Seven score and thirteen years ago President Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address at the site of the Civil War’s bloodiest battle, which was a turning point in holding this nation together in a most divisive time.
Lincoln questioned whether our nation, conceived in Liberty, could long endure, and he helped dedicate a portion of that battlefield “for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.” He honored the “brave men, living and dead, who struggled” to help keep the Union intact.
Today is also a divisive period, albeit, not in the same sense as the American Civil War. In the more than a century and a half since President Lincoln spoke those words, America has endured, in large part due to brave men and women who have given their lives or limbs, or sacrificed their own freedoms and sometimes even families, to keep this nation whole.
The cry of revolution and “take back our country, with arms if necessary” is spreading on social media, clamoring in barrooms, and being debated at many dinner tables across America today. The anger and frustration of years of political strife and seemingly paralyzed elected bodies justifies these emotions. Adding to the dilemma are meddling enemies of freedom abroad and within our own borders. The potential Balkanization of America has terrorists and certain foreign leaders drooling in anticipation. Still, many honest Americans are fed up with modern day politics, especially this election cycle.
Before you give up on democracy, though, you should give these points consideration. Since the Revolutionary War, hundreds of thousands of American service members and intelligence agents have spilt their blood for you. Millions more, from all 50 states and the territories, have sacrificed dearly so that you enjoy the special and unique freedoms that ONLY Americans enjoy. Law enforcement, fire fighters, EMT first responders sacrifice for you every single day. American businesses provide you with an awesome variety of products that make life easier and entertaining. For most of us, life is pretty good right now.
For those inciting revolution, do you think any alternative America and its new constitution would include the Bill of Rights that allow us to breathe and live such freedom? Would majorities and minorities still share power and protection? Would we be a nation of character, integrity, and honor? This is not a perfect union now, never will be, and it could be a lot less so.
The makeup of the Supreme Court, who we select as president, and the makeup of Congress is important to us all. But are a few years or decades of one political club tilting the scale worth dishonoring all that has been built and all that has been sacrificed?
The patriots who gave their “last full measure” deserve more of our effort and attention. One might say they demand it from their graves! What’s more, the world needs America to stay united. We do much more good on the planet Earth than harm. Our freedom-loving people deserve more effort. Our children and grandchildren should grow in the same warmth of liberty of which we were handed by our parents and grandparents.
Let’s cease this talk of violence and revolt and give America another chance, some more time and effort to get it right, revise and refine, so that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”