Election season divides us when we have to decide who will represent our interests in governments from town to state to Federal. Because we can't all have the same interests, can we? I think that would be boring, myself, but it does make for political dogfights. And it's not as if the competing interests don't have equally compelling claims to truth and justice, so the fights can be fierce. And yet Americans have peacefully transferred political power from one group to another without revolution or palace coups for over 200 years. Well, more or less.
I think that's due in large part to the idea Theodore Roosevelt espoused. For better or worse, we're all in this together. (He might have said it in more high-falutin' political language) It's like your husband or your wife: Sure she's bad-tempered, and he can be lazy, but there's a reason you married your fortunes together in the first place, right?
So here are four admittedly idiosyncratic recommendations for feel-good Americana.
The movie that so many of my friends watch religiously every 4th of July (with or without setting things on fire).
In which a bemused French gentleman surveys our new country from a friendly perspective. It's pleasant when outsiders say nice things about us!
Our national bird is the bald eagle, but I can think of no more quintessentially American beast than this horse. And this is one of those heart-warming feel-good stories, to boot.
Pacifist, conscientious objector... and war hero. There's something uniquely American about that combination, don't you think?
What would you suggest that might unite us?