A house divided cannot stand. Threats remain.

It is threatened by the proud label of “America first.” Dismissing our allies and our heritage of immigration

It is threatened by mockery. Personally, I’ve had enough of SNL Trump skits on one side, to the snarky “libtards” on the other. One bumper sticker I spotted on Main Avenue in Fargo, said, “Even my dog is smarter than a Democrat.”

Helpful? Will this really solve problems?

I wanted to avoid the public celebrations that poured salt into the wound of such a polarized nation, while I acknowledge the tears of CNN’s Van Jones, whose pain over issues of character and racism mirrored my own. But I didn’t want that relief sullied by “schadenfreude” – rejoicing in the pain of others.

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As expected, the president opposes a peaceful transition. His famous rages in the White House and on Twitter show his temper and strife. Our divider in chief. Peace? You cannot give what you do not have.

Inconsistent conspiracies and legal challenges emerge, like those in Michigan saying, “Stop the Count!” and those in Arizona saying, “Count all votes.” Which is it? The courts have dismissed challenges because of lack of evidence.

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One ballot counter in the TCF Arena in Detroit posted to a local Minnesota friend. Despite claims, Republican “overseers” outnumbered the Democrats. He witnessed the harassment of Black ballot counters, badgered with personal questions, slowing the vote tally. A few belligerent Republicans had to be removed. Protesters outside, some carrying guns, banged on the windows. The (white) writer wondered how white communities would have responded if Black crowds, with guns, had mobbed them.

In the season of Veterans’ Day, there was a push to eliminate military ballots; perhaps because four out of five military ballots in Allegheny County Pennsylvania went to Biden. After all, more retired generals and admirals endorsed Biden.

Even conservative venues, like the Washington Times and Forbes, have dismissed the conspiracies. Yet we still have defiance. In White Bear Lake, Minn/, a Trump supporter attacked an elderly couple with a golf club over their politics.

Can anyone bring calm? Order?

President-Elect Joe Biden says he will be president of all, unlike the current president who frequently attacks Democrats and scientists. Biden declares our political opponents are not “enemies.” Yes.

Echoing the Beatitudes of Jesus, “America’s pastor” Max Lucado wrote, “Now is the time for Christians to set the example in the arena of peacemaking. The challenges that we face, the pandemic, anxiety and the economy, can only be addressed by a united nation.” Although some agreed, I could not believe all the self-righteous venom about “fighting” liberal “leftists,” with Lucado himself dismissed as “politically correct.” Pride instead of progress.

Too many of us embrace shallow symbolism, cut off from foundations. I’ve talked with flag-waving students who knew nothing about the Constitution, beyond the Second Amendment. What about freedom of religion, freedom of the press, co-equal branches of government, and so much more?

For too many a man became more important than our institutions, our country.

I did see a picture of a Trump supporter hugging a Black Lives Matter supporter on the steps of Michigan’s state capitol. Unity can happen.

Either we come together, or we fall apart. Shalom.

Interested in a broad range of issues, including social and faith issues, Brickner serves as a regular contributor to the Forum’s opinion page. She is a retired English instructor, having taught in Michigan and Minnesota.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.