At the 108th Annual Congressional Baseball Game, something happened that we normally don’t see in Washington. We saw smiles, prayers, and tears from Democrats and Republicans, united in solidarity with the values of our nation. A tear-jerking scene opened the game as David Bailey, one of the Capitol Police officers injured in the assault threw the first pitch. Bailey approached the mound with crutches and all, a living example that America doesn’t quit, and we don’t back down.

This game gave people a spark of hope, but that spark is already dwindling.

The Contempt Challenge

Contempt has been plaguing Washington for years. While this is true, a new level of division is happening across party lines in 2017. Groups such as Antifa and the alt-right have taken to the streets with sticks, pepper spray, and violence. As elected officials ratchet up divisive rhetoric, people turn ideas to action.

While mainstream media seems to gravitate towards violence, these scenes don’t truly depict America. The antics of fringe groups are by no means a representation of the real political environment.

American Enterprise Institute’s president Arthur Brooks spoke at Harvard Kennedy School on the issue of contempt. He outlined how a perception of absolute evil in our political opponents is driving our country down a deadly path. It isn’t enough to point out the problem, though. Brooks asserts a call to action, asking people to choose “warm-heartedness” instead of hatred.

To many, Brooks proposal may sound idealistic, but in practice, it truly isn’t. When we acknowledge the humanity of our political opponents, we can see a change of tone. AEI asserts this as a “Competition of Ideas”, grown through civil debate and intellectual courage.

“The more control you have over your life, the more responsible you feel for your own success – or failure.”

– Arthur C. Brooks

There are men and women on both sides of the aisle that genuinely want the best for our nation’s future. Those moderates who believe that America’s best days are still ahead face an upward battle.

Our True Identity

Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi met at the congressional ball game, and held their first-ever joint interview. During this short conversation, Pelosi said “tonight we are all team Sacalise.” To many viewers, this was just a kind gesture, but it was a sign of Americas true identity.

What the enemies of freedom tend to forget is that, for all the bickering in Washington, every singly American is part of the greatest nation on earth. Any attempt to attack and hurt our system only works to solidify America’s strength. After 9/11, the worst terror attack in modern history, Americans turned out in streets with flags. On this recent Independence Day, throughout cities across the country, fireworks went off to commemorate our freedom.

Independence Day is a glowing testament to the world, which sees a nation united, not divided. American leadership has lifted billions from tyranny and poverty. The world has yet to see its greatest day.

It’s time we re-plant the seeds of American greatness.