Wednesday, October 27, 2010
United We Stand, Divided We Fall
“Let us trust God, and our better judgment to set us right hereafter. United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.” – Patrick Henry
I wish we had men like Patrick Henry around today. We may believe political divisiveness didn’t exist in “the good old days” but Henry made the above quote in March of 1799 over a contentious issue called the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions that challenged the Constitutionality of the Alien and Sedition Acts. Even the framers of our great nation faced bitter political battles, but they knew how important it was to avoid division in order to preserve unity.
However, I believe men like Henry had cooler heads and more patriotic attitudes than we see in politics today. I believe he was an intellectual and a gifted speaker of the likes which are either totally extinct or in danger of extinction today. The 30-second sound bite has reduced politics today to vitriolic slogans that do little to build our nation, but indeed function as a battering ram to pound American solidarity to dust.
I could not help but cringe to watch the video of 23 year old Lauren Valle having her head stomped into the ground by Rand Paul supporters before a debate in Kentucky. I am not saying I agree with Valle’s political views, but I totally disagree with the barbaric attack against her. Supporters say they were concerned about Paul’s security, but I’m not sure if they thought her sign or fake blond wig were the weapons she planned on using to attack their candidate. It’s a sad testimony to the volatile political atmosphere in America today.
I believe our nation is at a crossroads and we have reached a level of unprecedented divisiveness. We have an opportunity to divide and fall, or to unite and rise. We must remember that we are not first Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party or Independents. We are first Americans. Our nation’s symbol is the majestic red, white and blue of Old Glory, not the elephant, or donkey or whatever political symbol that represents your chosen party.
I believe the greatest threat to America today is this very divisiveness amongst its own citizens. White, black, Hispanic, Asian, straight, homosexual, pro-life, pro-choice, Christian, atheist, Wiccan, rich, poor, white collar or blue collar we are all Americans. We are a country founded on principles of unified diversity. Somehow in the landscape of the 21st century we have embraced diversity and sacrificed unity. We need to reclaim that before it’s too late and America is torn apart at the seams. Speak your opinions, but do not impose them on others. Vote your conscience but do not denounce others for doing the same. Respect your opponents and don’t insult, belittle or physically attack them for expressing their views.
My prayer is that despite our differences we can join together to strengthen this great country despite the challenges that lie ahead.
God Bless America!