Let me first make abundantly clear that what I write here is meant as an invitation to frank conversation, honest debate, and in no way is meant to be a statement of a firm opinion.
You’ve been together for years. You have a great story: an almost fate-led, near mythology to those starry-eyed early days. Those first days, months, even years, were full of passion. A force beyond yourselves pushed you together into a magical bond that nothing could break. Perhaps all of that passion blinded you to a few differences that could cause some issues later, but you’ll deal with that when you come to it. You’ve got your song. You share common values. You have a shared vision for what the future looks like. Perhaps you occasionally argue, but nothing that can’t be worked through when you think of what really matters. To the world, you are strong as one, united together, ready to set forward into forever together.
What if you are a nation? What if you are a united collection of states, initially bound together with a single purpose that influences a common bond of passions, forever leading you into the future as one sovereign entity? After that single galvanizing event brings you together, you settle down the passions and discuss critically what your values are, how they will be laid out, and how they will dictate your future. With any luck, and a whole heck of a lot of continued investment by subsequent generations, you have managed to maintain a national cohesion around those values – struggling at times, of course – always looking forward at how you will stand together for the foreseeable future.
Like any romantic couple, any interpersonal relationship for that matter, its health always needs to include an honest, perhaps brutal, assessment in how you continue to look at the future. Do you still share the same values? Does that spark of passion still ring true? Are the qualities you still have in common strong enough to make the ways in which you may have grown apart seem minor? Or, are you fooling yourself into believing you still have enough to keep you together?
The United States, We the People, need to seriously assess who we are, what we value, and truly question if there is still enough holding us all together to maintain out identity as these United States of America. If we are honest with ourselves, I think we might all see that it is at the very least a valid topic to broach – cautiously. Such an exercise should have two possible conclusions. Either:
- we are reminded of what brought us together, how strongly we still believes in our common purpose, even if our focus is being constantly distracted by the superficial
- or we face a very tough reality that portions of our union have grown terminally apart from one another to the point that saving it is an exercise in futility
We have all seen, from the outside, that couple forcing it to work for much longer than they should. Is that who we are now, or do we still have enough to work for?