“…When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”
These hallowed words written 240 years ago ring truer today than ever. While most citizens of this country who were born after 1945 have no concept of true struggle – thus are oblivious to the notion that there could actually be a course of human events that would drive a separation -- it has become exceedingly clear that this nation has taken a sharp turn away from a “We the People” dynamic and moved towards more government oppression in the last decade. Not since the days of the failed Compromise of 1850 has this Union teetered on the brink of dissolution in so great a scale as we face today. Now there will be many who give no heed to the depths that our liberties and Federalism have been vanquished, but one must only look at the many recent national occurrences to see our freedom is under full attack. Take any number of recent federal oversteps ranging from the various states being sued by the federal government for enforcing their own border and sovereignty protected by the 10th amendment to a patriarchal administration determined to seize control of nearly every facet of an individual citizen’s life. Even when our people are attacked by an outside entity, the first and only response from our leaders is to attack us, the citizens, and place the blame at our feet.
There is always a time and place for debate, but it is a vital part of a Constitutional Republic that the process be one met with compromise from all sides.Unfortunately, in our zero sum, winner take all style of 21st century “democracy,” there is no quarter given, only a total war of attrition on seemingly every issue. If one side is pro-gun with the literal interpretation of the second amendment, then the other side has decided to blame guns and gun owners for every stain of violence perpetrated on our soil. Conversely, when an incident of gun violence occurs many on the pro-gun side have taken to using the second amendment as an untouchable shield insisting that any infringement or questioning of responsibility is an outright attack on our nation’s Constitutional bedrock. If we could get past the sound bite politics our national discussion has devolved into and look for common sense approaches to the troubles that ail us, maybe we could get back to that essential part of a democracy -- our commonality.
As George Washington stated, “The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations.”
Each side seems so determined to win regardless of what is right that we are no longer in the business of solving problems and moving forward TOGETHER as a nation. With our president and congressional leaders trying to score points by playing a constant game of gotcha on nearly every topic in our national debate, it is we the People who are losing. We are losing our rights, we are losing our patience and most of all we are losing our national identity… and in that, ultimately, we are losing OUR NATION.
As Lincoln stated in his speech, “A house divided against itself cannot stand… I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -- I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.“
Sadly, this American house we live in today is greatly divided. We have a President and Congress that have decided to rule as an oligarchy rather than as a representative government. The term “statesman” is no longer a job requirement for our public servants. Our congressional leaders refuse to subject themselves to term limits and barely take a pause when freely passing laws that the majority of Americans clearly do not favor. That combined with a president who writes executive orders like he’s ordering takeout makes these days feel a lot more like 1775 than the fulfillment of the “Spirit of ’76.”
We are at a crossroads that will ultimately decide whether this political experiment that our forefathers began over two centuries ago will thrive and if “we'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.”