Today, as we’ve done for the last couple hundred years and some, we are fighting a war of ideologies where the goal is to cultivate the opinions of the people thorough politics and emotive rhetoric. The intellectually weak and/or ideologically uncritical are easily moulded through these methods. Those who critically examine the varying ideologies and logically parse the proselytized messaging are burdened with redressing our cognitive dissonances. When an imbalance of the equilibrium (our “more perfect union”) occurs, it can lead to anger, shame, embarrassment and a desire to bring it back to balance. That is not un-American. That is human and natural.

But this doesn’t assume that the critical thinker is “right” or “wrong”. Nor does it assume the same for the non-critical. Again, we’re in a war for ideologies — how we, as a unified nation, “believe” sociologically in terms of race, religion, sexuality, age, class, etcetera, and politically, in terms of liberalism, conservatism, libertarianism, populism and centrism.

No two people “believe” identically. We struggle with a unified national identity as we have since the days our first ships reached the shores of this land. We fought hard and carved out an incredible living, breathing set of governing documents that make attempts to accommodate those ideals that we find mutually agreeable of the people, by the people, for the people. We get stuff wrong all the time and therefore we debate, vote, argue, and sometimes fight over the challenging sociological and political aspects.

We’ve been forced to confront the current results of our experiment in monumental ways over these last 12 years, give or take. One quote stands out for me that helps guide me pragmatically.

Happy Independence Day America. Let’s keep working together toward our more perfect union.