I think it is interesting to note that we in America are only well united in our purpose and our actions as a country and a people when we are clearly under attack from the outside. When things are relatively normal we seem to do nothing but bicker about the small (and not so small) issues that surround us daily. We make little progress on solving those issues because it’s pretty much a guarantee that you will find approximately 50% of the people on each side of the issue. We elect our leaders the same way. (For instance, it is rare to elect a president with more than even a 2% majority.)
Why do we act this way? Why does it take a direct and immediate threat from outside our country to galvanize the American spirit into a common cause and a common course of action? I think some of that is rooted in our human nature itself. There is an old folk saying that goes something like this: “If you put a frog in hot water, he’ll jump out immediately. If you put a frog in cold water and gradually raise the temperature, you’ll cook the frog.”
Unfortunately, I believe our country is like the frog in cold water. Through lack of competent leadership and divisive political rhetoric in all positions of our national government (and even many state and local jurisdictions) we seek to demonize the opposition. Ultimately it leaves us paralyzed and we are destroying ourselves economically and morally. We need to count the cost of battle as the Old Testament advises. Whether it is politics or marriage partners, we need to seek to treat others as we would have them treat us and negotiate respectfully and productively on the challenges that face us all.
If you believe the people on only one side of the argument are the problem, you have just become part of the problem.