We are a nation of laws. When written in 1787, the United States Constitution was the single greatest legal document ever conceived, and that fact remains true to this day. There have been few times in this nation where the Constitution and the laws of the United States have been so publicly trampled upon. One of those days was on January 6, 2021.
What the world saw on January 6 was an absolute disgrace. What started as a peaceful rally quickly dissolved into chaos when hundreds of rioters stormed the United States Capitol Building, the center of American government and a beacon of justice, peace, and democracy for all the world to see.
What we saw was horrific.
Rioters overpowered the Capitol Police and stormed the historic building, forcing congressmen and senators to shelter in place. Guns were drawn, shots were fired, and a woman was killed. Members were forced to go through procedures put into place after 9/11, including donning gas masks. This was an attack, not only upon the building itself, but on America’s principles. To say the very least, the security at one of the most vital institutions in America was an unequivocal failure, but it wasn’t the only one that day.
What we saw yesterday was a failure by all of us. We each have a responsibility, a civic duty, to listen to each other and be respectful. Both sides are to blame here, yet sadly we likely won’t see either do the right thing and take responsibility.
Regardless of what you think about the election, and we all think one way or the other, we should all be able to agree that violence isn’t the answer. If you think violence is the answer, then you are part of the problem.
Yesterday was the tipping point of years of frustration and pain that resulted from the personalization of politics. It used to be that two friends could have a civil discussion about an important topic and agree to disagree. That sadly is no longer.
Abraham Lincoln famously said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” and that statement has never rung truer.
As mature Americans, we should be able to have these important discussions about our government and our very way of life without the threat of alienation. It is these essential discussions that, throughout the years, have kept our country great and strong. When we begin to alienate and neglect each other simply because we disagree, we start on the road towards the dissolution of our Republic. As Thomas Paine famously said, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
I call upon every American, regardless of race, religion, and political affiliation, to come together. I call upon every American to look inside at the very words inscribed upon the Capitol Rotunda, “E Pluribus Unum”—Latin for “Out of Many, One.”
We are all different, but we are all one nation. This nation has survived countless wars, including one against itself, and has come back stronger every time. I have the utmost confidence that we can do it again, but it starts with each and every one of us. We each have the opportunity to be the best citizen we can be by listening to and respecting each other.
To quote The West Wing, “This is a plural society. That means we accept more than one idea.” Be accepting, be respectful, and slowly we can rebuild this great nation together.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.