United We Stand, Divided We Fall

“A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.”

Have we no tendency to the latter condition?

— —(content excluded for brevity) — —

This necessity had not been overlooked; but had been provided for, as well as might be, in the notable argument of “squatter sovereignty,” otherwise called “sacred right of self government,” which latter phrase, though expressive of the only rightful basis of any government, was so perverted in this attempted use of it as to amount to just this: That if any one man, choose to enslave another, no third man shall be allowed to object.

Full Text Available

House Divided Speech

Springfield, Illinois
June 16, 1858

House Divided Speech

President Abraham Lincoln

Illinois Senatorial Race
Nomination Acceptance>
Added Emphasis is mine.

Senator Al Franken's Post Regarding the Death of Justic Scalia

I saw this on Facebook today. And it bothered me just as much as what happened at Senator Paul Wellstone’s memorial service. (NOTE: these are two different links, first a link to the Senators Wikipedia entry, the second to the backlash to the partisanship and political hijacking of the memorial service).

And, sadly, I voted for Franken both in his original bid in 2008 and in 2014’s midterm elections.

I personally feel that NO PERSON’S DEATH should be used as political fodder.

And what is worse to me is that both in the case of Senator Wellstone AND in the case of Justice Scalia, these deaths were and are being used sadly as a “rallying cry” for the Democratic party.  And, as with Wellstone’s memorial, it is being used a DIVISIVE “rallying cry.” Like we need MORE divisiveness in our government (hint: that is sarcastic!).

I personally wish that Senator Franken had stopped with just his first paragraph.  His second paragraph brings a small note of partisanship, but stays on the side of hopefully standing united.  Sadly, the last paragraph is a bluntly stated partisan shot directly at the Republicans in Congress.

What I have experienced personally almost since Carter (who happens to have been president as I was crossing from preteen to adolescent – and started paying attention to the world stage), is that we have been straying further and further from the centrist stance.  Carter, at the time, was the Centrist choice – neither party actually liked him, but he was at least somewhat better than some of the more divisive candidates.

But, ever since, we’ve been choosing Presidents who are far too pulled to the far left or to the far right.  I don’t know how much of that is due to the fact that the so-called “Moral Majority” of the 1970s became the “rallying cry” of fundamentalist and evangelistic churches across the country in the 1980s.  I’ll post a different post on some of that issue later, but right now I want to talk about what our political life has become.

The reality is that BOTH parties have taken the stance of war.  And those who are on the fringe of BOTH SIDES (because let’s face it, there are JUST as many “fringe left” as there are “fringe right.”  And BOTH of them have taken over their respective parties.

People, do we REALLY want to experience a new Civil War?  Because that’s exactly what we are aiming for.  Just as with Lincoln, we are dealing with an issue of slavery.  The difference, however, is in the choice of the specific sub-set of our population is considered of a slave class.

Instead of looking down on ethnicities (not just those of African origin, but also Irish, Welsh and many of the Mediterranean origin – yes, around the same time we were enslaving Africans, we claimed that those born “darker” or even just poor were literally considered just as much slaves, and could be treated as such – because it was just as rare for them to “pay off” their debt as it was for a slave to be able to “pay off” their purchase cost), we are now being far more clear about it.

Just like the French Revolution, it’s a slavery of the “have nots” who have recognized finally that we are being enslaved by so-called “corporate individuals.”  Hiding behind their wealth, many of those “Titans of Finance” have forgotten that we are not just faceless, idiotic drones.  They see us as being children who can be motivated only by the carrot and the stick.

Lincoln, and the planks of the Republican party of his time, both referred to two different fables written by Aesop:

Please, people, please read the FULL TEXT of the House Divided Speech – (the speech starts down from the beginning of the page, in bolded text). Read it and THINK about it!

Basically, it is a “rallying cry” for those of us who stand closer to the center of these two bastions of fringe thought.  The issue then was moral conscience, and so is the issue now – are we corporate drones worshiping at the dual altars of money and fundamentalist furor? Or are we the true descendants of our Founders?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

  • That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
  • That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Declaration of Independence

signed by the 56 representative founders
of the United States of America

I sincerely hope we do not need to take it that far to get back to the original ideals of our nation.  I hope that those of us leaning toward the center can actually make a difference, by not treating our fellow humans as enemies, but stretching forth our hands to create jointly a better state.

I think we can do this without breaking our country apart, but at times I fear we’ve come too far and too many people cannot stop seeing those of a different political stance as enemies.  It’s hard enough when it divides friends, family and lovers – how much harder will it be for strangers?

Can we step back from the brink?  Or are we doomed?

Categories: Feminism, Political Opinion, Religious Ruminations | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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