Our nation is mired in trouble that demands correction. The Founders set the nation’s goals/ideals in two documents: the Declaration of Independence and Preamble to the Constitution. We are failing, in crucial ways, to achieve these ideals.

The Declaration provides reasons for the Revolutionary War in its opening lines: All are created equal; all have God-given rights to life, liberty and property; government’s purpose is to protect these rights; valid government powers come from the people; if the government fails to further these ideals, the people have a right to change/abolish it.

The Constitution’s Preamble describes its purposes: Promote a better government (the Articles of Confederation had failed); establish justice; insure domestic peace; provide a common defense; promote conditions of happiness/prosperity; preserve liberty for ourselves and descendants.

These are the stated goals of the U.S.A., and we have lost sight of them and their power to unite us. All societies have disputes, but to survive, representative government requires a strong “center” of people sharing basic beliefs.

Of course, there will be disagreements, but general acceptance of core ideals is required (see goals above). When the “center” goes away, representative government fails. We are rapidly losing this shared center, a view of who we are as a people and nation.

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We are losing the center by leaders who seek to divide us, “news” sources who mislead us, outside interference via social media, a failure to identify common goals and work toward them; in other words, and most importantly, an unwillingness to compromise.

We must identify what unites us and follow our shared values. When we disagree, we must seek compromise, for it is essential to national survival. No one gets his way all the time – at least, not in a representative government.