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Darrel Smith: What binds us? Where is our oneness?

US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas ended a recent interview by saying, “[I] don’t know what it is that we have, we can say instinctively we have as a country, in common,” during a rare interview with Laura Ingraham. This is a very powerful and sad statement.
Until recently, we thought we could respect our country by honoring the flag and our anthem. We could watch sports without being exposed to our cultural and political differences. The NFL anthem protests have changed all of this, perhaps forever.
We could say that we are united because we are a constitutional republic. How many of us think that we are still following our Constitution? How many of us even want to follow the Constitution anymore? One fundamental right protected by the Constitution is freedom of speech, but many don’t think we should have freedom of speech, if that speech offends someone. Another right protected is freedom of religion but people have been fined, lost their jobs and businesses and been jailed for staying consistent with their religion. Some people think our flag, anthem, Constitution and economic system were conceived by White, European, slave owning males for their own benefit, while enacting a system that excluded and repressed women and minorities.
Do you trust our elections? Many leftists believe that Trump is president because the Russians instigated fake news and interfered with our elections. People were calling for Trump’s impeachment even before he was president. Many conservatives believe that leftists allow non-citizens to vote and sometimes stuff ballot boxes. Leftist states and communities are resisting a national vote audit.
Do we believe in freedom, free enterprise and capitalism or do we think the government should increasingly control our education system, health care, welfare and regulate business and the environment?
Do we have a common faith? Do we seek truth or do we seek ways to exclude opposing ideas from our society? Justice Thomas also said, “We are getting quite comfortable in our society–limiting ideas and exposure to ideas…I don’t think it’s good for the next generation.”
Earlier in the interview Justice Thomas said, “What binds us; what do we all have in common anymore? We have to think about that…We always talk about E Pluribus Unum [From Many, One]. What is that Unum now? We have the Pluribus but where is the Unum?” What do you think unifies our country?