What separates us from them?

What is it that separates us from them? I’d like to think the end goal for both is the same, that being a better America and a better world in which to live. In my opinion, it’s the way the goal is achieved that separates us from them.

One wants this country to be as it once was, people working in their chosen field of endeavor, be it farming, doctoring, lawyering, or teaching. Taxes would be collected to fund the needs of the country and everybody would live peacefully in the land of the free. While the other wants those that work to pay for everything the other half needs to live. One side works, the other side takes from those that do work, thus allowing half the population to live peacefully while the other side toils.

Looking back through history, the two sides of our government have always argued, that’s what happens in a democracy, isn’t it? Arguing across the aisle in a civil tone can and has produced some great things for and in this country of ours. Think about this for a moment. Do you really believe that a man sat down one day and wrote the Declaration of Independence as it currently appears? Do you seriously believe that one man authored the Constitution without any input whatsoever? Not likely.

Men, real gentlemen, sat across from each other and argued, discussed and debated each other until they came up with the documents that started it all. From my perspective, the founding fathers did everything they could to advance a new and growing country. They didn’t moan and groan about how each line written would affect us or them. Unlike today, they always put the needs of the country first.

In today’s world, the politicians in Washington, D.C., seem to be doing things that only benefit us or them, but what about the people? What about America? If the Congress was successful in getting bills passed that only benefited us or them, then you’d have to accept the fact that half of the country would never be satisfied. This would result in half the population being at odds and fighting with the other half for a period of four to eight years. As we all know by now, that wouldn’t be and hasn’t been healthy for this country.

I fully understand that certain people can never be satisfied, but if we, us and them, could actually come together and do what is right for America as a whole, the possibilities would be unlimited. We could finally get back to the business of arguing in a civil manner and in a civil tone to pass bills that, if signed into law by the president, would make this country even better.

What separates us from them? It’s the way we achieve our goals, pure and simple. You can’t simply give the treasury away to half the population and expect the other half to fill it back up again. That simply creates bitterness and keeps the country split down the middle. Whether or not you’re on the side of us or them, each has to understand that government will never be able to satisfy the needs of everybody in this country.

But, if we were to continue on in the way this nation was founded, it would help only those who truly need our help. Everybody would be expected to carry their share of the load. In the past, churches and charitable institutions came forward to help people in need for the short term. For their long term needs, the government would join with them to help provide medical care and other basic needs of our senior citizens who do not have the means to pay for those services on their own.

To arbitrarily hand these things out, “carte blanche,” to lazy people, is not what made America great. In addition, it doesn’t bring this country together as it should; it only divides it right down the middle. As the saying goes, a house divided will not stand. So, remember what the Bible says, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” If this country doesn’t get its act together and real soon, we’re in for tough times ahead.

I don’t have the answers — I wish I did. However, here’s one solution that would solve the problem if it was doable. The people that comprise “us and them” would enter a large room through two separate doors and come out the other side through a single door as one complete and whole nation.

Jerry D. Jackson is an Elizabethtown resident. He can be reached at j.erry66@hotmail.com.

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