On June 16, 1858, in a speech to delegates at the Illinois Republican State Convention, where they chose him to be their candidate for the U.S. Senate, running against Democrat Stephen A. Douglas, Abraham Lincoln said that "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
I am reminded of Lincoln’s words every time I tune in the television news or pick up a newspaper. Except for the Civil War, has there ever been a time in our nation’s history when we were more divided? It seems like nobody really cares what’s good for the country anymore, it’s all about promoting their own agenda and running down the other side, no matter what they say or do. In the process, they have all lost any credibility they may have ever had.
A case in point is President Obama’s announcement this week of the start of the American troop pullout from Afghanistan. Immediately, Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham criticized the plan.
It doesn’t matter that we are engaged in yet another war that is dragging on forever, wasting American lives and dollars. Or that the American economy is in a shambles, and a lot of our citizens believe that the money spent in the war could be put to better use back here at home. No, a Democrat announced the pullout, so it must be wrong.
At the same time, CNN reported on Monday that Democrats, with the approval of the White House, are likely to introduce some new immigration reform policy by the end of the year. While everybody in Washington seems to agree that there is little possibility Congress would pass a major immigration bill in an election year, Democratic sources told CNN they wanted it to be a “contrast issue” against Republicans, most of whom emphasize tougher border security.
Did you catch that last part? They know it won’t go anywhere, but it’s a way to show the division between the two parties. Couldn’t that time and effort be better spent working together with the Republicans to achieve something positive? But why the hell would anybody from either side of the aisle want to do that?
And it’s not just Democrats against Republicans. Look at all of the hand wringing and nonsense over gays in the military and same-sex marriage. To hear a lot of people talk, it’s all a giant plot to turn the entire country into one big anything goes orgy.
I’ve said before, one of the bravest soldiers I knew when I was in the Army was, in his words, “a flaming faggot that should have been born a WAC.” But I can’t think of anybody else I’d want covering my back when things went bad.
As for gay marriage, somebody told me recently that allowing this to happen would destroy the very fabric of American life and destroy the sanctity of marriage. Really? How does it harm the relationship I have with my wife if a gay couple want to be married? If gay marriage is legalized, does that mean I’m going to automatically jump ship and find myself a man to love? I just don’t see it happening.
Here’s an idea – how about we put all of the nonsense aside, forget the name calling and rhetoric, stop arguing about whose is bigger, and get back to just being Americans again? If we did, and if we started working together for a common goal, maybe we could get this country back on track again.
Tags: a house divided, Abraham Lincoln, American troop pullout from Afghanistan, Civil War, Congress, Democrat, gay marriage, gays in the military, immigration reform, newspaper, President Obama, Republican, Republican State Convention, same sex marriage, Senator John McCain, television news, U.S. Senate