To celebrate the birth month (Feb) of two of our most important U.S. Presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, we’d like to draw attention to one of the founding principles of this country: Unity The founders of this country established as its motto “e Pluribus Unum” in 1782.
Wikipedia describes “e Pluribus Unum – as Latin for “Out of many, one” –and “it is a traditional motto of the United States, appearing on the Great Seal along with Annuit coeptis and Novus ordo seclorum; its inclusion on the seal was approved by an Act of Congress in 1782.” Wikipedia
It was remarkable that thirteen separate colonies not only agreed to declare their independence from England, but also to join together as one country.
We fought a great war in the mid-19th Century to decide whether to split into two separate countries or remain as one.
Currently, this country is far from united. And it is not just the states that clash, but even more alarming, it is the elected officials in Washington, DC, who lack the spirit of Unity.
Most recently, we witnessed a graphic example of that: President Trump’s Impeachment. The votes were nearly 100% by Party Lines – hardly an example of “e Pluribus Unum”!
And this strife extends to the rest of us. Even some marriages have broken up because of the bitterness caused by two people who are more loyal to opposing Political Parties than to each other.
When candidates for Federal Office campaign, they often exclaim “I will FIGHT for you!”. If and when they get elected, more often than not, they spend most of their energy trying to hurt or defeat the opposing Party (versus fighting FOR their constituents).
This was on full display during the Impeachment trial.
Another famous slogan of our country is “United we stand; Divided we fall.’ At the rate we are going, we may well prove the truth of that slogan.
Here is what we would like to see to help remedy this problem:
- Term limits for elected officials – in both the Senate and House; (We established term limits for Presidents in the mid-20th Century, but somehow never got around to doing so for other elected officials); and
- Rolling back the opulent benefits that elected officials receive (because they voted to receive them – say, to level of benefits that most of the rest of us receive.
That is just a start. While we are at it, when they run for office, we would like to see Representatives and Senators highlight how well they work with members of the other political Party, including citing times when they have “crossed the aisle” to reach agreement on some issue with members of the other Party – for the betterment of the Country.
How about you? What else would you like to see?
For more information about our Great Seal, see: https://www.greatseal.com/mottoes/unum.html
Darwin Gillett, author of Noble Enterprise: The Commonsense Guide for Uplifting People and Profits
Ara Gillett, author of Penny’s Question (forthcoming)