To the editor:

(Regarding the Nov. 13 column, It’s Lowell’s Turn: To survive, we need to find common ground.)

Mr. Anderson expresses a concern often heard lately, but it is not a new phenomenon. Quite the contrary. From colonial times onward, Americans have found themselves divided, starting with the deep division between those loyal to the Crown and those who laid their lives on the line for the cause of independence.

Severe tensions existed between the industrial North and the agricultural South for well over a century and a half. Secession was a constant threat long before it actually happened in 1861. Strongly held beliefs have ideologically divided America throughout its history, through the World Wars, through the Depression and right up to the present.

It is in the nature of human beings to think and inevitably thinking beings will disagree. Liberty, the foundation of the American Experiment, not only tolerates but encourages it. It is the struggle of ideas that ultimately moves us forward as a nation. If you really take an objective look back on American history, there has never been a better time to be alive in this country than now. Despite the unpleasantries or incivilities we perceive in today’s national discourse, I still believe America's greatest chapter is yet to be written.

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Michael Dempsey

Alexandria, MN