Immediately after declaring independence in 1776 our founding fathers adopted a motto for
the new country. That motto is “E Pluribus Unum” meaning “From many, one.” The many at that time in our history included the 13 colonies and “the countries from which these States have been peopled.”
E. Pluribus Unum—from many, one—appears on a banner carried in the beak of an American eagle on the Great Seal of the United States of America and the Seal of the President of the United States.
“United we stand, divided we fall” became prominent in the U.S. in 1768 in “The Liberty Song” by Founding Father John Dickenson which included the verse “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.” In his last public speech Patriot Patrick Henry warned Americans that “United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.” This line—united we stand, divided we fall—appears on state flags and throughout our culture.
Today, the United States of America is struggling with forces of disunity. The 50 States are clearly not united but on their own in fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic and economic fallout. The unifying federal government is AWOL during this crisis. As a matter of policy, the states are on their own in coping with, protecting from, preventing and treating Covid-19. Our government is AWOL regarding pressing issues of health care, social justice and economic fairness. As a result, Americans are falling: falling into disease, falling into joblessness, falling into poverty, falling into despair. Our first responders, teachers and children are in free fall. As a source of disunity in the world’s community of nations, America is falling. We’ve been divided and we are being conquered.
America and Americans have lost their unity and are suffering from division because we have the most divisive president and corrupt political party in our history. This president’s divisiveness is well known: blaming others, insulting others, withdrawing from alliances, criticizing allies, ignoring expertise, embracing bad actors, going it alone, rank nationalism and ugly populism. His political party has enabled his destructiveness and corruption.
Your vote in November can be a vote to re-establish American unity of purpose and values and a vote against the dividedness which is our current downfall. Voting against divisiveness is basic to our national character. Seeking unity is America’s deep desire and greatest hope.