Friday, September 30, 2016

We Are Not Enemies - We Are All Americans

The photo at left (from NBC News) is of passengers on the train that crashed in Hoboken trying to move to safety. I was struck by a comment made by several of the crash survivors -- that they were surprised at strangers coming forward to help them after the crash.

I thought that was a rather sad comment, since it shows that they didn't think most people would jump to help in an emergency. I wonder if that's the view that most Americans have these days.

We get a lot of bad news from our media. Sometimes it seems like that's the only kind of news they report (both on the local and national level). Add to this the growing partisanship in our politics over the last few years, and one would be excused in thinking that Americans hate each other, and would not lift a finger to help someone else.

I don't think that's true. Most Americans are decent and law-abiding people -- and they are good people who would step forward to help others in any kind of tragedy. And they would do that regardless of the race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views of the victims. I really believe that.

There is nothing wrong with being passionate about our political views. In fact, I recommend it because that is the heart of a good democracy. But we must remember -- we are not enemies. We are all Americans, and we are in this together. It's not all or nothing when stating our opinions. We need to remember that we all want what's best for the country, and that reasoned compromise is not a bad thing. In fact, it's what has usually moved our country forward.

Let me also say -- If you are a Democrat or Republican (or Green or Libertarian) and you don't have some friends in those other parties, you are missing out on knowing some really good and nice people -- and you are part of the problem. We can fight for our views without dividing our country into groups that hate each other.

We are enriched by our diversity -- both in people and in political views. It's OK to disagree with someone else, but it is not OK to mistreat that other person because they disagree with us. You don't have to agree with someone to like and help them. That's just common decency.

1 comment:

  1. Prup (aka Jim Benton)10/02/2016 12:44 AM

    Thank you for this, both the overall sentiment, so true, and the mention of the crash -- and the response didn't surprise me. I know the station well. I spent over two years going to school through there, and the train seems to have crashed against the fruit stand where I bought my first pomegranate. It is amazing how unchanged it is from 50 years ago, even the same 'church pew' benches. And Neew Yorkers and near-Jerseyites have always pitched in when needed. We're loud and abrasive and can be rude, but our jackets come off by themselves whn we need to roll up our sleeves and help in an emergency.


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