Dear Future President,
In 1776, 13 colonies, all with different moral and religious beliefs, came together to fight for the common goal, freedom. 240 years later, our nation has lost that sense of unity that had brought us together. We have allowed religious, political, and racial issues form a divide among us. In the next four years, Americans must regain that sense of unity that the fight for freedom once gave them. We must all put aside those differences and focus on what we have in common, we are all Americans, and we must all work together to help our nation achieve great things.
As time has passed, the United States has become a world superpower, yet it has been true to its original purpose of being a safe haven for those who were discriminated for being different. Some of the first pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower were escaping religious persecution in England. Religious groups, like the Puritans, wished to be able to practice religion freely and weren’t allowed to do so in their mother country. Religious freedom was guaranteed by the founders in the 1st Amendment of the Constitution, guaranteeing people would be able to practice the religion they wished. 240 years later, there is still a religious prejudice held among many. On November 3rd, 2016, the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, a predominantly black church, was set on fire and completely destroyed. This is a clear example of the prejudice some groups still hold against others, not respecting their right to freely practice. Across the church, the words “Vote for Trump” were spray painted. Although no one was harmed, this comes to show how our religious, as well as political, views affect how we as citizens see each other.
When our nation was founded, there only existed one political party, the Federalists. It wasn’t until 1792 that a second political party was founded, the Democratic Republicans, this would form a gap between Americans, that to this day has not be closed. Our founding fathers warned us how dangerous it would be for the fate of our nation if we allowed ourselves to be divided. In Federalist Paper No. 10, James Madison states, “Among the numerous advantages promised by a well constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction.” In this paper, Madison says that due to our nature, it is impossible to stop faction from being formed, but that we must put an end to them as soon as we are aware of them. In his farewell address, George Washington also chooses to state how important the “unity of government” is for us. Washington said that it is one of the “pillars” of our independence, and that it would allow for peace both in our nation and in the world. Both of these founding fathers knew how dangerous it would be for our nation if we allowed ourselves to become divided, especially in our government. 240 years later, we are witnesses of how damaging it has been to our system. We see it in the tense relationship between the Republican controlled Congress and the Democrat controlled Executive Branch. We must bridge that gap that has formed between us to be able to allow our nation to flourish.
One of the common factors involved in both religious and political prejudice is racial prejudice. Although our nation is known to be a melting pot of culture mostly due to the vast majority of people from all over the world living here, America is not free of racial discrimination. The Ku Klux Klan, the KKK, is a white supremacist group that dates back to 1865, during the reconstruction of the South after the Civil War. This group has been known for its extreme acts of terror to promote its ideas. One of the most recent attacks by the KKK has been the burning of the Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Mississippi. The group has openly given its support towards the Republican candidate, Donald Trump. It is acts like these that have divided our nation, acts that openly attack a specific group of people.
Our founding fathers warned us how dangerous it would be to allow “factions” to be formed in our nation. They foresaw the dangers that would come in allowing our citizens to be put against one another. Our nation has achieved great things throughout the years. It has been especially successful when we all, or the vast majority, have joined together to work towards a single goal. In 1776, the colonists joined together to gain their freedom from England. In 1861, a large portion of our nation joined together to fight for freedom and equality for everyone, specifically those who had been enslaved, while the rest of the nation joined together to oppose them and carry out their own beliefs. In 1941, the United States chose to join their ally, England, to help defeat the Axis Powers. 240 years later, we must now come together to fight another war, one we have been fighting for years. The war towards equality. We must put aside our differences and bridge that gap that come between us. It is only when we join together once again and accept the differences that set us apart, that we can truly make our nation great again.
Madison, James. "The Federalist #10." The Federalist #10. Constitution Society, n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.
Washington, George. "Avalon Project - Washington's Farewell Address 1796." Avalon Project - Washington's Farewell Address 1796. Yale Law School, n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.
Wootson, Cleve R., Jr. "Black Church Torched in Mississippi, with ‘Vote Trump’ Painted on Wall." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 03 Nov. 2016. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.