A House Divided

Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” –Mark 12:25

We’ve been here before.

Abraham Lincoln referenced the book of Mark’s house-divided passage in a famous speech at the Illinois State Capital in 1858 — two years before he was elected president.

Seen rightly as an enemy to the future of slavery, Lincoln’s election triggered the secession of the South, the nation’s deadliest conflict via the Civil War, and, with time, a new Union stitched together by war-weary countrymen.

Lincoln stands on the right side of history having fought for unification.

While the future is uncertain, the present is clear: we are divided again. This time it’s more than north v. south, though geographic divisions exist. It’s Red v. Blue; it’s right v. left. And foreign interests and greed are widening the gap with propaganda that vilifies the other side.

I’m not writing to promote or discredit any ideology. Politics are for another day. I’m here with a mirror, and I’ve stepped back. I want to show you the big picture emerging for all to see.

Our divisions threaten our house. And I feel we need to acknowledge the forces that are pulling us apart if we are to hold this thing together. We are in 1858 again. The “South” has not yet gone rogue, but we are ripping at the seams sewn by deep sacrifice.

Consider this:

1. Russians interfered with the 2016 election.

The intelligence community is not in doubt about this. Fact-checkers Politifact have crowned President Trump’s self-centered claims that Russians did not meddle with the election the 2017 Lie of the Year. 

2. The president, under investigation for collusion with the Russians, is publicly undermining our free press, as well as law enforcement tasked with protecting the nation from threats foreign and domestic.

His cries on Twitter of “fake news” and threats to deny licensing to unfavorable broadcasters, challenge our shared and beloved first amendment rights.

His often quizzical social media outbursts have questioned the legitimacy of our judicial branch, the FBI, the Department of Justice and our national intelligence. It’s “a witch hunt,” he says openly.

Not only is our president standing against the American system of checks and balances, he is securing Republican support in Congress and beyond to do the same.

A major American news organization, Fox News, a clear promoter and defender of right/red-state ideology (yes, perfectly within their first amendment rights) has recently questioned whether the investigation into the president’s campaign amounts to a “coup.”

3. In taking a defensive posture to clear Russian election interference, our president almost certainly ensures that future elections won’t be adequately protected from foreign interests.

Last year, Russians worked against the Democratic candidate for president, but nothing prevents them or other countries or groups from working against Republicans in the future.

This is not a partisan issue.

Surely, to all Republicans — ironically, the party of Lincoln — the threat would be crystal clear if Trump was a Democrat.

True patriots, whatever their party, know the president is not above our laws.

A Republican Congress agreed to allow special counsel to investigate the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia to work against his political rival. That on-going investigation has already produced guilty pleas among high-level campaign staff.

We need to lean on the judicial branch now, not cut it off. Supporting fair elections and due process is the most American thing we can do.

I implore those good forces on the right to see our collective situation with eyes wide open. We must not follow the president and his blind defenders down this course. Like the secessionists before him, he is shaking the foundations of our house.

Like the South, rising again for our age, he is on the wrong side of history.

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