If there were one thing we believe most Americans would wish for as we approach the new year, it would be that we could reject the overwhelming animosity we’ve been living through for the past several years and once again embrace the concept of the UNITED States.
How has this unrelenting political conflict happened? How did we become a nation so divided?
Not that long ago, we were a country that prided itself on finding ways to agree and even rally around compromises that required us to sacrifice some of our values for the good of all.
Now, we cannot accept even minute sacrifices of our preferences. We have become a society that will abide nothing less than an entirety. We will give up nothing.
Not since the Civil War have we seen such animus among us.
We’d worked so hard on fighting racism, sexism and so many other areas of potential conflict. But, in some cases, political disagreement has turned into outright hatred.
As we look back on 2021, we have to own up to the results of our deepening caverns of thought. Who would ever have believed Americans would actually assemble as they did on Jan. 6 and assault the very foundation of our democracy?
And who would have believed that, afterward, half our nation would excuse it, forgive it, downplay it as if it were nothing worse than a schoolyard prank – that we would not instead insist that perpetrators and instigators be held to account?
Yet that’s where we are. We have watched almost a year pass and have to admit that the country is even divided over whether armed invaders of our Capitol Building should be punished. Whether people who inspired the uprising should be identified and interrogated.
That one afternoon of pitiful behavior has, rather than seeing us join hands in determination never to let it happen again, broadened the cleft between our two sides.
And we all seem, to one degree or another, to relish that cleft. Politics is now off limits as a conversation topic among friends and families unless they are all sure they are on the same side.
Sports, current events and even religion are now subjects adversaries can debate before politics.
But this is America. Let us not allow this abysmal behavior to continue. As we enter 2022, may we accept another side of this argument, as we accept other sides of all other arguments.
We must learn all over again to disagree without resenting – even hating – our fellow citizens who don’t share our views.
For, at all costs, we must never again incite or tolerate what happened last Jan. 6. It was one of the darkest days in our history.
Let peace reign among us in 2022. Pressrepublican.com