Editor’s note: This is part of TNR’s Letters to Legislators Series.
There’ve been many events and players placing wedges of division between us in 2020 America, diverting our attention while creating internal conflicts within our borders.
However, we must understand this strategy of divide and conquer is nothing new and we are truly not normally a divided people, although sometimes we may not realize when others are taking advantage of us, or diverting our attention by employing this tactic of division.
For the most part our country’s normalcy stems from the foundational principles upon which our republic was established, and as long as their basic truths are revered, normal behavior will be consistent with these beliefs to the point of being predictable.
But when normal behavior is ignored, and replaced by that which is not normal, it confuses the distinction previously defining our understanding of right verses wrong, isolating us by division of our principles.
The question then becomes, can we any longer discern predictable norms of behavior when they are simply no longer recognized by a significant number of our peers?
It is at this very moment of internal conflict that contradicting values should indicate a threat is present, thus we must be cautious of its agenda and motive for diluting our unity. Ultimately, the basis for establishing norms of right and wrong is for the sake of unity — therefore it must be validated in truth of principle, if it is to unify or forever remain divided by a force of dishonest will.
But unity is not found in the outcome of election tabulations that determine who won or lost; rather, it is in the validation of its trusted conclusion that we are brought together.
As Americans struggle with the outcome of the 2020 election one thing is crystal clear: the process of its validation is severely compromised by forces seeking our division. Even as these concerns of validation are dismissed there is no trust to sustain our republic in the predicted outcome, other than by pretense.
But how do we pretend to be united when we are isolated from and invisible to each other? The republic is being divided, and the ability of legislators to recognize the importance of election integrity is uncertain, but this ultimate priority of our time is most urgent for a house divided against itself.
Lynn James Edmunds