of discord and partisanship the American people become disillusioned with what is perhaps the greatest Democracy to ever exist. By compromising, by understanding not only their own personal beliefs, but the beliefs of those opposed to them, congressmen and presidents inspire the people they represent to become involved in the American process because their electors believe that the system does work; that the system can solve serious problems without mindless bickering over irrelevant issues. There exist a social bond between electors and the elected in America: when the elected rise above politics and become statesmen, Americans will rise as well. When the elected fall, so too does the will of Americans to participate.