Talon News - Good Local News

By Daisy Swadesh
Special to TALON 


Common Ground is Core to the American Way


By Daisy Swadesh, Special to TALON

Humans are social beings. We live together in groups. To live together in [relative] peace we need basic social rules. Much like team sports have rules, and cheating messes up the game, honesty and fair play are the common ground for living together, even when we are seemingly on opposing sides. For early humans it was essential that the whole group survive. That’s why we have a sense of fairness written in our genes.

When people from Europe came to this country 400 years ago they found a relatively untouched world. They were habituated to being oppressed by kings and lords who owned all the good farmland. Many people were servants and ordinary people were treated as inferiors. American colonists soon rediscovered that inner feeling of freedom and fairness that is our birthright. That’s why the principles stated in our Declaration of Independence resonated deeply within them: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (humans) are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

Our system of government was designed to encourage people to work together for just laws that were for the good of all, the three co-equal branches of government had to reach agreement, which made it difficult for any group or individual to take over unilateral or tyrannical power.

Today our nation is in great danger of being destroyed from within by divisions that are heightened by the fear, anger, impatience and hatred that come with them.

As a matter of basic survival we need to reestablish the foundations of a healthy national community living together in a unity that accepts differences.


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