Saturday, September 29, 2012

Emulating The Founding Fathers

     A few days ago I posted a blog in which I called one of the presidential candidates a hypocrite, and presented an argument which I thought justified the appellation. A short time letter one of my Facebook friends unfriended me. This is fine – he has as much right to do that as I have to express my opinion.
     We do not know each other except through Facebook, but I sincerely hope that if we did, we would display what is becoming a rare faculty these days: disagreeing and yet remaining friends.
     The Bible says: “. . . unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” I am not an expert on the kingdom of heaven, but the statement sounds like good advice in the personal relations field. I have seen children fight as if they meant to kill each other, and an hour later they were again best friends.
     The choice today seems to be between friendship and enmity - there is no middle ground. I have heard of a case in which friends were dining together when one, in jest, called a radio talk show host by a mildly derogatory name. His friend got so angry that he got up and walked out without eating, and to my knowledge they have not spoken since.
     I cannot think of a more suitable adjective to describe this reaction than “unamerican.” Although I am sure he would disagree, Sen. Mitch McConnell's statement: “Making Obama A One-Term President Is My Single Most Important Political Goal.” is a case in point. If the Founding Fathers had behaved like that, our national anthem would be God Save The Queen.
     Friends John Adams and Thomas Jefferson became bitter political enemies, but eventually they overcame their enmity. It is through their writings to each other that we are aware of much of the background of the revolution.
     The point is that even though they were still political opposites at the end of their lives, (they both died on July 4, 1826) they saw the good in each other.
     As long as we consider that “those people” who disagree with “us” are enemies, we differ from radical Islamists only in degree.
     We can do better. In fact, we must do better, or our republic is in danger of tearing itself apart.
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     My books, “There Are Only Seven Jokes” and “The Spirit Runs Through It” are available in paperback or Kindle at Amazon.

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