Read the essay by Utah student Brecklynn Brown that was featured in Wednesday’s debate

Preparations take place for the vice presidential debate outside Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, in Salt Lake City. The vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential candidate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., is scheduled for Oct. 7. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

When I watch the news, all I see is arguing between Democrats and Republicans. When I watch the news, all I see is citizen fighting against citizen. When I watch the news, all I see are two candidates from opposing parties trying to tear each other down. If our leaders can’t get along, how are the citizens supposed to get along?

Our nation’s capital is setting a poor example of unity and respect. No matter who we are and what we stand for, we all want to be heard and we all want to be acknowledged, but no one wants to listen or understand the person on the other side of the line.

Nothing is going to change until someone breaks this trend of arguments and anger. Each citizen is accountable and each citizen has their agency to not allow our country to be divided by differing opinions. Your examples could make all the difference to bring us together. How is your presidency going to unite and heal our country?

(Courtesy photo) Brecklynn Brown

Brecklynn Brown is an eighth grader at Springville Junior High. This was the winning essay in the grades 6-8 category of a statewide contest sponsored by the Utah Debate Commission.

Editor’s noteIn anticipation of Wednesday’s historic vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City, the Utah Debate Commission worked with the Utah State Board of Education and business partner Lucid Software to create a curriculum for all K-12 students and held a statewide essay contest. More than 700 students from kindergarten to college submitted 300-word essays answering the question: “If you could ask the vice presidential candidates one question, what would you ask and why?” The essays were judged by the Utah Debate Commission and volunteers from the University of Utah and teachers throughout the state. They are being published with minimal editing.