"Two Americas" How Could Anyone Say That?
July 18, 2004
The term "two Americas" has been floating on the airwaves and set in print in many of our newspapers for the past several weeks. Senator John Edwards used this term in several of his speeches and statements, when he recently stated "It seems today we have two Americas." We see it otherwise. We see one America as "one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
America, unlike any other nation, is joined together not by centuries of tradition, but WE are united as a people based on a foundation of shared ideas and ideals enunciated in the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Indeed, we draw from many cultures of the world and there is a "oneness" to our diversity. There are those whose ancestors came to these shores as first-generation immigrants striving for freedom, hope and security. And, as a people, we are ONE, bound by a unique set of principles set forth in the documents that established this as one nation with justice for all.
Perhaps the greatest expression of our "oneness" is our national unity as articulated in the American Constitution. Adopted on September 17, 1787, the Constitution describes the parameters of our Government and the rights and responsibilities that accompany American citizenship. From its phrases we derive our many precious rights including free expression and religious liberty. With these rights, we assume the responsibilities of electing our leaders and participating in the workings of government in this Republic of ours.
Boldly, we see "one" America who believes our country provides the freedom necessary for one to fail or succeed. We see one America, who subscribes to these words of John F. Kennedy, "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we will pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of Liberty." We do not see an America where one is willing to trade freedom for a government subsidized failure. We see one America who struggled to rebuild after 9-11 and working cooperatively to stop any future 9-11. We see an America people who know the "where with all" as to how jobs are created, and not a people who believe that government creates jobs. We see one America committed to growing business and creating jobs and not an America who targets the businesses that create jobs. We see one America prepared to lead the world, if that is what it takes, and not a people who would rather follow the world, casting cherished values and principles asunder. We are a Country who is determined to enforce existing UN resolutions and not a people who think that endless un-enforced resolutions will do. We are one America who believes and lives the lessons we were taught by our forefathers: the lessons that hard work, education and self-discipline are needed to succeed in life. That is the America we see.
The genius of the Constitution of our one America is not simply in forming a "more perfect Union," but in framing an ideal and providing a means for progress toward its realization. As Abraham Lincoln once stated, our Founding Fathers "meant to set up a standard maxim for a free society, ...constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence, and augmenting the happiness and values of life to all people of all colors everywhere." These are the principles on which America is built and our "oneness" is founded. "One" America? Absolutely! That is how we see it FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE.