Everyone with a passing familiarity with the U.S. Congress knows of the congressional baseball game. It is a treasured artifact from kinder and gentler times in American politics, when Republicans and Democrats were more likely to socially interact and share common interests. This good-hearted annual rivalry in “America’s Pastime” still brings congressional members and staffs together in something approaching friendship.
It was an appalling rip in the nation’s social fabric for a gunman to target this tradition. While reinforcing the point that no one is safe from gun violence in today’s USA, this was a tragic new low. It struck at heart of something we still cherish: The idea that beneath day-to-day controversies and arguments, we still are a united people.
It’s essential to renew our union with one another. We must remember every moment that we all love our families. We willingly serve our country in times of need. We squabble but remain bound together by things as simple as a sunny baseball diamond and as noble as Lincoln’s sentiment that “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
The best response to this attack is to have the best congressional baseball game ever, cheered on by the entire nation. Thereafter, our elected representatives must put petty backbiting and gamesmanship aside, and get on with conducting the nation’s business with courage, intelligence, compassion and fellowship.
We must never allow anyone to tear us apart.