Just because America is Deeply Divided Today does not Mean that All Hope is Lost
Is there any way to unite our country once again? We live at a time when our nation is deeply polarized and many people have chosen to completely give in to hate. There are a lot of Democrats that deeply hate Donald Trump with everything that they have inside of them, even though they might not be able to clearly explain to anyone exactly why they hate him so much. And the same thing could be said about many Republicans when it comes to top politicians among the Democrats. Yes, there are very important issues that divide us, and there are certain things where compromise simply is not an option. But just because we disagree with others politically does not mean that we have to hate them. The following is another excerpt from my new book, and hopefully, it will inspire people to start loving their enemies (even their political ones)…
What do you think would happen to our society if we decided to just start loving one another? I am writing this at a time when the United States is the most polarized that it has been in decades. Democrats hate Republicans and Republicans hate Democrats, but all of this hate is not really getting us anywhere. I think that most of us have forgotten that we are supposed to love our enemies. If we only love those that agree with us and that are just like us, what is that going to accomplish?
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Following the election in November, there were news reports about leftists that were being “triggered” simply by seeing the name of Trump somewhere. I don’t know if I have ever seen so much rage directed at a new president, and some of the things that are being said and done by those on the left are absolutely frightening. For example, Kathy Griffin made national headlines when she posed for photographs “with a ‘beheaded’ President Trump”…
Kathy Griffin sent shockwaves through the internet when she posed with a “beheaded” President Trump.
The comedian looks somber in pictures that are reminiscent of ISIS beheading videos and photos. She holds a facsimile of Mr. Trump’s detached, bloodied head by the hair.
The photo was taken by Tyler Shields, who is known for controversial art, including a photo of Clint Eastwood’s daughter burning a $100,000 Hermes handbag.
Why would someone do such a thing?
Many of those on the left have no idea why they are feeling so much rage. They just know that Trump is on the “wrong team” and that he supposedly stands for things that they aren’t supposed to like. But if you would ask many of them to put their feelings into words, most of them would not be able to do so in a cohesive manner.
Of course, many on the right have heaped a tremendous amount of abuse on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in recent years. Even though they stand for things that are truly appalling, does that justify the horrible mistreatment that they have received?
You can love people without agreeing with them. In fact, you can deeply love someone and still disapprove of every single thing that they stand for. And even though Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are both completely unfit to hold any political office anywhere in the country, that doesn’t mean that we should hate them. Like so many other political leaders, Obama and Clinton have done some exceedingly terrible things, but that doesn’t mean that they are beyond all hope. All of us have done things that we are now ashamed of, and all of us have needed some grace at various points in our lives. We should always be willing to love our political enemies, to forgive them, to pray for them, and we should always want the very best for them and for their families.
As it stands, America is a very dangerous place because of all of the anger and frustration that are boiling just under the surface. According to a recent Reuters survey, only 25 percent of Americans believe that the country is heading in the right direction, and the protests in our streets have turned increasingly violent in recent years.
Many on the left are using terms such as “Nazi”, “racist” and “dictator” to describe Donald Trump, and that is the kind of language that can spur people to take violent action. There are some that believe that America is heading for a “civil war”, and there are others that believe that one has already started. But none of us should ever want that to actually happen.
In my adult life, I have never seen America so divided, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
What if we decided to start loving one another no matter what we look like, where we are from or who our ancestors were?
What if we decided to start loving one another no matter who we voted for or what our particular political beliefs may be?
What if we decided to start loving one another no matter how much the mainstream media, our politicians and the entertainment community tried to stir up hate?
Not too long ago, a distant relative decided to cut off all communication with Meranda and me simply because of a pro-Trump article that I authored. Apparently, someone must be anti-Trump in order to be loved and accepted by this particular individual.
Of course, similar things are happening all over the country because of animosity toward Trump.
But if we are not willing to talk with one another, how will we ever solve any of the problems that this nation is facing?
Don’t get me wrong. I am certainly not suggesting that we should ever compromise our most cherished values and principles. If the left is going to hate us because we refuse to move from the values and the principles that this nation was founded upon, there isn’t much we can do about that.
But even though they may hate us, we can choose to love them. When we do good to those that hate us, it has a far more powerful effect than if we return hate with more hate. The following is one of the most famous quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr…
Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.
Hate multiplies hate,
violence multiplies violence,
and toughness multiplies toughness
in a descending spiral of destruction….
The chain reaction of evil —
hate begetting hate,
wars producing more wars —
must be broken,
or we shall be plunged
into the dark abyss of annihilation.
Those are very wise words.
We will never defeat the leftists that are trying to destroy our nation by hating them. But if we shower them with light and love many of them will eventually come over to our side.
I am a big believer in the marketplace of ideas because I also believe that truth always wins in the end. If we can respectfully engage with those that disagree with us and show them that there is a better way, we will win many of them over.
One of the reasons why the left has made so much progress in recent decades is because most of the population has abandoned the core values that once made America so great. If we rediscover those values, they can provide a basis for healing and reuniting our broken nation.
For example, in the Declaration of Independence, our forefathers declared that “all men are created equal”. We should all be able to agree that every single individual is of immense value, and that all of us should be treated equally under the law no matter where we came from, no matter what our skin color is and no matter how much money we have.
The Declaration of Independence also tells us that we have been endowed “with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. If you follow my work on a regular basis, you know that first one is absolutely huge for me. Elsewhere in this book, I am going to spend an entire chapter on that topic. But for the moment I want to focus on Liberty. In every human heart, there is a desire to live free. This is one of the reasons why big government liberalism is such a bankrupt philosophy. Big government always ends in tyranny, and I don’t know any true American that actually wants tyranny.
There are so many things that both the left and the right should be able to agree upon.
One is that Congress has become a cesspool of filth and corruption. Can’t we agree that the way that we run our elections needs to be greatly reformed and that special interests and big donors should have much less influence in Washington D.C.?
Another thing that we should be able to agree upon is that we should have a country where freedom and liberty are maximized. Instinctively, most of us want to live our lives without someone else constantly telling us what to do. We all proudly sing that we are “the land of the free”, and we need to start making that a reality once again.
We should all also be able to agree that terrorism is a growing problem and that we should do all that we can to keep our communities safe. Of course, there are disagreements about how precisely to do that, but in the face of a common enemy that is intent on destroying us, the American people should be able to come together.
In addition, we should all be able to agree that we need to strengthen the Social Security system so that it will always be there for retiring Americans that need it. Unfortunately, our politicians raided the Social Security trust fund and have badly mismanaged the system, and so now the future of the program looks shaky. But we should be able to work together to get it back on solid ground once again.
Of course, all of us want an economy that is vibrant and growing, and that hasn’t been true for a very long time. Barack Obama was the only president in U.S. history not to have a single year when the economy grew by at least three percent, and over the past ten years, U.S. GDP growth has averaged just 1.33 percent per year. If we would just take the shackles off of the economy we could do so much better. The greatest era of economic growth in our history was when there was no Federal Reserve, no IRS and no income tax, and we can do it again.
We all want better lives for our families and our communities, and we can make America great again if we start doing the things that made America great in the first place.
Ultimately, much of this book is about restoring American values. It is about restoring God, family and country to their proper places and getting our priorities back in order. It is about learning to love others the way that we love ourselves.
It has been said that a house divided against itself will surely fall. And if we continue down this road of hatred and division, America will surely fall no matter what ideology eventually triumphs.
There is nothing that says that we all have to hate one another. It doesn’t have to be this way, and we need a new generation of leaders that are willing to take us in a different direction.
Because right now what we are getting from the corporate media and most of our politicians is a steady stream of strife, discord, bitterness, resentment and hatred.
The only way that we are going to become “a shining city upon a hill” again is if we learn to love one another truly and deeply and from the heart. To close this chapter, let me share with you what President Ronald Reagan said about this shining city during his farewell address to the American people…
The past few days when I’ve been at that window upstairs, I’ve thought a bit of the “shining city upon a hill.” The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we’d call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free.
I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.
Reagan’s dream is still alive, but in order to live in harmony and peace we must reject hatred and division.
Just because America is deeply divided today does not mean that all hope is lost.
There is a better way, and we can get there.
Article posted with permission from End of the American Dream