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Wake up, Americans

To the Editor:

On Nov. 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the following address:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”

The above statements were delivered on the battleground at Gettysburg, Virginia.

The American Civil War was a result of the secession of the southern states from the northern states, the economic losses to the northern states caused by the secession, and the desire to abolish slavery within the United States.

Today, more than 150 years after the end of the American Civil War, we are again engaged in a greater civil war further testing whether this nation can survive the turmoils within the country. The government of the people, by the people, and for the people is now tested far more than the “people” can possibly endure.

In politics and sociology, divide and rule (or divide and conquer) is gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into pieces that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy. The concept refers to a strategy that breaks up existing power structures and prevents smaller power groups from linking up. The use of this technique is meant to empower the sovereign to control subjects, populations or factions of different interests, who collectively might be able to oppose his rule.

“Wake up, Americans!” We are being divided day after day, issue after issue, policy after policy, legislation after legislation, interpretation after interpretation, ruling after ruling. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. The right gets further right, the left gets further left.

Free speech isn’t free. Say the wrong word and you can lose your job.

Religious holidays are no longer politically correct. Don’t say “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah,” and “Happy Easter” for fear of retribution. God has been expelled from public places, schools and government offices, as well as from oaths of office and military inductions.

Crime rates are up. Law enforcement is down. Homicides are up. Respect for the law is down. Demonstrations become scenes of rioting, looting, disrespect and the militarization of law enforcement as well as resulting in more bodily harm and killing.

Domestic and international terrorism threatens to further divide us. Radicalism is far too common. Innocent people are killed daily through acts of hatred – hideous acts against ethnicity, religious beliefs, color of skin and political choices.

Individualism is overtaking collectivism. Anarchism pushes to overrun the individual. Eventually, the lack of control of the people, by the people, for the people will mean the fall of democracy

President Lincoln ended his address with these final thoughts:

“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

So I say it again. “Wake up, Americans!” Stop the rhetoric, stop the violence, stop ignoring the declining commitment to God, to family, to community. Stand your ground. Choose right over wrong. Take action now to ensure that your children, grandchildren and future generations have the opportunity to live in freedom.

Roger Hill

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