Recently a letter to the editor was published under the heading “Trump and supporters reject Golden Rule." Well, I happen to support Trump, so does it follow that I also reject the Golden Rule? The letter was written in such a way that readers could be glad if they agreed with the author. But if there was any disagreement with the author, then the reader should be ashamed because they are clearly taking a position against individuals, minorities, immigrants etc. Words such as hate groups, discrimination and self-righteous individuals were used to make the author’s points.
During the course of our nation’s founding there was much debate. Many different points of view were expressed. And what came out of that environment was the Declaration of Independence and later the Constitution. These documents define the most successful nation in history. Certainly our country is not perfect, but we won’t ever find a perfect country on this side of heaven. However, it appears to this citizen that we rarely place competing ideas side by side and then have a rational discussion. And that is to our detriment.
When we respect points of view that differ from our own, a door is opened to a better outcome. By insisting on my way or the highway, we cheat ourselves and those who disagree with us because options develop as opposing ideas are discussed and explored more deeply. For example, many feel that our borders should remain as they have been, relatively uncontrolled. Is this in harmony with the Golden Rule or, more importantly, with the Constitution? What does history have to say about open borders? Countries that can’t or won’t control their borders do not survive. Perhaps it is better to insist that immigration happen on a controlled, legal basis.
Our borders are just one example. There are many issues that we have allowed to become polarizing. I have watched this happen over the course of my 66 years. This should please none of us. As Ben Franklin said when asked what kind of government had been created, he responded with just a few but weighty words: “A republic, if you can keep it.” Well, what are we going to pass on to our children and grandchildren? I certainly hope we can recover what we have lost as a nation. But only God knows if we will succeed.