A Thought on American Values and Civility – Locally and Nationally

I recently saw a TV spot regarding the re-vote in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, in which Dan Bishop was attacking Dan McCready, basically for being un-American. He accused McCready of being a “socialist”, and pledged that only he (Bishop) would protect “your American Values”. It got me to wondering to exactly what “American Values” to which he was referring.

Is separating infants and children from their parents, and locking them in cages, an American Value? Is keeping them in custody longer than the law allows an American Value? Is trying to decrease people’s access to healthcare an American Value?

My copy of the Declaration of Independence states that, “all men are created equal…” While we have certainly not always lived up to that value, we still profess a belief in it. We value the freedom to practice our faiths as we see fit, but it is not a “freedom” to discriminate against others simply by professing that it violates our ability to hold our own personal professed religious beliefs. Equality, freedom, and liberty are part of our American Values – both locally and nationally, statewide and nationwide.

No, we have not always lived up to the values espoused by the nation’s founding fathers. But, we should still hold those values as ideals towards which to strive – coming ever closer to achieving them. It seems that these days, it is only the Democrats that are espousing the values of the founders of this country as goals worthy of working toward. I support those goals and values – I always have, and I always will. Hate and division have no place in the body politic. Disagreement will always abound in our system of government, but it should – and is supposed to be – that way. However, to pit neighbor against neighbor, and to vilify those with whom you disagree with, is not a viable nor humane strategy. We must all aim towards civility and honesty above all else, especially in the realm of politics and governing.

I hold to the ideal that our system of government is one that I was taught about early on: rule by the majority, but with consideration for the minority. Unfortunately, that concept seems to be absent from the current Republican worldview. I’m sorry Mr. Bishop, but it would appear that Mr. McCready is the one who truly upholds the “American Values” – not you, sir.

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