A week ago, we experienced what we have never seen in our nation’s history, a mob storming our nation’s capitol. Once we got beyond the shock of it, we had to sit down and mentally process it. We had to ask ourselves, What just happened, What does it mean going forward.
We are able to see now that our institutions are strong. Congress was able to get back to work and finish the job they had set out to do that day: count the votes and certify Joe Biden as the next president. To accomplish this, they had to work through the night, and by golly, they possessed the fortitude to stay at their post until the job was completed. Contrary to the wishes of Donald Trump, Joe Biden WILL BE the next president of the United States of America.
Not only did Congress complete their Constitutionally assigned task on time, but our stock markets, which react to every storm cloud passing overhead, did not drop, but instead, went up. If they had perceived a threat to the foundations of our nation, it certainly would have been reflected in stock values.
Let’s not miss the lessons which we can learn from all of this.
Division in our nation undermines our tranquility. We have known that we are divided and have known that we should not allow that situation to be perpetuated. Thus, we need to identify the sources of our division and address them. Here are some major ones:
As individuals and as political parties, we have failed to respect the president for whom we did not vote. As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated on January 6, for the last two decades, this has been a growing issue. He noted that it came to a head with the election of Donald Trump in 2016, when the Democratic Party set out from the beginning of his term, via various means to unseat him. Like it or not, he was duly elected.
We must respect America’s Constitutional precepts, including the right of free speech. Our ability to speak our minds is a fundamental American right. When we have leaders and institutions saying to shout down those with whom we disagree, and to disinvite speakers with a contrary point of view, we are flying in the face of people who hold different views. By denying people an opportunity to explain their thinking and to be respectfully heard, we not only create anger and frustration, but we also create division. As we are increasingly seeing, division weakens our country.
We must return to our Constitutional structure where important changes to our societal structure are made by the 535 men and women whom we send to Congress. In the last few decades, these important changes to the laws which govern us are far too often made by our courts, not by our 100 senators and 435 congresspeople. Yes, it takes years longer for these 535 people coming and going from every corner of our country, to come to consensus, but that slow process involving this large number of people interacting with the citizens and with one another, build the needed consensus which preserves our tranquility.
How do we reverse the actions which undermined our former harmony? By determining that we are going to be respectful of one another and our Constitutional structure. When we make that decision as individuals, then it follows that we will elect like-minded representatives. We did not get where we are overnight, and we will not reverse course immediately. Recognition of a problem is half the solution. The mob scene in Washington should be a wake-up call to each of us, to do what we can to strengthen our nation.
From the Bible: “Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.” From Matthew 7:12