We may still be the United States of America but clearly, and sadly, we are no longer the united Americans of America.
Throughout our history, Americans had different political opinions. And that is fine. The cornerstone of our Democracy is having differences — differences in religion, differences in race, and, yes, as previously stated, differences in opinions about what is best for our country.
Overall, and for most years of our country’s existence, we all peacefully co-existed while maintaining our differences and different opinions. The different political opinions were discussed and debated; heated at times, but always in a civilized manner. Civilized. Meaning in a civil manner.
Political differences were settled by elections. Heated. Hard-fought. But when an election ended, Americans remembered one thing, first and foremost. We were all Americans. This was our country. We were opponents — not enemies. Elections were “fought” to win — not for annihilation.
Between elections, Americans understood that in order to govern, for our collective survival, people with different opinions had to compromise so as to accomplish things for our collective well-being. What was obvious was that, in order to move forward, we had to do this together for our country.
Working together, by people with possibly differing views, is considered an alliance; people working together for shared goals while still maintaining different views on other matters. It is done in a civil manner and without anger or hatred toward each other.
That is what we need now — an “ALLIANCE FOR AMERICA!”
We must remember that this is our country — one country with one people! We must concentrate on our shared goals, not our few disagreements. We must not let politics and partisanship come between our common needs, desires, and goals.
Political parties are merely vehicles for a broad perspective of its membership. Virtually no one agrees with everything any political party has as its positions in its Party Platform. In fact, the truth is, virtually no one knows most of the positions that their Party has in its Platform! And therein is likely the problem! So many of us are “partisan soldiers” in an army whose members do not really know what they are fighting for!
Wake up, people! I am not suggesting that we abandon political parties. Let’s just put them in their proper perspective. They do not, and should not, govern our daily lives. What should govern is each of us feeling that we are part of an “Alliance for America.” Pursuing shared and common goals for our joint betterment. Let’s look at it another way: at the typical Thanksgiving family get together, do we go to enjoy being with the whole family or, primarily, for the purpose of arguing with the stereotypical “crazy uncle” that every family has?!
“Alliance for America” should be viewed as our joint family get together. Let’s not confuse where our true interests lie for our collective well-being. The efforts we need to make to work together is more than a full time job and that leaves no time to concentrate on being roadblocks for each other.
We must remember that the primary purpose of a political party is to elect its candidates to public office. As an addendum, to find jobs for the party faithful. And you know what? That’s all good for us! It is when we, the voters, forget that membership in a political party is not comparable to belonging to a cult. That elected officials are public servants who are to be respected and supported if they are doing a good job. But the political party and the elected official should NOT be worshipped. Tolerance for our differing opinions must be shown, understood, and accepted. Disagreement should lead to discussion, not destruction.
Several weeks from now, our country will have a new administration in the White House. I believe that the ideas expressed herein, and the concept of an “Alliance for America,” is in sync with the ideas and direction that the Biden-Harris team would like to see the American people follow.
Toward that end, I would hope that, to promote same, Biden-Harris would consider creating AMBASSADORS 2 AMERICA 4 AMERICA. This non-partisan, non-salaried, appointed group should be comprised of celebrities from different walks of life; from sports, entertainment, academia, politics, government service, military service, religious leaders, union leaders, business leaders, etc. These Ambassadors would carry the “Alliance for America” message to our entire country and all of our people.
Perhaps our country can begin to return, at least in part, to what we once were. Perhaps even to what we always should have been. Perhaps.
Hon. Maurice H. Kolodin is president of the Shorefront Partnership Alliance.