The history of the United States has been written in fits and starts, through periods of rapid progress and stubborn stagnation. Yet, the movement, however painstakingly slow at times, has always been forward. Always moving in the direction of a more fair, just, and equal United States. That is not to say that our journey is complete, nor is it likely to ever be, but it is without question, that the directional trajectory of America has always been in the direction of reaffirming and strengthening our commitment to the ideals written into our founding documents and not the contrary.
While it may be difficult to not be cynical in times like these, when the rancor of our debate drowns out the real reasons for our divisions, we should not be. However difficult it might be, we should not for one second be cynical about America’s prospects or doubtful whether the strength of our union can sustain the weight of our dissonance. For the issues we face today are nothing more than remnants of a messy, imperfect but absolutely necessary past; they represent the final vestiges of a painful history that still linger in the inevitable inequities created by our difficult journey.
While the problems that still linger are without question difficult, they pale in comparison to the battles waged, and won, throughout America’s path towards becoming a more perfect union. The battles of today are not on scale with the intractable struggles that litter our past, but instead, are the lingering resentments of the progress made during those times of angst. For the perpetuation of our Union is no longer in doubt, nor are we fighting to have a Union at all.
We won those battles, with grit and determination, and a steadfast dedication, borne on the backs of generation after generation of patriots, to a concept larger than any one man or one side on a battlefield, continuously reaffirming that we will stand united no matter the disharmony of our days. At every moment of utmost urgency and doubt, when our very union could have perished, America has revealed the better angels of its nature, chosen unity over division, hope over fear, turned inward and pulled its disparate parts together instead of allowing itself to be torn asunder by the weight of current events. This is no accident.
The perpetuation of our union, however laborious it has been, is no mystery. America survives because we choose for it to survive. For 241 years, generation after generation of Americans have decided that our union is worth choosing, that it is worth defending, and perfecting. During periods of both – war and peace, upheaval and stability, poverty and prosperity – we have, without hesitation or doubt, chosen America over any other option or construct. The indisputable progress of our past and the strength of the binds which tie us together leave us firm in the belief that no matter what storms may come we will assuredly be buoyed through the most turbulent of times and safely delivered to the grace of a more tranquil future.
Our history gives us hope, our struggles give us strength, and the will of our people gives us the energy to continue forward. And so I will always believe in the ability of America to weather the most severe of challenges and come out a better, more perfect union. We must remember that our union is bigger than any one person or party, stronger than any singular threat against the character of our nation, more malleable than the most rigid of debates, and more enduring than any battle protracted against the heart of its identity. I know that sometimes in the vitriol of our debates, the issue that we are debating in the first place gets lost in the heat of the moment. But what can never get lost, what we must never forget, is that the true reason why we care enough to engage in impassioned debate at all is that we love our country, we love America, and we choose it, just as we have for 241 years, everyday.