Those born after the United States sent a man to the moon have never experienced the sense of pride that once upon a time was felt by ALL Americans. Regardless of whether one was a Democrat, a Republican, had white or black skin or opposed the president of the United States, there was a burst of pride in being part of a society which had just sent a man to the moon. The man on the Moon represented each and every single person in the United States of America. There was a sense that we could accomplish great tasks and change the entire world.
Of course, those born in the 1920s and after had also shared such experiences when we were ALL Americans. The day after Pearl Harbor when President Franklin Roosevelt promised we would defeat Japan simply reflected the feeling of ALL Americans who were confident of victory even though just a few days earlier millions had demanded no war. We had this feeling on June 6, 1944 when British and American troops landed on the shores of France because we ALL knew it was simply another step on the road to meet the gallant Russian soldiers fighting against Nazism.
Of course we had the feeling on the day war ended against Nazi Germany and the day war ended against Japan. WE, together with our Allies had triumphed over great odds. Today, as I write these words my mind wonders why this feeling is no longer present in America. We now inhabit a land in which we can’t even build a new tunnel under the Hudson River. We have lost the spirit of adventure and become a divided people whose hearts are filled with hate and anger.
I do not know if President Barack Obama could have been able to reach out to Republicans in some sense of comradeship. Perhaps, their hearts are too filled with hate. But, I do know that Obama never understood the importance of speaking WITH Americans to explain the need to work together. He never understood the importance of explaining the Affordable Care Act. He failed to hold weekly Press conferences which Franklin Roosevelt always offered. Perhaps, the division had proceeded too far. I do not know.