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Independence from Ourselves?

A Nation Divided

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.”

Our founding fathers wrote these words in the Declaration of Independence over 200 years ago but they still hold true today. It is our right as a people to have a government that protects us. And the right to protect ourselves from our government. But how do we protect ourselves from each other and our own political views?

It seems as if our political climate changes on a daily, if not hourly, basis. 24 hour news and more and more panel discussion shows keep the events of the day constantly in our face. We are in constant contact with the media through our phones that are always in our hands or social media which we check constantly. The opinions of others have gained more and more importance in shaping our own views. A vote used to be a very private matter. Now we must splash this information across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more. And if you don’t agree with someone, they are equal to pond scum is some people’s minds.

“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.”

Perhaps some people are living their personal lives and political opinions in accordance with the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. Political views have ended friendships and divided families. A document that was worded to separate our nation from the tyranny of the British crown now seems to reflect the left vs. the right, the liberals vs. conservatives, or the very basic us vs. them. Are we declaring our independence from each other?

All throughout the history of this great nation, we have faced times of division. Even the very beginning was not a unified agreement to separate from the British crown. There were many that felt the system that the monarchy had in place for the colonists was acceptable. But enough of our citizenry was unhappy and wished for self-rule. As we all learned in history class, this sparked a revolution and made us a free and proud independent nation.

Another division emerged over finances and policy. Slavery, industrial states vs. agricultural states, and what direction to take the nation brought us not only to the brink but fully into a civil war. Although the country became whole once again after it was over, there are some that feel we never really healed from the conflict that at times pitted brother against brother.

Another hundred years passed and we dealt with two greatly dividing factors in one decade: civil rights and the Vietnam War. War and peace and racial equality are two very hot button issues. They always have been and always will be.

Now we are in a new era that has somehow included all the strife at once that has challenged our nation. We are a nation that is divided on the leadership and rulers that guide our lives. We look at the haves and the have nots and wish to blame industry or the suppression of the working class. Racial divisions have been brought to the forefront in every discussion. We are once again fighting a war in a foreign land that many don’t understand or agree with. Into that we have also thrown sexuality, religion, and trying to define what a family is. Hard to know what a family is when so many are divided and not speaking due to all these issues.

How did we survive all the challenges that we as a country faced in the past? Hard to know for sure. I try to remember back to those days after 9/11 when we all worked together and felt pride as a nation. Maybe that is the answer. Look at your neighbor or coworker or family member not for their race, religion, sexual orientation, or political views but as a fellow American. Someone who lives in what is still the greatest nation in the world.  

Traci E.
Traci E.

Is fascinated by the world and all it offers. I hope you like what you read.  Don't forget to tip your authors.  $1 encourages me, $5 buys me a coffee and more than that shows me that I made you think or moved you in some way. Thank you.

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Independence from Ourselves?
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