In the twilight of my life I weep for America.
America is an imperfect, yet great nation. The Preamble to the United States Constitution states: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union …” “A more perfect,” not a perfect union. Nations, especially democratic republics, are made of people. People are imperfect, thus nations are imperfect. Our inheritance is to continue to “form a more perfect Union.”
“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” Perhaps not since Abraham Lincoln spoke those words has the nation stood on the precipice staring into the abyss.
Our civil war is not North versus South, slave versus free, or states’ rights. Our civil war is facing down the idea that everything is a choice between A or B; of “us” versus “them.” Americans face strong enemies in this war, enemies who want us to believe that there is no alternative; that we must make a choice between A or B. Both political parties, the legacy media, social media, and the shouting mobs are all aligned against us. Every minute of every hour of every day we are bombarded, being told to make a choice: A or B.
The battles of Valley Forge, the Marne, Okinawa, Edmund Pettus Bridge, Stonewall (to name a few) were not won by political parties or the media – people, Americans, fought and won these and many other battles.
Slaves gaining freedom did not enslave those who were free. Women getting the right to vote did not take away men’s right to vote. Gay couples do not lessen heterosexual couples.
Just one contemporary example of the false A or B choice … Do “Black Lives Matter,” of course. Do “All Lives Matter,” of course. Why do both political parties, the legacy media, social media, and the shouting mobs drive us to choose between the two? America has been better than that. America should be better than that. America must be better than that.
When the Constitutional Convention adjourned, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin: “Well Doctor what we got a republic or a monarchy?” “A republic if you can keep it” was his response. (Some think the story is fictitious.)
That is the ongoing challenge facing Americans; the future of our imperfect republic. It is not an A or B choice.
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