Patriotism Is Not Enough: Lincoln on How To Heal Division

By Kevin Vance. Our nation seems to be pulling apart. Americans are increasingly divided along ideological lines over the goodness and relevance of the founding principles of our country. The violence arising out of last summer’s protests and the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 suggest that more and more Americans have lost confidence in our governing institutions and the possibility that justice will be served through the rule of law. Even if these violent episodes were only one-time events, each act of mob violence, especially if left unpunished, will suggest to the “other side” that justice is best pursued through aggressive assertions of force rather than reliance on slow-moving legal institutions.