Editor: Divided we sink. Increasingly we are two different nations — the divide seems to be fed by hatred. The new NRA president appears to be defining one country — whose people refer to the war that freed the slaves as “the war of Northern aggression” — and to Obama as a “fake president.”

Never mind that the Civil War saved the nation — which has become the strongest, richest and arguably the freest nation in the world; never mind that President Obama has just won a second term decisively.
The condition is dangerous — it could be our downfall. We are the great nation that we are because throughout our history we’ve resolved our differences and moved forward — inevitably with disappointments on one side or the other, but with the comfort — even complacency — in our ability to arrive at mutually acceptable if not agreeable decisions. Resentment and hatred are a different matter. They make for the resenters and haters pronouncing publicly and proudly that they will cooperate with nothing that the president says or does. It’s an anti-political position that stymies progress and derails democracy.

Add to that dread equation the gun mania reflected in their twisted interpretation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution and the problem looks even more insoluble. Not Gabby Giffords, not Columbine, not Newtown, not a 5-year-old shooting dead his 2-year-old sister — lessens the zeal and absolutism of the gun fundamentalists. Human life and its protection — the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — has no status in their value system.

There appears to be no ground for discussion. That said, those who are not fundamentalists on this issue in both parties must keep up the fight. Why? Because the future of our nation is at stake if the center doesn’t hold.

Times-Tribune, Publication Date: May 12, 2013

Great divide could derail democracy