I worry about the future of our country and our continent. I have been spending a fair amount of time in northeast Michigan, and its rural landscape reminds me of the two great threads of American history. On the one hand, we celebrate the individual, the homesteader, the backwoodsman who has claimed a piece of property and found their success. On the other hand, we cherish the village, the church, the school and the other expressions of community cooperation. Both are part of our character, both have shaped our politics, but in 2020 I worry that the differences between the two have become insurmountable.
The success of America has been to strike a balance and build a government that protects personal freedoms while at the same time promoting the common good. Now, I worry that the divisions in our country have become so profound that we can no longer find the right compromises to maintain a functioning society. We seem increasingly divided by race and religion, by geography and place, by class and income, and by political party and preferred news sources. Each new challenge, rather than bringing us together to achieve victory against a common foe, forces us to choose sides.