I originally sent this article as an entry to Andy Beal’s Search Engine Marketing Contest, but I guess it was a little off-topic and was not published. So I have instead published it here for you to enjoy.

God Bless the USA: How the Internet & Social Media is preserving our freedoms and keeping the power with the people in a cloudy 21st century democracy.

Let’s face it folks. The recent past has been a rather tumultuous one for the United States. Between the tragedy of 9/11, the ongoing war in Iraq, and the threat of international terror, our people have slept eyes wide open questioning the roads are government has decided to drive us down.

While majority rules and our current administration has their right through election to be there, it’s been no secret that many in our country are at odds with the ideals and mentalities that exist today in Congress.Through the internet, our country has been able to keep an up-to-the second look at the war overseas.

Equipped with their own personal computers, our soldiers have been able to provide the not so good and the very bad of the daily events in Iraq. At no other time in history has our country been so informed of the events taking place through our armed forces. These are not just soldiers or generals doing the talking either; these are husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters.

These are the people, not the government, that’s telling it like it really is and giving us the information we need to know. With the truth awaiting us in our email boxes and RSS feeds, the powers-that-be can no longer hide things from the people like they may have done in the past, keeping each other in check and the power in our hands.

After 9/11 things became apparent to the general public that many were ignorant to in the past: the perception of the American people in the eyes of the rest of the world. Through the online network of Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, the American people saw hatred towards them that many still do not understand.

The Internet continues to make the world a smaller place by allowing people from any corner of the globe to learn about the places and things from far way, but also allows them to take a peak into the minds of these foreign people as well.

However, in addition to learning about the various enemies that exist we get to communicate with our allies that embrace us more than ever before. The more we learn about our place in the world and how it effects it, the more we stand proud as Americans and try to preserve the ideals the country was founded on.

It used to be that information flowed in very regulated channels. Things have always been black or white, republican or democrat. As social media grows and more people talk and blog about ideas and politics, the more people will listen to these voices and make decisions for themselves. This has created a very gray area in politics that will grow.

Gone will be the days on barking back and forth on issues between only two sides; others will join the discussion and offer many different independent views on things. And as soon as someone outside of the norm speaks with music to people’s ears, blogs will be updated, posts tagged, pictures uploaded, friends added, and articles will be Dugg.

Candidates will optimize their websites and people will link to the ones they think are the most worthy, not the ones with the million dollar ad campaigns on TV. People will communicate with each other like never before, and elections will be decided by a very informed population instead of the mindless uninformed and mislead voters of the past.

They say that knowledge is power, and in the case of not only this county but others around the world, the knowledge provided through communication online is key to keeping democracy alive. The burden is on our shoulders to have a voice, and we all have a platform to speak on, more than we ever have. As long as search engines index information, people update their blogs, forum discussions surface, and speeches are downloaded, people will talk and others will listen. “We, the people” has now taken on a brand new meaning.