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David Crawley (copy)

David Crawley

This coming Fourth of July will be my third one as an American citizen. I have lived in West Virginia for almost 17 years, but was not fortunate enough to become an American citizen until April 30, 2018. I often refer to that date as my second birthday.

Going through the citizenship process requires one to learn about the history of our country, and what its founding principles mean in a modern era. Our love of freedom today is directly linked to our Founding Fathers leading the revolution against the tyrant known as King George III. We hold civic participation so dear, because we had to fight for it. That grit and tenacity that was born out of the fires of revolution exists in each and every single American today.

Democracy is very important to me. Before I was an American citizen, before I could vote myself, I registered over 300 students to vote at Marshall University. Our country went from a colony to a republic overnight, and we are the best democracy in the world. But today, we have so much room for improvement.

Our politicians should not be more incentivized to raise a lot of money than to serve their constituents. They should not be able to become rich as lobbyists soon after leaving office. We should not have lines to vote that can last hours, we should not have situations where we have to drive hours to get to our nearest polling place, and politicians should not be able to choose their voters, instead of the other way around.

Our great country was born out of fighting rich, disconnected elites. While the lobbyists of today do not wear crowns, they are as much a threat to our democracy as King George was to our founders.

I would like to thank Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., for standing up for the ideals of our founders by voting in favor of the For the People Act, like the true patriot that he is. But this battle for our democracy is far from over. We need to pass the For the People Act into law. Doing so will ensure our democracy continues far beyond another 245 years.

David Crawley is the state director of West Virginia Un-PAC.

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