By: Kate Fassett
This week, we celebrated Veteran’s Day, a wonderful holiday in which we have the opportunity to thank our many veterans and active military. It was heartwarming to see so many Facebook and Twitter posts thanking and celebrating our veterans. However, as I continued to read through my news feeds over the past few days, the heartwarming sentiment towards veterans was quickly overshadowed by the posts praising the petitions for Arizona, Texas and many other states to secede from the Union.
I was filled with disappointment as I read these comments, as just days earlier my news feeds were filled with positive messages thanking and honoring our veterans and active service members and just a week earlier encouraging people to get to the polls and vote. The question I want pose is this: Isn’t it disrespectful to those who fought, and in many cases lost their lives, for our freedom to circulate and support a petition to have any state secede from our union?
I believe Governor Brewer addressed this question with grace in her 2010 State of the State address when she said, “Let’s remember every service man and woman, every police officer and firefighter, every Arizonan and every American who has ever stood watch; every man and woman across the years who has fought and suffered and died in desperate love of the freedom we still know. Let’s remember the very best of us, and try — in their honor — to find the best within ourselves.” Now as I ponder this question I hope her words will inspire others to act in honor of those who came before us.
We often forget that we can disagree respectfully (without taking things to extremes) and we should celebrate the pure fact that in our country we have the right to do so. President Reagan said it best, “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally — not a 20 percent traitor.” Why is it in this day and age we seem to focus on the 20%?
The more I thought of this the more upset I got. Working in politics, I have a front row seat to the election process and I am honored to be a part of it. Sometimes, elections don’t go our way no matter how hard we work, how many doors we knock on, and how much money our candidate raises. We win some and we lose some, and yes the losing hurts, however, we should never lose sight of the one thing that binds us together. Republican or Democrat, male or female, black or white, we are all first and foremost Americans.
As a young mother, I consistently tell my 3 year old son to play nice with his friends at the playground, treat everyone with respect and in a disagreement over whose turn it is on the slide, I encourage him to take a step back and calmly find a solution rather than lash out. The election is over and now we need to find a way to play nicely in one sandbox rather than create a second sandbox.
I see myself as a glass half full type of person and always look for the positive in people, so rather than continue with divisive policies and negativity, we, as Americans, should be looking for ways to get involved in finding a bipartisan solution. As Governor Brewer said in a more eloquent fashion, “My friends let us gather in the field. Our state is still waiting for us to conduct some very difficult business. It isn’t going to be easy, but we must close ranks and get it done. When our public service is over, we will be judged less by what we achieved, than what we overcame. And we will be remembered less for what we gained, than what we gave. So, let us do what we need to do.”
So rather than sending a petition for the dissolution of our Union to Washington, let us send a petition asking our leaders to put politics and partisan fighting aside and work together for the betterment of not only our state but also the United States of America.