You might not like the URL I chose for my latest blog. It is a bit brash and some may say overly melodramatic. After all, we are the greatest union the world has ever seen. We've overcome the threats our nation faced in it's infancy and have become the last super-power in the world. But I say the slogan "Unite or Die" is just as applicable, and possibly even more so, today than it was in 1754 when Ben Franklin published the etching in his Pennsylvania Gazette.
I would like to take this opportunity to quote from the Farewell Address of our first President (if you don't know who that was you don't deserve to be considered an American): 'The unity of Government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence; the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very Liberty, which you so highly prize. But it is easy to foresee, that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed...'
For those who don't know, this is the same speech where the President draws our attention to the dangers of political parties and warns against them. The very nature of a political party, or any social organization for that matter, is designed to draw like-minded individuals together. This in itself is not necessarily evil but it is the tendency of such organizations to regress to name calling and pointing out the flaws of others while extolling and praises the virtues of themselves, thus creating a scene of discord and disunity that, when carried out on a large scale, can result in mobs and possibly violent acts.
Our nation is more divided now than it was when the issue of Independence was raised and fought valiantly for by our ancestors. Don't believe me? All one needs to do is watch the news for ten minutes and it will be displayed in shockingly clear HD quality that our nation is divided right down to it's core. We are so concerned with ourselves, so focused on our own lives and what luxuries we can accumulate to ease our time here that we have lost sight of one simple truth: the freedom and liberties we enjoy are fragile and must be defended every day. This is exceedingly difficult because we as human beings are by nature a selfish, conceited lot. We have to fight against the impulse to impose our will on others, to take from those weaker than us, to shut ourselves from the problems around us and not risk losing what we have.
We are not a united people. We are not taught to be a united people. We are taught to walk on egg shells. To dance around topics that might make others uncomfortable or someone could possibly take offense to. We are divided in every aspect of our lives whether it be by our ethnic background, our economic status, how we dress, how we talk, our education level, where we live, our political view points. These divisions are nurtured and encouraged by the elected officials we have over us because it is easier to control someone when they can be identified by a convenient label. It is not good enough for us to be known as Americans. We have to separate ourselves with titles such as Native American, African American, Irish American, Italian American, Latin American, Mexican American, Japanese American, Chinese American, etc. I can claim two of these and probably five our six others but what is the point? I have lived in America all my life, as have the vast majority of us. I was born here. I am an American first and last. That should be all that matters. But it is not convenient for people or governments, especially the Census Bureau, to accept that. So we cling to what is familiar to us, what we most easily identify with, and shun the rest. We are by nature racist, but we should strive to overcome the racial labels we so boldly and proudly flaunt.