Bob Meade - Divided we fall

  • Published in Columns

Sam Houston, president of the Republic of Texas before it joined the Union, and then Governor of that state, first coined the phrase, “A Nation divided against itself cannot stand.” Abraham Lincoln used a variation of that statement when, during his run for a senate seat, said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

One would think that today’s leaders would still be guided by those words, said by two of our country’s historic giants. ...

Sam Houston, president of the Republic of Texas before it joined the Union, and then Governor of that state, first coined the phrase, “A Nation divided against itself cannot stand.” Abraham Lincoln used a variation of that statement when, during his run for a senate seat, said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

One would think that today’s leaders would still be guided by those words, said by two of our country’s historic giants. Sadly, such is not the case. The populace is being divided by gender, race, religion, and labor. And, our form of constitutional government is being routinely challenged.

We have leadership intentionally developing and implementing strategies designed to divide our citizenry, pitting one against the other, using tactics designed to get everyone to choose sides based on selfish self interests . . . and not necessarily what’s good for the country. So how is the country, the citizenry, being divided?

Gender - Religion: A made up “War against women” based on the premise that contraception is a “Right” that should be provided for free, even from religious based institutions that have serious moral objections to it.

— It does not appear that the administration considered the negative consequences that would result if those religious institutions, who provide upwards of twenty percent of all hospital beds in this country, choose to close their hospitals and their other charitable service organizations?

— Is there no one in leadership who has read the First Amendment to the Constitution which guarantees religious organizations that there shall be no prohibition to the free exercise of their religion.

— It has become clear that the administration has created the “war on women” simply as a political ploy in an effort to secure the women’s vote.

Constitutional challenges: A continuing challenge to the “separation of powers” by the executive branch, publicly demeaning the Supreme Court on multiple occasions, and routinely by-passing the legislative branch, choosing to ignore the rigor of the legislative process in favor of more dictatorial “Executive Orders”.

— The judicial branch does not have the ability to “enforce” its rulings, it is dependent on the executive branch to do so. Presidential posturing while the court is deliberating a law’s constitutionality is not only bad form, it opens the question as to whether or not the executive branch will arbitrarily “pick and choose” laws and court rulings it will defend.

— The executive branch publicly stated that it will not enforce the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA), even though that act was passed by the Congress and signed into law by President Clinton.The refusal of the DOJ to fulfill its responsibility caused the Congress to establish the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG). The intent of this group was/is to provide the defense of DOMA in the hopes of getting the issue to the Supreme Court for its review of the law’s constitutionality.

Labor vs. Management: In addition to the Executive Branch continually demonizing businesses, its National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued an unprecedented challenge, seeking to deny Boeing Aircraft the right to build an assembly plant in South Carolina.

— The primary issue is that South Carolina is a “Right to Work” state, and the current administration has chosen to try and force Boeing into a state where it must use only dues paying union workers.

— That attempt by the NLRB not only favors labor over management, it attempts to essentially dictate to companies that the federal government must approve what have always been routine corporate decisions.

Race relations:There was great hope that the election of our first black President would further bring the country together, and diminish racial animosities. However, the current administration has done little to improve race relations but has somewhat ham-handedly imposed itself into a number of situations, making matters worse.

— Police in Massachusetts responded to a 911 call, when a neighbor called in to state that he thought his neighbor’s house was being robbed. The police responded and were confronted by a man claiming that it was his house. The man became belligerent and somewhat abusive towards the police when they tried to verify his claim. Before he knew all the facts about the situation, the president went on national TV and labeled the police actions as “stupid”.

— More recently, the president again imposed himself, in the case of a tragic shooting in Florida, before he had assembled all the facts. At a time when racial unrest needed to be calmed, neither the President nor his Department of Justice took the steps necessary to do so, preferring to let threats and bounties be ignored.

If the people, in this government of, by, and for the people, allow themselves to simply become pawns in political gamesmanship, then, for sure, divided we fall.

(Bob Meade is a resident of Laconia.)