Red blue purple -- America is a tangle of ideologies all pulling in different directions. One view is ultimately going to prevail. Its time for Americans to step up in ways they havent before.
Were at war one frustrated Californian wrote to her local paper. Not with another country not with terrible diseases and plagues not with ruthless dictators. We are at war with ourselves.
These days as the debates rage on the map no longer seems to show state lines -- but ideological battle lines.
Its not as if Americans have always seen eye to eye on every issue but the days of even general consensus seem lost. Things that we used to take for granted -- values like common decency and civility -- are suddenly rare.
Issues that were once uncontested -- the value of a fully born human life -- are suddenly grounds for fierce debate. In the states the see-saw battles are even more pronounced.
In Illinois New York and Rhode Island locals have watched leaders fight to make newborn killing legal -- while Missouri North Carolina and Arkansas try to stop doctors from dismembering babies in the womb.
In one state legal infanticide is a street party. In another its a cause for community mourning. And its not just abortion. On education sexuality gender identity immigration and counseling the gulfs are growing.
But how people think about the issues is just one part of the divide.
According to Pew Research there are no issues that are widely considered top priorities by both Democrats and Republicans today. The average partisan gap between the parties rankings of priority issues in 2019 is 19 points representing a 36 increase over the last two decades... Even as recently as 2014 the top priorities of Democrats and Republicans were much more aligned than they are today.
There are profound differences in how the two sides view the world today. Not since slavery has there been such a stark contrast between the ideologies of the states.
America survived but barely.
Of course the silver lining is that things can shift quickly. Weve seen entire scripts flip on abortion after the New York law. In a matter of weeks the number of people calling themselves pro-life jumped by 17.
Change is possible -- but its also up to us.
As William Penn once said Governments like clocks go from the motion men give them... and as governments are made and moved by men so by them they are ruined too... Let men be good and the government cannot be bad.
We cant put the nation on cruise control or think someone else will take care of it. We have to be engaged -- from the school board and city council right up to Congress.
If we want good government we need good people in it. We cant have morally strong policies if the character of our leaders is weak.
If we want it to be the view that our founders held that we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights that among these are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness then we have to step forward and advance those core American values.
The future of the country depends on it.
Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council and the host of a daily nationally syndicated radio show Washington Watch with Tony Perkins.