Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Continental Divide

On April 25 of this year, I posted an article "Irreconcilable Differences". The current article is in follow-up to that posting. If you did not read the first part or do not remember it, here is a link that will take you directly to the earlier article:

Running north and south through North America and the United States is a line that is referred to as the Continental Divide. This is not a line arbitrarily drawn on a map, it is a line that designates the high point in elevation which separates, from east or west, which ocean rainfall will eventually flow towards. The Continental Divide runs up the Rocky Mountain range. Though it designates a physical divide in our nation, it could represent an image of the present political and social divide that grips the same country.

The United States has long endured issues and beliefs which have divided us as citizens. These could be our chosen religious beliefs, our unchosen race or gender, our financial status, slavery, volunteer or draft military, the war in Vietnam, our political affiliation, our stand on abortion, whether or not there should be a designated hitter, etc. These have ranged from trivial to serious, but we have survived as the UNITED States.

How did our forefathers hold us together? One answer to that question is, barely! The most serious fracture resulted in the Civil War. Prior to the breakout of war, the Southern States withdrew from the Union. The U.S. of A. was not just on the verge of falling apart, it was already falling apart. The seriousness of the situation led to four years of fighting among ourselves and death to around 620,000 Americans.

Prior to that war, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech as he was selected to be the Republican candidate for the Senate seat for Illinois in 1858. This speech has become known as the "House Divided" speech. The following is the first paragraph of that speech:

"If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could better judge what to do, and how to do it. We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object and confident promise of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction, or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as South."

Lincoln was not original in the use of the phrase, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." This is scriptural, from:
(Mat 12:25 KJV) "And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand".
Also, just eight years prior to Lincoln's speech, during Senate debate on the Compromise of 1850, Sam Houston said, "A nation divided against itself cannot stand."

So, are Houston, Lincoln and Jesus right? Can a nation, with serious division, continue to stand? I would have to take Lincoln's following comments as an appropriate answer to this question. His comments have been slightly altered to reflect our current divide:

"I believe this government cannot endure permanently half" (socialism, ignoring Constitutional limits on Federal Government, over spending, over taxation, dependency on government for daily needs [and some wants]) "and half" (desiring to be free men, with limited government, strictly following the Constitution, a nation of laws [not popular opinion], personal responsibility, capitalism, opportunity, free markets, and the basic liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights). "I do not expect the Union to be dissolved; I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other."

Lincoln's wisdom proved to be correct. The Union survived, although with great loss and cost, and it became all one thing. I imagine that if Abraham Lincoln were making his speech today, he just might foresee another great divide on the horizon and attempt to warn us of such a national disaster.

I still believe what was written in the article "Irreconcilable Differences". Although the concept of actually splitting the nation was not meant to be taken totally serious, to some degree, I do believe that if it were feasible and the citizens were in agreement, it might be a solution to the problem. I honestly cannot see that ever happening, just as I cannot imagine the present two sides coming together with a compromise that makes both sides content.

So, where does that leave us? We can look forward and see several possible scenarios. Much hinges on the elections this November. If the Democrats maintain control of both Houses of Congress, along with the President; we, as a country, will continue sliding to the Left. The Socialist (if not Communist) agenda will continue to be rammed down the throat of the American public and by the time another election rolls around, it will be extremely difficult to reverse the damage done.

If Republicans gain control of at least the House of Representatives (assuming those same Republicans get and keep a backbone once they are submerged into the corruption and power of Washington) they should be able to put a stop (if only temporarily) to at least some of the Leftist agenda. While President Obama sits in the Oval Office, we are not safe and we cannot rest. This scenario only buys a small window of time to slow down the Leftists. The future would then rest on the following election and who ends up being President for the next term.

We have a continental divide - will we be socialists or will we be FREE? Where is there room for compromise? The two cannot co-exist, they are mutually exclusive.

Those of us on the Right have a narrow window of opportunity. If we fail to grab hold and take full advantage of November's election, our nation will (I am afraid) complete it's transformation into becoming a socialist country - the USSA - United Socialist States of America. The Leftists recognize what is at stake in this election - the rest of their agenda and pushing the country so far that recovery may be impossible. Failing to take control of the House will be unforgivable by the following generations.

Lincoln foresaw the looming crisis and that destiny hung in the balance. He understood that they too had irreconcilable differences that would not be solved by negotiation. We, too, are diametrically opposed.

How will our looming crisis play out?

Remember, they were at war with us but we were not at war with them!

1 comment:

  1. It's amazing to me how split the country is and how both sides can be so adamant about their beliefs. It's that way in so many things. Negotiating or arguing in this sort of situation will never lead anywhere, everyone's so grounded and determined that they are correct. How nice would it be if we could each take and exist in our own, separate halves of the country? I'd love to see the result of things on the other side a few years down the road.