Towards A “More Perfect Union”

As I review my recent blog posts it seems that I am sounding like a broken record.  I have found many ways of saying the same thing.  I have warned, multiple times, of the damage the GOP is doing, particularly on the state level, to abortion rights, voting rights, education and healthcare.  I have discussed frequently, the damaging obstructionist stance the GOP has taken on a national level. Certainly, I am not alone in my concerns, nor am I the only one raising them.

Yet, as the months pass the story and the issues remain the same.   It appears, in fact, that the issues are only a symptom of a disease that is eating at the very fabric of our country.  This is a disease with many parts and cannot be simply named or categorized.  However, even to the casual observer, it is clear that things are just not working right.  As a nation, we have a long history of inter-party differences.  We take particular pride in the uniqueness of our state and region.  We have long identified with our immigrant roots and our melting pot legacy.  While we have always been a nation with ideological and political differences, we have almost always found it possible to deal with those differences with civility and success. Certainly I am not blind to the fact that there have been instances in our history that have been less than peaceful and very tumultuous. But, while the fabric was stretched to its limit, it didn’t tear.  Our union proved itself to be resilient and strong.   Yet, this feels somehow different.

There seem to be deep and fundamental differences between us today.  It isn’t just looking at two different ways of fixing a problem.  That is what we always dealt with.  It seems that we are identifying completely different problems.   What is a problem to one side isn’t even on the radar of the other.  One side views climate change as a significant concern while the other views it with little concern.  One side sees gun ownership as major issue, while the other side views it as insignificant.  We are speaking the same language, but we are coming from incredibly disparate places.  It’s as if we are two countries with completely different histories and experiences.  What are the ties that bind us?

united states currency seal - IMG_7366_web
united states currency seal – IMG_7366_web (Photo credit: kevindean)

Perhaps we need to work at rediscovering what it is that makes us a nation.  What are the common experiences, values and visions that have brought us to where we are?  It seems that before we can identify, define and resolve the many issues confronting us, we need to answer that question.  Only then, can those we have elected and charged with the task of moving us towards “a more perfect union”, be successful.


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