When did the pages of this blog become full of political commentary that feels like it should be satire? I’ve been thinking about all my history books as a child and the pride I could take in growing up in an America which I was told was the strongest democratic republic to yet exist. For decades, I’ve believed that despite the clashes that naturally come through diversity in communities, ever-present apposing beliefs, and constantly changing politics, we still hold the ability and desire to unite as one to defend something bigger– a political system, a country, a home, that promotes freedom, yes, but also trust in that home.
It is only within the last decade that I have seen our apposing sides become so bitter that we can’t communicate, we can’t debate, and we can’t comprise. It is only within the last several years that I can remember genuine concerns that our system is so broken it can’t be fixed. It is only within the current presidency that I have seen this message promoted by our leaders themselves. And it is within the shadow of this mass doubt that a national stain on our country’s very being has occurred. If we promote the belief that the system is against us, that voting is fraud, and that facts are fake, we get riots; we incite violence.
For us to recover from this troubling start to 2021, we must call what happened at our capital out for what it is: a failed coup — but a very real attempt on our country’s soul. We must also work across the aisle to restore faith in our system. The doubters are on both sides and may have good reason to doubt. But real, valuable progress can only come from peacefully, collaboratively, creating change that rebuilds our system from within– not from violently tearing it to the ground throughout. We must learn to trust one another– in each side’s desire for a better United States even if one another’s thoughts are different from our own. We must together call out what is wrong and agree on the facts of what is real. We cannot and must not continue to disrespect our own values– to disregard our political processes. When we look at our history, our processes, protocols, policies — our constitution– are the very fabric that have held our country together and are what have made our nation great. These very things are now under attack, but are what have created a nation worth defending and celebrating.
In 2021 can we come together to rebuild our system? If we don’t, we will not learn from this national mistake.
–Written by Sandy Heights