I find myself hearing the political rhetoric that permeate the media. In the past, I have heard the discourse, but it never had the tone I’m hearing now. Perhaps it’s my age or my growing lack of tolerance for people who promote hatred and division. Maybe it’s because I actually listen to the wisdom of leaders such as Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama have been saying because it resonates with what I hear proclaimed in my own church and community: Acceptance, wholeness, and unity. Those are my priorities.
I remember the pledge of allegiance that I said every school day until the end of high school: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the republic for which it stands: One people under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Those who promote an agenda that divides one faith from others, one country from its neighbors, or widens the economic divide that has sparked outrage are essentially asking us to forget everything our pledge of allegiance states. They are promoting an agenda that aligns with priorities that our forefathers never wanted.
Our forefathers wanted a place where people could practice religion without worry of persecution. They wanted a place where the fruits of a person’s labors could bring some amount of happiness. Most of all, the promoted unity and justice. I see none of that in some of the political ads that I hear now, and it saddens me that people actually might think that this is in our best interest in as a country.
We are a country of immigrants, of second chances, of acceptance despite our flaws or differences. We are not a place of intolerance or hatred. And we cannot, under any circumstances, allow a bully to become the leader of our country. We must continue the path we started on when we first became a country:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
No one, especially not one who be a leader of this country, can deny these words that formed our foundation. And to ensure that we uphold our country’s integrity, we must make sure that all who have the right to vote, be responsible enough to cast their vote when the time comes.
I think that the time of the stereotypical stupid American (at least in the eyes of many outside this country) is over, and that it is time to listen to the wisdom that leads us to unity, wholeness, and peace– that those are the highest, noblest priorities to which we are called.