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|One Nation, Indivisible||
This year's political season has brought back a recycled theme of past partisan races: the tale of "two Americas." Granted, dividing people into groups is not a difficult exercise. We can split ourselves into male and female, black and white, old and young, rich and poor, straight and gay, Christian and non-Christian, urban and rural, Republican and Democrat, immigrant and native, and a dozen other categories.
The old "divide and conquer" technique has been around for ages, but while politicians try to tear us apart, the truth is that when it comes to the most important issues of the day, we are all in this together. We can call ourselves whatever we want, but to the rest of the world, we are simply Americans.
Despite the dozens of nations represented by the victims killed in the World Trade Centers, it was "America" that was targeted on September 11. The terrorists did not check the passports of those on the United and American Airlines flights and dismiss the Arabs on board. They did not evacuate the Pentagon of any Muslim servicemen or women. Their death and destruction was focused on anyone in their way as they attacked the one country they have labeled "the Great Satan."
When we entered into war to destroy the hornets' nests of terrorism -- both in Afghanistan and Iraq -- we went in not as "two Americas," but as one nation united against oppressive regimes. We divide our military into specialized units, not into "those who have lived the American dream... and those who struggle to make ends meet," as the Senator from North Carolina puts it. We embark upon our military missions as one America and we win or lose together.
The Al-Qaeda operatives who are brutally hacking Americans to death in Iraq and Saudi Arabia have yet to ask their victims if they are liberal or conservative. The politics of death seek only to maim and kill. Even when holding citizens of other nations hostage, their target is still one America.
Those allied with America against the worldwide network of terrorists and, conversely, those opposed to our efforts, do not differentiate between the "red states" and the "blue states." Countries like England and Australia stand with the United States based on principle. At the other end of the spectrum, nations like Syria and Iran will continue to oppose America's policies even if "another" America took power, because they lack the moral clarity to know evil even when it festers within their very borders.
When Benjamin Franklin signed the Declaration of Independence, effectively putting his life and the lives of his loved ones on the line by standing up for freedom, he said, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
Those words still ring true as we stand up for freedom around the world. Despite the attempts to divide us along a myriad of social, racial, political and economic lines, we must realize that as Americans, we have no choice but to stand together or we will surely fall apart.