Democracy is Messy

January 9, 2023
Ethan Smith

Manalapan, New Jersey, United States

Class of 2024

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Democracy: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people. It is the foundation for entire systems of government. Yet, democracy is far from perfect. It has its problems, but in the end, we choose democracy. We choose democracy not despite its faults, but because of them.

BBYO was founded on democracy. It was created with the belief that everyone should have their voices heard and that everyone should be treated with equal respect, which is why we hold elections. And these elections are more often than not, far from smooth. There are those caucused for positions who try and demonstrate how they are the best person for a certain job on any level of BBYO. You can hear their passion for their chapter, their region, their Order. That is democracy in all of its glory: people passionate about what they believe and who want to make a difference. But then democracy becomes messy. People vote on the wrong ballot, someone forgets to vote, and then there is the dreaded runoff. Something that should take one hour goes onto two, three, four hours. And when slide-over candidates and nominated candidates come into the running, elections sometimes can take the entire day. But if you speak to anybody in BBYO who has attended elections, it is also one of the most beautiful parts of BBYO. Because in the end, the members of our Movement are the ones who are deciding its future. Although it is messy, it is one of the things that makes the Movement so special.

The same goes for governments. In the United States, our republic is far from perfect. As a new legislature convenes, it will become increasingly evident that there will always be stumbles in democracy. But it will also demonstrate the strength of the system as a whole. Once differences are put aside and the government starts to work, the will of the people will be carried out. And that is what democracy is about. There are always going to be problems with democracy, but that is what makes it special. Because although it can be difficult to carry out, it is always worth it.

Ethan Smith is an Aleph from Manalapan, NJ and has been told that he’s the funniest person on the planet.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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