Column - Can we be united again?It’s time to bring the war to an end – it’s been too long and costly, and it’s tearing our country apart.
By: Lowell Anderson, Alexandria Echo Press
It’s time to bring the war to an end – it’s been too long and costly, and it’s tearing our country apart.
While this war has been raging for many decades, in the past few years it seems to have intensified. While we don’t have bullets flying overhead, there is no shortage of harsh, hateful and hurtful words that can be just as destructive. It’s being fought between two broad groups of people with very different ideologies and ideas about the role of government. The combatants are Republicans and Democrats.
With the end of their last major battle on election day, the war seems to have calmed quite a bit, yet it’s probably far from over.
On election night, someone made the analogy between where we are today, and the state of the country after the Civil War. I’d say that’s a very good comparison.
Many people think that the Civil War was fought over slavery, but that’s only partly true. The real issue was whether we should have strong states that ruled themselves and made their own laws, or a strong national government that tied all the states together. Because of this disagreement, half of the country’s citizens decided they weren’t happy with the way things were going and would start their own country. The war did start the process of eliminating slavery, but mainly it kept the United States from turning into two – and possibly even more – separate countries.
Now, however, what splits our country and threatens to tear it apart, is not slavery or states’ rights; it’s ideas about equality and how big the government should be. Our nation is now divided into two groups of people with very different views. Roughly half of the people believe that government should be as small as possible, stay out of the way and let people take care of themselves. The other half believes that the role of government is to equalize wealth and provide everything that people need.
There is no doubt that if these two groups of people were separated into different parts of the country, they would have long ago split into separate countries. But because we are mixed throughout the country, things become more difficult. Is it possible to bring these two philosophies together?
Just as President Lincoln tried to bring the North and South together after the bloodiest war in America’s history, our new president will have the opportunity to try to bring this nation’s people back together again and find common ground. After several years of hate, finger-pointing, and name-calling, the United States seems to be anything but united.
Now, after election day, we can see at least the beginnings of reconciliation in the government. What remains to be seen is just what kind of a leader President Obama will be, and whether it will be enough to unite us again.
For many people, the election was a mixed bag of emotions. On one hand, it was a historic occasion when we got to see the first black president elected. Despite our political leanings, we should all applaud this event as a nationwide milestone of success.
However, at the same time many people are apprehensive about what the next four years, with Democrats in control of the government, will bring. In addition to the possibility of higher taxes and bigger government, we have to worry about the administration pushing an agenda of social reforms that, at best, only half of the people in this country agree with.
We can only hope that President Obama and the Legislature will focus on what’s best for the whole country, rather than trying to advance an agenda that will only cause more division and dissatisfaction. If they can do that, then everyone – both Democrats and Republicans – will be better off, and we’ll be on our way to becoming a strong, united country once again.More from around the web