Character in Government
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Can't we just live together?
 Remember, there was once a place where it seemed the whole world wanted to be. People would travel across oceans, leave their families behind, make most any sacrifice in hopes of reaching the shores of this land. Why was this so? What was the magic magnet that drew people from far and near to this spot on Earth, this place called America? The answer lies in the word FREEDOM. As judge William Young stated, the reason is "Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, and to believe or not believe as we individually choose."
     Freedom means opportunity. Freedom means relative safety. Freedom means a chance at a better way of life, where the government appears to be on your side, willing to serve, and to have as a goal making the country strong. But freedom means something else also, something those who enjoy it often don't understand. To paraphrase Michael Douglas from the movie "American President", 'Freedom isn't easy. You've got to want it bad, because it's going to put up a fight.' You're not guaranteed you won't hear opinions you hate and see things that will turn your stomach. And don't confuse freedom with justice. One doesn't always result in the other. Even in this land of the free, sometimes murderers will be set free, child molesters will be allowed to roam the streets, and the government will lie to you. And young men will be sent off, they are told, to fight for freedom and the American way, sometimes to fight for things they don't really understand, or even agree with. But they follow orders. And many of these young boys will not get any benefit of what they were supposed to be fighting for, but will simply die on a battlefield. And some folks back home will march in the streets and riot, protesting America's involvement in these wars, disrespecting the struggle the service men were involved in. Even in America, freedom does not bring "a false peace of answered questions or resolved paradoxes."
      It is heartbreaking to most Americans to see the crack in the Liberty Bell widening. It is being split apart by rivaling political parties and groups lobbying for entirely different directions they think America should take and the liberties the citizens should enjoy. I wonder how long it will be before the people of this great country stop tolerating the abuses of our government, by both political parties, and instead insist on honesty, integrity, and character from those we elect to serve. After all is said and done, these will have to be the qualities that our leaders must have if America is to have a chance to ever return to anything even close to a way of life most people would like to return to. The "American President" implied it with the statement that being president, or serving in Congress or in state or local government, is entirely about character.