The disastrous event this week in our nation’s capitol, which brought shock and horror to us all, and requires comment, though it is rare that I deviate from a full focus on our beautiful state of Maine.
It is evil to invade the seat of government, the seat of our democracy, and commit violent acts of insurrection, as all good people recognize. As with other vicious and destructive gatherings, this was not an exercise of our First Amendment freedoms. This was rioting, leaving a dozen injured officers, several dead, federal representatives fearful for their lives, and striking at the heart of our form of government to which a peaceful transition of power is vital.
Yes, there are serious issues that need to be addressed. Some of which, if left unresolved, will undermine our representative democracy. Gathering data, seeking truth, debating our opinion differences, standing up to make our voice heard, getting involved in the political process– these are the tools at our disposal. (And too few of us utilize them!) We are a country of law and order, guided by a constitution.
Most of us recognize fringe extremist on both sides of the aisle who do not represent the values of the majority. But maybe more insidious, and less recognized, are those who seek to convince us that those with whom we disagree politically are on the side of the devil, and those we like politically are on the side of the angels. We can’t allow ourselves to be convinced that whole swathes of our fellow Americans are the enemy, using our social media comments to increase the divide and choosing vitriol over dialogue. To do so wreaks havoc on the very country we love and seek to preserve. We need to rebuild our social fabric, our communities, our neighborhoods. The battle of ideals in which our nation is immersed, will only be transformed through relationships.
In Maine, as in our nation, we are still members of the same country, the greatest republic in the history of the world. It is in our keeping. I commit to stay involved and keep doing my part. What about you?
May God bless America and heal our land.