This article is commentary by sophomore Zach Gullion. The opinion expressed in this article is not necessarily the opinion of Delta High School or the Eagle’s Eye magazine.
By Zach Gullion
Kingdoms fall overnight. Regimes end in the blink of an eye. Our democracy is far from immune.
Our weakness as a country was presented to us clearly on January 6 during the unprecedented action taken by an intense mob consisting of thousands of far-right Trump supporters. Resulting from the Capitol riots were five deaths and hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, and a deeper split in our country.
Dig up some research about past governments, and you’ll find that while many lasted for decades and even centuries, they didn’t last forever. Even the great Roman Empire fell in 476 after centuries of rule.
In George Washington’s farewell address in 1797 after his eight-year presidency, he warned deeply against the dangers of having political parties within the union. He described the spirit of political parties as the government’s “worst enemy.”
However, this is exactly what we did. We have the Green Party, Libertarian Party, but most notably the Democratic and Republican parties.
Expressing different views is crucial to the development and success of our government. However, taken too far, no belief can be beneficial. The problems that radicals of any party cause are unmatched.
Division has always been present in our country. Differences in opinion about race, religion, and more cause a mass disconnect between people. What we need to do as a nation is settle our differences in a way that doesn’t move us backward, but instead lets us progress. We need to come together from across the aisle and make amends. We need to settle our differences as members of opposing parties and work toward a common goal — unity.
Taking a look back over our country’s history, you’ll find that we were seemingly never completely unified. From the start, our diverse nation was bound to run into cultural differences. Almost always, however, you can trace these issues back to their roots of race and religion.
For example, in the 1860s the South attempted to secede from the North because of slavery and the issue of states’ rights. In the 1960s our country was divided on the civil rights movement. The KKK was prominent for many decades in the 1900s going after people of color, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and more.
What has brought visible unity to our country is when tragedy struck. During 9/11 nearly all Americans, regardless of political party, displayed their love for our nation by flying the U.S. flag on their homes.
Together, we need to find a way to breed this kind of unity without a catastrophe sparking it. We need to find common ground, something we can all stand for and love. In turn, this should bring us together, rather than breaking us further apart.
In order to promote unity, we as citizens can look for what America can be. We can look at our unlimited potential and focus on the positives of our democracy. While too much time spent on success can inhibit growth, right now we might need just a little recollection of our victories.
If we continue on our current path, the inevitable will happen. Progress in Congress will halt completely and neighborhoods will be divided.
As a still physically unified country, we need to do everything we can to keep this from happening. Whether it means putting our extraneous beliefs aside for the common good or taking on new beliefs, as citizens we need to act in whatever way helps the general welfare of our nation.