I love America.
Not in a “my-country-right-or-wrong” kind of way.
I love America because it is resilient.
I love America because we are a diverse people with a vast array of opinions, traditions and dreams.
I love America because we have a history of disagreeing and arguing and finger pointing and political-maneuvering that has – against all odds – ultimately resulted in a centuries-old tradition of peaceful transfers of power.
I love America despite its imperfections.
I always feel a swell of pride when watching an outgoing president from one political party shake hands and wish the incoming president of another political party well.
I watch as other nations struggle with this idea of a peaceful transfer of power.
I watch with a heavy heart as I see them fall victim to the politics of armed stand-offs.
The images from Syria, Ukraine and Egypt, for example, are heart-wrenching.
My love of America and this sympathy for struggling nations gives birth to a worrisome fear.
What if our string of peaceful transfers of power were to come to an end?
I watch as our political leaders honor party loyalty and special interests over pragmatism and the common good.
I watch as a growing number of candidates run for office with the stated worldview that our government IS the problem and with the goal of cutting it down or bringing it to a standstill.
They don’t just think the current leaders are the problem.
They think the very government itself is the problem.
But WE THE PEOPLE are the government.
WE THE PEOPLE must remain informed, engaged and involved in the government.
Not to tear it down.
Not in some effort to “protect” ourselves from ourselves.
But in the honorable pursuit of cooperation and action on behalf of the common good and in defense of our centuries-old tradition of peaceful transfers of power.
This is America.
Not Egypt or Ukraine.
We have the power.
It is the ballot box.
It is the balance of powers among three branches of government.
If the government IS the problem, it is because WE are the problem.
Do you love America?
Participate in a centuries-old tradition that has served us well.
If you won’t do it for yourself, how about for your kids and grandkids?
Or will they look back from the future of a crumbled America and see that it was our generation that betrayed the trust and killed the dream?