President Obama and First Lady Michelle ObamaThis week was the President’s public inauguration.

I’m sure there are a lot of mixed feelings about President Obama’s 2nd term. About half the nation is excited and the other half discontented or dis-concerned, I suppose. For me, the emotion of it all has more or less passed, the inauguration just a formality. We have known who was going to be the President for almost three months now, so we’ve all had time to digest the prospects of “four more years.”

Now that it’s all done with, there are some serious issues our country faces, both at home and around the world. The State of the Union address will take place February 12, 2013, only two weeks away. Just last week a potentially catastrophic hostage event took place in Algeria. We still haven’t really taken care of budget, debt ceiling, and other financial situations, only passed a tax increase that doesn’t close the gap between spending and revenue and pushed the debt ceiling standoff back another three months. All of these are hotly debated topics, but they need to be dealt with.

There’s a huge push on Congress, or at least they think there is, to “just get something done.” Pressure on both parties is rising to compromise. Compromise and deal with immigration, compromise and get a budget. A Democratic Senate and Republican House have proved over the last two years they have the power to stop each other from some things, but there is something much more important I think we need to deal with, maybe even first.

Heal Our Land

I may have only been around for five Presidents, but I can certainly remember a time when those with opposing viewpoints didn’t seem to hate each other so much. I mean, conservatives have traditionally been against a lot of welfare programs, but it seems like in the last decade a lot of conservatives hate or look down on those who receive any kind of government assistance. Liberals have always tried to advance liberal causes, but nowadays it’s like anyone who isn’t for one of their programs is a bigoted Neanderthal who oppresses women and hates minorities. Then you have the environmentalists who treat people who don’t believe in global warming like they can’t count past their fingers and toes.

Part of it is understandable, many Republicans think our nation will be destroyed if we do not perform preemptive strikes in the Middle East. And many Democrats think Republicans want to destroy the whole planet!

But I remember learning one thing about America as a kid. We were united. We all have different ideas, but what makes us a country is that we all stand together. I refuse to resort to name calling and disrespecting the President of my country. I disagreed with a lot of things about the George W. Bush administration, but I could not stand to hear people insult his intelligence. A lot of other conservatives certainly felt the same way, but now the same people (and on the same talk shows) have been throwing out the same kind of slander since the end of 2008. They talked for years like nobody in their right mind could vote him again. Then in November the President won again, and they’ve all been scratching their heads in disbelief since.

I may have my disagreements, important as they are, but if our differences tear us apart, we will never solve the problems facing our country. The Bible teaches a divided house cannot stand. Not that I think it’s going to happen any time soon, but states are actually talking about seceding. People would talk about secession from time to time when I was growing up in Texas, but it was mostly this Texas pride thing you might notice when talking to someone from south of the Red River.

Anyhow, all I’m saying is that there are a lot of important issues being debated right now, but I feel that it is just as important we learn to get along again. There’s an article I want to write about disagreements the colonists had in the days leading up to our Declaration of Independence. They had some very, very big differences of opinion, but they managed to unite. In fact, the term “united” was not even part of our country’s title, they referred to the 13 newly formed states as the “united States.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to do my part to make the next “four more years” a little more liveable and peaceable. I won’t hesitate to state my view, but I also won’t belittle others simply for having a different point of view.