By now we all know about the horrific shooting where eleven people died on Saturday at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. By now we all know about the “bombs” sent to many people in politics. By now we all know that hate and violence is poisoning our country. I have never seen my country so divided and so violent in my life.
No other country has the freedoms that we take for granted each day. I do not share my political views with anyone but the Crankee Yankee, especially now that our political parties appear to be at a pretty vicious war with each other. But I will say this: our country, our people and everything we stand for as Americans are better than the violence, name-calling, blame-casting and outright acts of internal war that we are experiencing now.
Yes, there is a lot wrong with our country. But there is a whole lot more right in our country, too. We get it that the Republicans and Democrats often do not see eye-to-eye. We get it that not everyone approves of our president. We get it that lots of people are frankly looking for a fight about all this.
Well, we can engage in it to the point where we all become poop-slinging primates, or we can try to work with each other and show a little respect for each other.
When I was about eleven years old, I was obsessed with how Nazi Germany came to power and the Holocaust that followed. I couldn’t believe how this horror had come to pass, and I was so upset about it that I asked my dad how something like that could happen.
He was reading the paper at the time, and he put it down, took off his glasses and talked with me about it. What I remember most about what he said was about history in general: “don’t think for one minute that this can’t happen all over again. This is why we study history and do our best to learn from it so that things like this won’t happen again. This is why we must stay vigilant.”
I never forgot that. I grieve to see my country at war with each other. The way things are headed, we may lose much of what our ancestors fought so hard for. If we lose the freedoms we have today, and if we do not learn from our past, we may be starting to repeat it again.
We are better than this.