Her stripes were worn and faded,
Her fabric torn and frayed.
Tattered stars hung loosely now,
Weakened by old battles and decayed.
Still, she hung with dignity,
Despite her ragged state.
Her very fabric promised hope,
Although the hour was late.
Just then, as dawn was breaking,
A rustling in the trees,
A disturbance in the morning mist
And a cool, refreshing of breeze.
The flash of nearby lightening,
Pulse quickened by the thrill,
While meadows shook with thunder
And a deluge took the hill.
With that, Old Glory caught the wind
Unfurled as if to march.
Despite the hail that tore her hems,
She took the field and stretched out stiff as starch.
And those who saw this marveled,
And recalled old glory’s youth.
And hearts swelled near to bursting,
Quickened by old loyalties and truth.
And every soul saluted,
While new hope replaced old fears,
And each heart pledged allegiance,
And sealed their pledge with gratitude and tears.
A true Republican and one of my all-time favorite Presidents, Teddy Roosevelt said, “Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe.” I believe that’s very true. I believe it’s equally true of all religious and political movements. There are those among us, in all political and religious persuasions, which excel at the art of appealing to the baser instincts inside each of us in order to achieve their own goals. They are masters at using our natural tendencies toward greed, apathy, and suspicion to pit us one against the other in order achieve their own selfish agendas. They encourage the belief that bigotry, intolerance, racism and a general contempt for all efforts toward compromise, patriotism and unity are not only acceptable, but even admirable, and their efforts poison and polarize all efforts toward common cause and the general good.
There are others among us. There are those who believe that America’s best days are yet ahead. There are those who believe that America’s time-honored institutions are among the most admirable ever achieved by societies and civilizations who aspire to high ideals. They believe that America's greatest strength is diversity. And they honor diversity to keep America strong. They believe that America’s Constitution and historical documents call all of mankind to a higher plain, encouraging us to heed the voices of our better angels, to extend ever onward the long arc of moral justice in the universe, and to strive with determination toward the goals of our country’s founding fathers in a peaceful yet uncompromising effort on behalf of truth, justice and the American way. Choose wisely and participate America. There’s a lot at stake. SC