Every time we fight amongst ourselves, it is a victory for our adversaries. Violence against our fellow Americans weakens our nation and plays right into the hands of our political opponents. They delight at each chip we take at our democracy, at our readiness to believe in whatever misinformation someone with an internet connection and an index finger can produce. We have never been a nation of suckers. Let’s not start now. Disagreements will happen - often and everywhere. They happen in our homes with family members, on the playground with schoolmates, and of course in our politics. The question is not how to find a way to always agree, rather, how to handle our inevitable disagreements. The family that talks will thrive, will grow from the mutual respect each member holds for the other. The violent family will break. The leaders of such families might obtain their desired goals, but only for a period. There will come a time for a “peasant uprising” (as one of my high school friends once told his authoritative father), when children will leave home and never turn back. Violence within our own family, our own nation, weakens us and sends us on our separate ways, as we seek other like-minded groups who support our opposition to our neighbors. We as a nation must sit down and talk out our differences. While there have been truly tragic episodes in our behavior as a nation, our democracy has nonetheless ultimately been built upon the enormous ideological foundation of freedom. There is a reason the United States has been a “beacon of hope” to so many people around the world for generations. It is the promise of freedom, of democracy. And if our democracy is to survive, we must be a family that talks.
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