It is not about ME. It is about WE.
And that is the WE leading off this sentence:
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Hopefully, you recognized the words as being the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, signed in convention in Philadelphia on Sept. 17, 1787, and ratified June 21, 1788.
For more than 230 years, we have been working toward a “more perfect Union.” WE are not done yet, as was spectacularly obvious when our Capitol was invaded by a mob that cared more about ME than WE.
Again, hopefully, that action is as low as we will be go on the path toward a better union. Maybe it helps to remember that path has had other lows. And, that WE found our way back up. Despite the strong encouragement of their remarkable wives, John Adams and James Madison did not work to allow people unlike themselves to vote. White males called the shots.
That low lasted for more than 132 years, and was resolved with the adoption of the 19th Amendment in 1920. Even after this constitutional amendment, some female voting rights continued to be denied until 1965.
The ultimate low, so far, was our dispute over slavery. From today’s perspective, having seen the contributions citizens of color have made and are making toward a more perfect Union, that one is hard to countenance. But in the 1800s, the dispute was enough to fracture the imperfect Union. Our civil war cost as many as 750,000 lives, but the Union survived.
And now we are facing what some call an uncivil war, as well as a pandemic that has taken more than 400,000 lives.
Well, WE can and should avoid an uncivil war as well as defeat COVID 19, because we can remember our history and what WE have meant to the world and ourselves while working together in support of our Constitution.
How can that happen? Simple. Think WE instead of ME.
Keith A. Mobley is a resident of Dufur.