Ross: Will a divided America have a second Civil War?
Here it is, another Christmas season, and if you’re a churchgoing person you’ll hear at least one sermon about how divided everyone seems to be in this country.
There are even some people who think we’re headed toward another civil war. In fact, presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin got that very question when she appeared at the National Press Club recently.
Upon hearing the question, Kearns Goodwin responded … “Could you say that again?”
You could hear her almost choke on the question. But she quickly recovered and thinking back on her 50 years of studying presidential leadership – including her years of being a confidante of President Lyndon Johnson. She said what Americans need to do is get to know one another.
“Teddy Roosevelt said the rock of Democracy will flounder when people in other parts of the country begin to see each other as ‘the other,'” Kearns Goodwin said. “…We had a huge program where people from the cities could go tot the country and vice-versa and be working, as you would in the military with a common purpose, but at home on disaster relief, on teaching, on service — maybe it would teach people to see each other as common American citizens.”
In other words: it’s hard to be a nation if you can’t think of anything you have in common with the people around you.
Let me put it this way — If we drift without some common cause, all angry and impatient, then one day these “united” States will simply be “adjacent.”