The Winchester Star’s editorial page for the past several weeks has been full of letters that spew anger and hatred for the opposite political party. Our nation is being cracked wide open by such strong, nasty emotions on each side. Some say that such vitriol has not been this bad since the beginning of our Civil War! Certainly, this is not the way our democratic country should be.
There are also terrible divisions regarding Covid-19 and climate change. To wear a mask or to not wear a mask has become a political issue rather than a health and science issue. The destructive weather we are having with extra big wild fires and more severe hurricanes also divides us politically. Some say there is nothing we can do to change nature; we just have to adapt to the changes. Others, including Citizens Climate Lobby, are more optimistic, convinced that we can make a difference by decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases shooting into our atmosphere.
The presidential election is bringing these differences to a rolling, steaming boil. We tend to dehumanize those who oppose our political views. That is wrong and self-defeating. As Abraham Lincoln said at Gettysburg, “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely, they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
Listen to the “Braver Angels” (the modern equivalent of Better Angels) who make this promise in order to live together in harmony. This is their pledge. “Regardless of how the election turns out, I will not hold hate, disdain, or ridicule for those who voted differently from me. Whether I am pleased or upset about the outcome, I will seek to understand the concerns and aspirations of those who voted differently and will look for opportunities to work with people with whom I disagree.”
This is the way to get along with others who do not share our views. Let us all become “braver angels” and make our country great again.
Mark Fairbanks is a resident of Frederick County.