Americans are focused more on their disagreements than what they might have in common, what they could potentially agree upon. That is clear. After all, there are stark differences between the various parties, and it is these differences that make them stand out, or more precisely – apart. This national debate on the negatives that exist between factions is what ticks off many folks and it also contributes to political gridlock and deteriorating national unity.
Perhaps it is time to change strategy and revert to a tried and true method of achieving change and sound solutions. The great patriot Patrick Henry famously said,
“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.”
These words apply today as they did in 1799, perhaps more so. Indeed, I believe we are at a dangerous point in our country’s timeline and unless we plug this rupture of division, hatred, and paralysis, America could be at the first stages of a Balkanization process, one that will rip apart the union and lead to even more hatred, misery, and atrocity. If this horrendous scene plays out, all of the sacrifices and hard work previous generations have made will have been for naught. All of those brave souls that gave their lives in the name of freedom will have died in vain. Is that what you want? I doubt it.
So what CAN Americans agree upon? What important issues can be dealt with once we find common ground? I’ll bet there are many urgent social issues where the opposing sides have more in common than difference. Let us find a couple areas in which we can reach a national consensus and begin there. I believe with the proper leadership and education we can ultimately solve a multitude of big issues, but there is a time when you need to narrow your focus and be willing to find consensus, if just to get people used to working together again as a team. Here are two possibilities:
Can the majority of republicans, democrats, independents, conservatives, liberals, libertarians, and tea party folks agree that the U.S. Constitution is still a valid blueprint for America, capable of preserving freedoms and yet amendable to a modern era?
Presidents have always pushed the limits of their constitutional powers. The founders included a separation of powers infrastructure in the constitution to prevent any one of the three branches to gain too much power. It is part of the crucial checks and balances necessary to prevent abuse of power or tyranny and to maintain our republic. Barack Obama is not the first president to wrestle with the legislative and judiciary branches in seeking advantages for his administration. However, he certainly appears to have gone further than his predecessors in these over-reaches, to the point where many believe he has crossed the line and broken the law, repeatedly. Few will dispute Obama selectively enforces laws that he likes and that he ignores laws that do not support his world view. Immigration and health care are examples. Yes, probably Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush did this on occasion as well.
But President Obama, himself, has repeatedly noted that America is a nation of laws. He is correct. We are a nation of laws and they all should be respected and enforced. If a law is no longer appropriate for society, then initiate its repeal. But a president, legislature, or judiciary should not ignore the laws on the books and should never-ever break them! Is this not commonsense or am I just too naive or idealistic?
Do you agree that no modern nation should leave the poorest or disabled of their society to fend for themselves? People should be expected to work if they are able to better their lives and to become independent of government, but surely there cannot be many Americans, conservative or liberal, that think we should let disabled folks, poverty-stricken families with or without children, starve, or even to totally abandon those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol. We can and should help these citizens that are unable to help themselves, and to aid those addicted to climb out of that abyss. But we should also discourage a habit of dependency upon the government by those who could provide for themselves, otherwise the percentage of those receiving government assistance will continue to grow, and we are already near the bursting point of that over-inflated balloon.
Those that have put any serious thought to the matter would agree that in the 21st century America should be able to assist the impoverished and disabled without creating a whole new class of those forever dependent on the taxpayers generosity.
Most people, regardless of their political leanings, will probably agree that our elected leaders should follow the law. If the law is unjust or no longer needed, there is a legal means to repeal or amend the law.
Folks – we have put men on the moon and returned them safely to earth. We can solve these problems. President John F. Kennedy said we do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. The issues noted above are difficult ones, but let me tell you, they are a lot easier tasks than what it took to put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon!
Our leaders in the capital are not going to wake up and start working together until we do. Join me in this attempt to find common ground on just a couple of issues. Get involved! Do something! That would be a great start to solving many other more complex issues. Once we start, it could get addictive. We need to save this union and the principles it was founded upon, while embracing many new ideas that are abundant in this huge melting pot of a country. We have 50 great states in this country. Let’s take a break for awhile from dividing them all into red or blue. Instead color them all red, white, and blue!