• Virginia Tolles

This Deeply Divided Nation

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Former newsman Bob Schieffer said healing a deeply divided nation may be even more difficult than beating That Darn Virus. He’s right. Plug in an electron microscope, add the right antibodies, and presto! You have a vaccine against the virus. But how do you get 350 million people to agree on any issue? Answer: You can’t.

That's the scary part. Abraham Lincoln said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." And, yet, by the very nature of the human being, the house will be divided.

The solution to such division really is quite simple: Agree to disagree. We'll never convince everyone to think alike. That's unnatural. Even identical twins disagree. We must bring back respect for other opinions and compromise. It's essential if we are to survive as a nation, as a family, as a marriage . . .

So, before we dash downtown to rally against those who think differently than we do, let us consider taking these steps:

* Shake hands with our next-door neighbors and say, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it.”

* Accept that the electoral process was designed as it was for a very good reason: to settle disputed elections.

* Remember that, in all the years since the electoral college came into existence, it has voted contrary to the popular vote only twice!

* If you disagree with how your elected officials are governing, contact them by e-mail, snail mail, or telephone call and tell them in calm, rational language where you think they got off track and what they need to do to get back on track.

* If you disagree with how your elected officials are governing, remember this: They will come up for re-election in only a few years. Then, you can help to vote them out of office. Yes, we can all think of some who need to be sent home.

Thank goodness for terms of office! The Founding Fathers definitely knew what they were doing when they designed the laws that govern this nation. Let’s not be foolish and risk “throwing the baby out with the bath water,” as the old saw goes.

Written January 5, 2021

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