In today’s column I want to explore an interesting phenomenon. Isn’t it funny how if someone you don’t like has an idea you disagree with it, even if you think it’s a good idea – just because of who came up with the idea? Now don’t sit there reading this column and tell me that each and every one of you haven’t done just that. I have to confess that I have been guilty of just such a transgression.
I know that this will shock you, but I want to address specifically how this goes on in the world of politics. We are so divided in this country that if someone of the other political or philosophical persuasion comes up with a good idea, the opposite end of the spectrum will automatically and quite fervently reject it outright just because they didn’t think of it first.
This happens every day in life and a lot of times the only harm done is hurt feelings and maybe things aren’t done as efficiently as they otherwise could be accomplished. Where the real danger comes in is when we are talking about the very future of our country and unfortunately way too many people want to play politics rather than govern our nation.
Lest you think I’m pointing a finger at only one political party, let me make it perfectly clear that everyone is guilty of this from time to time. And, quite frankly, I’m pretty sure that it’s only going to get worse. Jesus, is quoted in Matthew 12:25 as saying, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself cannot stand.” These were the words Abraham Lincoln chose to use to describe the horrible civil war that our country suffered through 150 years ago.
Now, we, as a nation, are faced with trials and tribulations, while not violent, still just as divisive as those we experienced during that horrible part of our history. And, the question begs to be asked, “when will it end?” I wish that I had the answer to that question. All I do know is that if we don’t find an answer then we will move forward as a country marred in continuing strife and discord.
Our nation has never been free of disagreement. That’s one of the founding principles of our country – the right and even the expectation that we will disagree. That’s why so many people over the last 240 years have been willing to die to preserve that right to disagree. But, what we are witnessing today is not just the vehement disagreement over the future of our country but unfortunately the outright desire to stamp out any dissension from opposing views.
I had originally intended to make this column about the ever present and ominous beast called Obamacare. I wanted to make the point that those in opposition to this new social program had begged for delays only to be outright rejected by the proponents. But now delays in implementation are announced daily and they are called adjustments but it’s OK because now it’s their idea. I won’t even get into a discussion of whether or not the delays meet constitutional muster.
Like I said, I was going to write much more about Obamacare but as I started putting my thoughts down I realized that this problem goes so much deeper than one social program. The real issue is that, in this country today, when one side of an issue is in power it feels that it has a right and even an obligation to completely shut down the opposing side – even when they have good ideas. This pendulum effect of power shifting from one extreme to another is neither healthy nor right for our country.
Each of us has an obligation to speak out and advocate for what we think is best for our country. And, in our minds, if things are going horribly wrong then we need to talk even louder. But, that being said, at some point in time we have to remember that we are all Americans and behave like family. With families there might be squabbles and fights but don’t dare let anyone else mess with your family – that’s when the real fight is going to start.
Unfortunately I think we have forgotten in this nation what it means to be American and a family. It seems that at this time in our history we are great at playing politics and lousy at governing. Do you think our founding fathers and those that died to bring us our freedom would be proud of who we are as a nation? I’ll let you answer that one for yourself.
Kevin Wilson writes a weekly column for the Daily News.