On March, 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated. Today, President Obama uses that same Bible to begin his second term. However, during Lincoln's inaugural speech he stated, "We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies."
Lincoln uttered these words to a struggling, soon to be divided, United States. We hear these words 152 years later knowing that they are all too familiar. While we may not be on the brink of another physical separation, our collective identity lives in a rhetorical civil war with all-too-real consequences.
During the past 12 years we have faced remarkable difficulties. From 9/11 to economic collapse our bodies, our heads still hang low. On both the Right and Left we have found in each other enemies, not allies. Indeed—we think it much more productive to stand against one another rather than stand with one another. At every turn we have found it easier to deny the other, to deny the ideas and identities that stand against our own rather than see them as opportunities for growth and change.