MIAMI, Florida – “My time flies!” may be one of the more common of clichés, but it none-the-less rings very true. It surely doesn’t seem like almost 12 months ago that the world was shouting “Happy New Year” in welcoming 2019, or welcoming the new millennium in 2020. But not only is 2019 rapidly slipping by but so is the first two decades of the 2000 millennium.
Those reading this editorial who were around at the beginning of 2000 and 2019, should be particularly thankful as thousands have since passed on.
For those who began 2019 with hopes, resolutions and prayers for a more united nation are likely very disappointed as the year comes to a close, because the nation seems more divided than ever, especially on all matters having to do with politics, or with political implications. Underlining this division, most recent polls on political issues often split down the middle.
The sharp divisions created by politics and politically related issues in America are regrettably steadily creeping to create sharp divisions among workers in the same workplace, members of the same family, members of churches, and has sharpened the divide between the races and ethnic groups.
But Americans, cannot and must not allow politics to become a powerful wedge that seeks to ruin whatever realistic chance there is to have even the semblance of an integrated nation.
In the second half of the 19th century, the country was bitterly divided between north and south over the philosophy and practice of slavery. This led to a bitter civil war from which the repercussions are still being felt in areas such as racism.
The divisions created by political ideologies seem to be proving to be more powerful than the divisions in the late 19th century. While those divisions separated northern states from the southern states, the divisions being experienced today are creating sharp division within several states. While a few decades ago, people of different parties and political persuasions could share a friendly rivalry, today it’s not surprising for such political differences to spawn enmity and permanently destroy former close relationships.
So stark are the divisions that have been created by politics in the US, that there are actually people, including learned commentators, who believe if the divide is not breached soon the union could again explode in serious civil turmoil.
A worrisome sign as the year closes is that political divide seems to be threatening to spawn a gap between evangelical Christians who are traditionally united in their Christians beliefs.
It’s a really sad reflection that the growing divide threatening America’s security comes from an implicit trust in politicians and political institutions, rather than trusting a higher power. This sadness is further enhanced by people who live and express, particularly through their social media messages, that they are fanatically supportive of a system where presidents, powers and principalities represent, or seek to command ultimate power. Presidents will come and go; political institutions will hold and lose power; and political scenarios, even in totalitarian states, are temporary and transitional. People should therefore not allow politics to shred the communities and the societies in which they live.
In the current divisional atmosphere of America, it may seem to some that it’s easier to write about national and community unity than to actually achieve it, but that is a lie.
Unity begins at the core of societies and communities. It begins with people respecting each other and respecting each other points of view. No two people, not even a man and his wife, will have the exact views on every subject. Married couples who live in a united relationship despite their differences, including political, are the foundation of united families and united families are the foundation of united communities.
People, whether they are indigenous Americans, or immigrants, must concentrate on respecting each other and each other views. This could likely spawn more tolerant and united communities.
National pride is another factor that can contribute to national unity. But this seems more possible in smaller nations than in the sprawling United States. Jamaica recently exuded a sense of national unity through national pride with Jamaicans home and aboard sharing in the celebration of the young woman that won the Miss World 2019 title.
Although the US is a very diverse nation racially, ethnically, and religiously, there are nonetheless several reasons why pride in various aspects of the nation’s accomplishments should be able to provoke passions of national unity.
Whatever the means, it’s pivotal for the sake of the quality and security of their lives that individually and collectively Americans try to prevent politics and political issues from ruining and destroying the nation’s strong potential. This is especially important in what will likely be a very politically active 2020 with general elections scheduled in November.
Meanwhile, give thanks for making it through 2019, and to everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR.