Yesterday we celebrated the courage our forefathers showed 242 years ago in throwing off the chains of oppression in the interest of a new, more representative government. They created the Declaration of Independence with the idea it would precede a living document--our Constitution — that would inoculate the country from the whims of its leaders. (For instance, Ben Franklin suggesting the turkey rather than bald eagle as our national bird.) It was truly brave and unprecedented to place so much power in the hands of commoners. (White, male commoners, anyway.)
An honest commemoration of the Fourth of July should therefore acknowledge the importance of differing opinion as the linchpin upon which our government was formed. Checks and balances were purposely baked into the Constitution because our leaders understood that thoughtful debate creates stronger outcomes. So why is it that American politics seems more divided than ever?