E pluribus unum? … Not lately | AspenTimes.com

E pluribus unum? … Not lately

Michelle Miller

Aspen, CO ColoradoWe, as the American public today, currently stand in a position of deception. The want to be united as a country isn’t possible due to the government’s controlling hand. Constantly, we are giving pieces of information (that we take to heart since it is the only amount of information we can acquire) and thrive off the ideas we establish from our own opinions. But what significance do we, as the American public, have to define and be able to evaluate our own “national character”?Let me start by stating the exact definition of these two words: national and character. National: Of, relating to, or belonging to a nation as an organized whole. Character: The combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one person, group, or thing from another. Together, the idea of “national character” is the distinguished coming together of the people to unite and create a general meaning of what America is all about in a civil and agreeable manner.But, there are certain issues that separate the people, hence, causing the destruction of the image the government is trying to portray the United States as a “national” country (again, being organized and united as a whole). We can’t live by the exact definition of “national character” because the government chooses what is right and wrong. Isn’t the government supposed to be the one protecting its citizens from harm? The government has the power to portray what it is we see. Which then eliminates our choice and divides the public into different parties based on their own opinions.For example, this specific topic is argued constantly, due to the significance of it, and it creates a flaw in the “nationalism” of America: abortion (this being just an example and not the main purpose of the article). Whether a person chooses pro-life or pro-choice, it seems as though the other opinion is wrong. This then generates conflict. And then conflict, violence is created and established and our nation is once again divided into an un-orderly presentation of chaos.Now, who has the ultimate power to say what is right and what is wrong other than the government itself? The government takes control when a situation such as this comes up and then eliminates it by creating a law that either abolishes it or passes it. They have the control, yes, to choose how we are supposed to live in our nation as an organized country. But, to choose whether or not our opinions matter, isn’t their choice. This again, separates us. Then creates more controversy and more flaws in our “national character”.Another example of a national issue is homosexuality. This specific issue establishes the many different opinions and sides you could be apart of. There are two different ways you could argue against this: 1. It is not right to be gay and 2. It is OK, but they cannot officially join together in marriage. With one of these arguments is more a social/religious aspect than the other, which affects the political side of the spectrum. The government then takes this issue into its hands, decides what is right and what is wrong, and makes the “bettering” choice for the country assuming it will bring the nation together as a whole.One the most recent voting ballet there were two laws that could have either been passed or denied. One, Colorado Referendum 1 (Would legalize domestic partnerships, providing same-sex couples the opportunity to obtain the legal protections and responsibilities granted to married couples under Colorado law. The measure specifies that domestic partnerships are not marriage and do not change the public policy of the state, which defines marriage as only the union of one man and one woman), was denied at a 53 percent voting rate.The other law, Colorado Amendment 43 (Proposed amendment to Colorado Constitution would define marriage in Colorado as only a union between one man and one woman), was passed with a 56 percent voting rate. Again, this was the government’s way to control the public and to keep us united at all possible causes. But, then again, this only separated us more and defined us into smaller groups.Will America ever play to the role as the ideally defined “national character”? Ultimately, you could ponder this question for hours on and never directly come up with a well-rounded and mature answer. In my opinion, it isn’t possible. Why? Because the government is so focused on control and determining what is right from wrong, assuming that with their structured hand they can eliminate all possible issues that could divide our public. But in trying to accomplish this, the government has done nothing more than make the situation more severe and create multiple and vast groups that can never agree on one specific issue.Again, America is not a country that is whole, united, and able to work together. Instead, due to everyone’s different opinions and idea of what “right” is, and the governments “helping” hand, we have segregated the people into utter despair. Then making the idea and possibility of American’s “national character” as perfect would never be reachable. It will always stay continuously flaws and impossible to reach the exact definition until the government, and the people unite together in agreement.Michelle Miller is a Carbondale resident. Editor’s note: Soapbox runs weekly on the Sunday opinion page. This spot is a forum for valley residents to comment on local topics. If you’d like to contribute, contact Naomi Havlen at The Aspen Times at 925-3414, extension 17624 or e-mail nhavlen@aspentimes.com.

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