May 22, 2018. The division between our political parties is extreme. Today President Trump planned a meeting about a top national security issue and excluded all Democrats. The suspicion of his opponents the president exaggerates is nonetheless widespread throughout the country. Many voters on either side distrust those on the other. We call each other “immoral,” “disloyal,” “socialist,” “fascist,” “racist,” “corrupt,” “complicit in rape and murder.” The President’s actions are outrageous and his attitudes corrosive, but we must combat them with civility, due process, and the rule of law. It may seem naïve to say that but, the President aside, not all the tensions that strain our nation come from within. Thirteen Russian individuals and the Russian Internet Research Agency were indicted on February 16 for infecting social networks in the U. S. Their clandestine activity shows a concerted effort from abroad to aggravate tensions among us and subvert our electoral system. It is therefore not naïve to say we must watch our language and restrict ourselves to true statements. To abandon such restraint would actually advance the cause of our true enemies. It is imperative that we trust each other and support our institutions. Epithets cloud the air. Let us help each other see clearly.
None of this implies we should relent in our defense of the good or withhold opposition to what is wrong. It means that — in order to resist our foreign enemies — we should treat our domestic opponents with the same respect we desire from them. I wish this advice were too obvious to state, but it is not. The situation calls for radical restraint. Good citizenship, loyalty to our country over the long haul, requires a long-term view. The deeper our convictions, the harder this is. But the health of our nation requires it.