When we were great, we believed we were blessed by a universal God. We were blessed by a universal God because we were a nation of different people from different places with different religions – who somehow got along. So God blessed us for how we respected each other. And we did more than coexist; we flourished because of our differences. An intricate fabric where every thread had significant meaning. A place where we were all important contributors. We were great because we adhered to laws based on the concepts of fairness and equality. Laws that protected those among us who needed protection. Aided those who needed aid. We were great because of a system put in place long before which recognized that as humans, we had flaws when it came to the idea of power. And that the only way to avoid the temptation of absolutism was to actually use use our differences as a means of checks and balances. No, we weren’t perfect. Far from it. But we were the envy of the free world. A beacon of hope for the human experience. A place where dreams could come true.
But somewhere along the line, something happened. We stopped seeing our differences as our strength. Instead, they became bitter points of contention that powerful special interests (i.e. politicians and the media) used against us. Suddenly, the laws that had long protected us from ourselves were tweaked to protect the rich and powerful – driving Americans even further apart. Amidst dogmatic rhetoric, we began to care less about our nation as a whole and more about specific parts. Specific ideas. We began to gravitate to the idea of exclusion rather than inclusion. We started to believe that the only way this country could be great again was if one ideology were in control. And we fought hard to justify and defend our ideologies. We adopted an us vs. them mentality and stood nose-to-nose with each other. Our brothers. Our enemies. Winning at any cost became our priority as we let our fear of a different way of thinking overrun any respect we once had for each other. We were just too different now.
And neither side gave in. We’re a stubborn lot, Americans. Proud. But pride has its drawbacks. In fact, it’s a sing. We haven’t moved the needle in the right direction for this country in decades. A great nation is more than a healthy economy.
I wish I had a solution to throw out there. But I don’t. I don’t know if we’ll ever be as great as we once were. And no, no man or woman sitting at the desk of the President is going to change our course. No, changing this nation and putting it back on a righteous path requires that we put aside our ignorant pride and embrace each other for our differences as a way to once again realize just how powerful we really are. Please don’t let the politicians tell you anything different. Don’t let them drive us further apart. Don’t believe their ads.
No matter how badly you want your side to win the 2012 election, just remember that ‘one ideology to rule them all’ isn’t even possible in this country. Our forefathers were no dummies. Though I do believe they underestimated a human being’s capacity to spite.
Jim Mitchem - and yes I know that this country is for everyone, not just people who believe in the idea of a God. Settle down.