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Black Community Opinions

Local Voices: Working Together As Americans … Now

By John L. Horton

As has been said, “Timing is everything.” And, most successes depend on being in the right place … at the right time …

Well, the latest “political battle” is over. And, most would rightfully say, “The Republicans have won …”

Many Republican voters/supporters believe that they have “taken their Country back …” (Whatever that might mean …)

In effect, both major political parties are full of partisan gamesmanship and there appears to be no cease-fire in sight.

Therefore, I offer the following comments pertaining to our ongoing “political stalemate” and “institutional infighting” when it comes to these matters.

To paraphrase President Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you .. but what you can do for your country …”

In today’s world, we need more of this camaraderie and compassion. Together, “we” can make a difference. Together, “we” can do almost anything.

In that regard, I shall make a plea to the American people and politicians. As a 76-year-old, African-American male, who is a retired Marine sergeant major (30 years active service), I beg of “us” to do the right things for our great Country.

Let us come together, regardless of political party, and do what is best for America. At this critical time in history, our country “needs” us. She is challenging us to do our very best.

It is time for our politicians (public servants?), corporate managers, financial stakeholders, civic leaders and public citizens to “work together” to put America’s interests (foreign and domestic) first and foremost.

I profoundly believe that “we” are all in this formidable struggle and challenging task together. In this, we are one. And, we can be one when it comes to our country’s overall best interest and bountiful future.

As such, I strongly believe in compromise, sacrifice, fairness, and unity. Together, working to improve opportunity and to promote responsibility for all Americans, “we” can get the job done. Our history, culture and heritage speak to this “possibility of circumstance.” We are Americans. We have been there, and we have done this before. And, we can do this … again. For, we are Americans.

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We should never allow our politics and pettiness to debilitate and/or destroy us. We have come too far and done too much, together. Failure is not an option.

We should always remember that no one of us is as important as all of us. Together we stand; divided we fall. We did not become the “greatest nation” by default or derision. We are Americans.

So, let us realize what is at stake here. Depending on our choices and actions, history will either praise or condemn us. It is up to us. We are Americans.

Therefore, let us “think” about what must be done. Let us think about what “needs” to be done. And, let us do what is in the best interests of our country.

Please believe, we don’t need any more hellfire and brimstone. We need unity and utility. We don’t need any more negativity and pessimism. We need positivity and optimism. Together, we can do (almost) anything. For, this is our America.

At times, there is definitely a place for partisan politics. However, there is also a time and place for “us” to pull together as “Americans.” Sometimes we must put our country’s overall best interests ahead of our party politics and individual conflicts. At times like these, “we” must all strive for the common good, general welfare and more perfect union.

In closing, I would like to paraphrase the sage and eloquent words of Alexis de Tocqueville: .”.. Those that despise people will never get the best out of others and themselves … The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults …”

John L. Horton is a resident of Norfolk and a frequent contributor to this newspaper.

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