Sometimes it feels as if America is in the midst of a modern day civil war. Instead of a battleground made of sod and stone, the battleground is in print and on television. Instead of guns and swords, the weapons are words and rhetoric.
It’s a political civil war — a civics war — a war of politics and ideology.
America is divided. Americans are at odds — right vs. left, conservative vs. liberal, progressive vs. constitutionalist, religious vs. atheist, fiscal fitness vs. spending free, unions vs. independence, corporate vs. government, executive branch vs. legislative branch, big government vs. small government, employer vs. employee, employed vs. unemployed, give me liberty vs. gimme, gimme.
Everyone is touched by America’s civics war.
James Madison said, “Liberty is to faction what air is to fire,” but Americans are exploding with a “bonfire of the vanities.” George Washington predicted such destruction in his farewell address. His concern was that the party system would be the demise of the republic because people would care more about their party than they would care about America. They would self-identify as Republicans or Democrats instead of as Americans.
Americans have inherently strong wills and Americans have intensely fought over the direction of our country since Adams challenged Jefferson and Federalists debated Anti-Federalists. However, a fundamental factor prevailed in 1787 that is sorely missing in 2012 — allegiance to the survival of the United States of America and the republic for which she stands.
Only with a strength of mind and mission could a rag-tag militia filled with misfits overtake the most powerful country in the world. The hunger for liberty ran through ardent veins pumping for victory against incredible odds. The unity of souls with a providential path prevailed over the weakness of human nature –individual self-seeking angst. Wrapped within this modern day warp of conscience is the antithesis to colonial unity. Harmony has been replaced by a wrecking political steadfastness rooted in creating an enemy nation within America’s borders. With friends like these, who needs enemies?
And enemy is now how brethren are treating brethren, spitting unreasoned soundbites into a citizenry who has forgotten the art of deliberation. Hate and ugliness have manifested in a biting duel of insinuations and innuendos.
The time has come for America to take her pulse and monitor the fever pitch in which venomous debate has thrusts its evil talons.
It’s time to heed the age-old maxim based upon biblical verse, “Never despise your enemy.”
We are, after all, all Americans. We are brothers and sisters living in a land pioneered by a tough, compassionate people compelled by the desire of a life free from tyranny. Presently, we are trapped in the tyranny of our own hatred of one another. We have become a nation where intellectual debate and rational reactions are obsolete.
Diverse opinions are rich and viable if they can be steeped in an avenue that leads to productivity. We, as a nation, are stuck in the mire of “me first” and “my way.” We cannot survive as a nation with such selfish divisiveness. We must not despise our enemies. We need to respect our fellow Americans’ desires and opinions without despicable behavior.
Love our enemies as we love ourselves. Respect our differences as we celebrate our similarities. Resolve our vivid and vast ideologies with a compassion bred by a shared heritage — we are all Americans. Forging the streams that concurrently challenge our differences is the bridge upon which we build our future. Acceptance of our uniqueness with a resolve to find commonalities is our only chance for survival.
Ironically, our enemies are within our own borders, as we are our own worst enemy. The resentments that reside in our hearts will ruin our resolve to be the people God made us to be, upholding the country God gave us to keep. America is a treasure. The America that is the hope of all mankind is best represented by a man that is kind. May we not shatter ourselves with shameless ego.
During an election year ripe with divisions that cultivate civic war, may we not forget our national character. May we not despise our enemies but nourish our freedoms to be unique, culminating in an America that is steadied by her rudder of reason.