With the upcoming November 2022 general election and 2024 presidential election, I am far more troubled by the hyper-partisan division of our country, to include claims that the prior presidential election was “stolen” or that only one political party supports law enforcement or the rule of law.
Enough is enough.
It is not trivial to state that our democracy is at stake. The “Big Lie” is tearing our country apart, with some educated citizens more interested in ideology and outcome than the wonder of a truly pluralistic representative democracy.
Whether one is raising their family in metro Atlanta or rural Georgia, we all want a better world for our children. But is “the lie” significantly diminishing that likelihood? The fight between supporters of former President Trump and mainstream Republicans, and the fight between moderate and progressive Democrats, is a cancerous disease hindering our ability to improve that sought-after improved quality of life for future generations.
Alexis de Tocqueville was right when he declared, “There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.” When some elected officials encourage political discourse on successionist theories based on race and ideology, a threatened civil war cannot be disregarded as an idle threat. Accountability is the common theme.
If we really want our country to be great, let’s treat everyone respectfully, with fairness and integrity. One’s personal liberty is not more important than our general welfare. Can we please accentuate our similarities and clearly defined purpose under our Constitution? Or are we going to witness the destruction of the rule of law in favor of one’s dogma at everyone else’s expense?
We are not red states and blue states, we are the United States of America. I continue to believe that so much more binds us as a nation than divides us - if only we didn’t need to win every small battle. Democracy is at its best when the government and her leaders obey the law or are promptly held accountable for such callous misbehavior. As former President Reagan so eloquently stated: America is that shining city upon a hill, a home that would be free, with all kinds of people living in harmony and peace.
I pray that we can once again strive for that unparalleled future. Enough is enough.
Sam Olens, now a partner at law firm Dentons, is a former Georgia Attorney General and former chair of the Cobb County Commission.