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I feel we are enveloped in a second Civil War, certainly not a war of millions of projectiles being shot at one another and the resulting hundreds of thousands of casualties, but a new conflict of words of discretion and demonization being bulleted across social, racial, religious and maybe especially, political lines in the sand, all in various names of morality, justice, honor and truth.

These are silent weapons, casting doubt, fear and miscreancy without any regard to the history, background and/or the progress and contributions made by the entities or personages involved. Lifetimes of achievement and benefits to society are meaningless and without merit as the assailants ignore the qualities or qualifications and respect deserved. Participants pummel one another with memorable, catchy slogans and sound bites without compromising ears.

These battles encourage character assassinations and challenge one another's independence of thought and freedom as granted by the Constitution to interact peaceably with a fellow citizen regardless of ethnic or geographic origin. We cringe at the atrocities and depth of carnage recounted by the images and reality of the first Civil War. Ol' Abe Lincoln in all his wisdom in the two minutes it took to present the Gettysburg Address provided a stability that has endured for over 150 years that today is being compromised by a lack of knowledge and gratitude for all those who have sacrificed all to endow us with the privilege to continue to have the right to say what we will.

However, with all of the liberties inherited comes an immense responsibility to honor those who have preceded us and kept civil disobedience within the parameters of a democracy that can give the other side of the line the opportunity to be heard without retaliation and oppression...physical or mental. We must use all of our technological advances and historical consciousness for the betterment and benefit of the future generations.

We need to look for ways not to annihilate one another, perpetuate our differences or encourage animosities. We should heed the lessons of the past and begin to listen AND hear AND seek common ground and understanding. We need to begin to rebuild our foundation granted us by the Founding Fathers. Each of our heritages are of lasting importance to the Nation we all occupy, and we need to sit at the same table and look each other in the eye and hear the other's heartbeat. It is vital for all of us to prepare for the discourse in a much more open, less hostile, antagonistic, judgmental and condescending manner.

It is time to hit the "Refresh" button for civility.


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