The divisive debate over immigration continues. Recent news reports speak of political operatives plotting to slander 2020 candidates. And, the horrific reminder of violence in this country was replayed again most recently in Virginia Beach. This news is another mile marker on the road of failed policies reminding us that as country, we have lost our bearings. My son who recently went on a college trip to Europe said that he and his classmates thought it best to say they were from Canada because of the negative image of the United States with most Europeans.

The principles by which the founding fathers lived by became the soul of America. This conscience has largely been buried in antiquity by today's self-focused leaders. Washington, Jefferson and Adams sought ways to unite the country and serve as a guiding light and model for the world to emulate.

It was Washington who said, "Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience."

Jefferson opined, "Honesty is the first chapter of wisdom."

And John Adams, who died the same day as Jefferson on July 4, 1826, once said, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more and become more, you are a leader."

In such perilous times as these, we can make a difference still by helping one person each day. Just as Lincoln carried the heavy trunk of a young girl who missed her carriage, we can lift each other up, not tear each other down.

Ed Nilson

Red Lodge

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