On American Unity ☝️

9/11 Memorial - North Tower Reflection Pool (Photo: Taylor Morgan)

E Pluribus Unum

Last night President Barack Obama gave his farewell address. In it, he issued a warning about the state of our democracy and the forces that seek to enfeeble its strong bonds. He decried the rancorous division in our politics, the tuning out of opposing views, and the self-affirming bubbles we sequester ourselves into (in both the physical and digital worlds). I agree and I’ve written about these dangers in my post On Tyranny.

He also articulated a great hope for the future in the promise of our generation. This is also a sentiment that I share with him.

He put it this way,

“This generation coming up — unselfish, altruistic, creative, patriotic — I’ve seen you in every corner of the country. You believe in a fair, just, inclusive America; you know that constant change has been America’s hallmark, something not to fear but to embrace, and you are willing to carry this hard work of democracy forward. You’ll soon outnumber any of us, and I believe as a result that the future is in good hands.”

✊️ Word, Mr. President. I could not agree more.

Early this morning, I spent some time at the 9/11 Memorial site. I looked at the two cascading scars that now occupy the place where two towers once stood, remembered the souls that were lost that day, and contemplated the lingering pain of their absence.

Those who perpetrated that violent act hoped to instill fear in our hearts. From that fear they hoped to engender a spirit of division. From that division they hoped to weaken the foundation of our Republic.

If we give into fear and hate… if we divide ourselves into separate Americas… if we treat our fellow countrymen as strangers, outsiders, and lesser citizens — then we betray our liberties, surrender to tyranny, and lose the Republic for which we have sacrificed so much. The strength of America is our unity. It’s that radical, shared idea that: out of many different peoples, ideologies, religions, and races… we are one.

E Pluribus Unum
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