We are divided. This wasn’t friends and neighbors engaged in healthy, productive debate. In its majority, it was vituperative, hostile and not at all conduct of civilized discourse. Nor was there any intrinsic value, for no room was left for understanding. I don’t for a moment believe it fairly represents who we are, what we want, nor serves us well as an agent of change. Let us consider it the symptomatic product of larger issues and explore the legitimate origins of our malcontent. We stand at the precipice and now must choose whether to retreat or advance.

The preamble of our Constitution will provide aid, comfort and some points of mutual concurrence, a foundation upon which we can build. We the People of the United States. Together, please note, it said We the People, not Us the Government. This is so much more than a semantic quibble, it’s the very heart of the issue and I’ll make this abundantly clear in a moment.

In order to form a more perfect union. Unity. That which once sustained us now eludes us. I submit the pathetically dysfunctional polarization within our government is causative. This malevolent vicissitude has created an intolerable frustration, an outrage, as a people, that for want of a more appropriate outlet, we now misdirect toward one another. At or own peril. With deliberation and intent, our own government has fomented a form of madness and inflicted it upon the populace. The abject insurmountability of our present circumstance has rendered us impotent to affect meaningful change. Divided, our house becomes theirs, and this bodes ill for us.

Our prickly conscience, for allowing this to happen, exacerbates the problem. I live in fervent hope we now know it’s not enough to vote. We have to vote intelligently and our work, in reality, begins post election. If we don’t put forth the effort to make our wishes known, someone else will. This denigrates the will of the majority through apathy. Our tumescent guilt, grief, fear and pain at the impending loss of a loved one, that is, our national identity, our beloved homeland, destroys us from within.

E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one. It’s on all our currency. If we can’t resolve the issues that have divided us, and clearly we cannot, we must seek out and resolve the issues that will reunite us. The development of even the simplest of consensus will be our salvation. It will restore a sorely missed sense of unity and then, a sense of common purpose. We need both to create a sense of hope. Contrary to conventional wisdom, hope springs not eternal but must be rejuvenated through action, every day. Absent this, where do we go from here?

We have never, as a nation, been more divided. Were the myriad of our discontent to coalesce, our self destruction would be assured. By this, no one would be well served. I beseech you all, let us pull back from the abyss. Together, let’s rediscover tolerance, forbearance, respect for divergent viewpoints and civic duty.Only then will we love our neighbor as ourselves and come to know the peace, so long absent from our lives, to which we are entitled by God, not Washington.

Jerry Konopa


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