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“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
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First Inaugural Address
March 4. 1861
It’s that “better angels of our nature” part that resonates the most with me. Yes, as a country we’re divided. Democrats demonize Republicans on an ongoing basis. Just as Republicans demonize Democrats. But I’ve got to believe… actually, I choose to believe, that the divisions back in 1861 were more intense than they are now.
Next time some knucklehead from the other side of the political divide says something that sets me off, I’m going to try to recognize that they’re probably not a knucklehead. That they likely have some logical set of reasons for believing what they believe. I’m gonna’ take a shot at conjuring up the better angels of my nature. ( …even though I probably won’t change my mind about the issue.)