As we approach the 243rd celebration of the Declaration of Independence, our country seems to be more divided than united. While many may think that the division is “new,” or caused by a political figure they don’t like, it’s not. The people in the American Colonies were also divided in the days leading up to and through the American Revolution.

There are several reasons to disagree, dispute, or otherwise oppose your political “enemies,” “enemies” being somewhat of a harsh term, in my opinion.

Part of the decline we see in our political system today is that no one learns to respect the fact that some have differing views, even within respective parties or factions. This reality doesn’t necessarily make them a personal enemy.

There was a time in our history that political enemies were also personal enemies.  Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr come to mind.

Primarily since then, the “rule” has generally been that political enemies are not necessarily personal enemies.  Of course, as with most “rules,” there are exceptions, but it should be the exception.

Today, we see quite the opposite. It appears the “rule” and the “exception” have been reversed. Anyone who disagrees with you politically is your “personal enemy.” This has led us to a sad state of affairs.

It was my privilege to lead several freshmen orientation segments when I served in the legislature. One of the pieces of advice I gave them was, “if you can’t stand on the floor, go toe-to-toe with someone on the other side of the aisle making your best points and when it’s over, go back and have a cup of coffee with that person, you’re not doing it right.”

Sadly, not just legislators but society as a whole seems to have lost the ability to disagree amicably.

The result is that we are now in a fight for the future of our country and its direction that is not only one of differing ideas but beyond. It’s become a fight that now includes being prepared to defend one’s self from attacks from enemies physically.

One might say, “well, it took a physical fight to create the country, and it might take a physical fight to save it.”

I would agree that there are principles worth the physical fight. We should stand ready to do so, but we shouldn’t be part of unnecessarily manufacturing the fight.

May God save America, from ourselves!