In an election year, marked by vicious divisions in our country, there is uncertainty as to the direction our country will follow.
I am alarmed by the extremist tirades of politicians who continue to incite anger against minority groups and immigrants. I am fearful that the threat of ISIS will lure voters to support isolationist withdrawal. I am appalled that our children will face the ominous prospect of leaders who dare to build exclusionary walls or banish those who are simply different. As an American, I continue to have faith in unity over separatism in these troubling times.
Our country will soon rejoice in the returning ritual of American football. In South Florida, a full house of hero-starved fans endure sweltering heat and rain-threatened conditions to re-embrace the game at Miami Dolphins Training Camp. Observing the diverse representation of race, age and nationality watching a recent practice, fond memories returned. While football seemingly means little in matters of life and death, its potential to galvanize a community’s thoughts in hope of attaining a winning team again cannot be ignored.
As many Americans return from summer vacation, realities of daily routines re-emerge. In spite of the expected spike in middle-class economic growth, there are many Americans who will be unable to participate in the back-to-school spending frenzy. It would make sense then to create a nationwide effort targeting the urgent needs of the poor. Food and clothing donation drives, in particular, would help to even the game for many.
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As students begin a new school year, they will again recite the Pledge of Allegiance daily. Let this historical tradition serve as a role model for our educated masses to counteract the negative image of today’s politics. Glorification of violence and cynicism must not diminish the good of our democracy. Our future lies with “Liberty and Justice For All.”
James A. Rogge,