The Great American Tug of War

The Great American Tug of War

The great tension in American life today may not be Republican versus Democrat, nor rural versus urban, nor rich versus poor, nor liberal versus conservative, nor management versus labor, nor even President Donald Trump versus his never-Trump opponents. All of those tensions, to be sure, are part of the national conversation. And though they all represent vital themes in America, and though the specific conflicts they provoke may be of great moment, they still are largely of the moment. They fill our newspapers and our websites, they dominate the dinner table and the coffee shop and even the NFL sidelines, but they do not address the fundamental tension in our national life, our spiritual lives, our enduring values.

Instead, nearly every debate in Congress, in the chambers of our courts, in the sanctuaries of our religious institutions, in our neighborhoods and in our families revolves around a core tension, the one we confront when we rear our children, when we deal with our relationships, when we conduct our business, when we seek to engage and to harness our dreams – indeed from the moment we rise from sleep to the time we recline for rest. The tension is simple to state and difficult to resolve:

Me versus Us.

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October 1, 2018

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