Key issues in our upcoming election include the economy, racial justice, affordable health care, and the ongoing crisis of COVID-19. Underlying all this, however, is an essential need to bring Americans back together.
We will never agree on everything, nor should we. As Joe Biden said in his recent speech at Gettysburg, “Competing viewpoints give life and vibrancy to our democracy.” But right now our country is pulling apart. We need to pull together. “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” the words of Abraham Lincoln, more than 150 years ago.
Biden chose the sacred ground of Gettysburg to speak about America’s need to unify. “We have too bright a future,” he said, “to have it shipwrecked on the shoals of anger and hate and division.” The former vice president spoke of trust and hope, and called on Americans to revive “…a spirit of being able to work with one another…” He said we can no longer be a house divided, “We’re facing too many crises. We have too much work to do.”
Lyndon Johnson, visiting the battlefield in 1963, said, “Our nation found its soul in honor on these fields of Gettysburg one hundred years ago. We must not lose that soul in dishonor now on the fields of hate.” In announcing his candidacy last year, Biden said he was fighting for the “soul of the nation.”
Is America’s soul one of division and hate, or cooperation and common purpose? That’s our choice.