The petty politics of recent months -- bathroom bills, sanctuary cities, presidential tweets and the like -- leads us on a search for inspiration.
We've entered an era, it seems, in which everything has become politicized and divisive. And we are tired of it.
The Statue of Liberty has even fallen prey to politics. Anti-Trump forces have seized on the words etched on Lady Liberty's pedestal to argue his border wall and Muslim immigration policy are anti-American.
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Those words were written in 1885. We are not the same nation now. Denton was a tightknit community of 2,000 people in 1885. White Protestants ran the city and its institutions. Today, 132 years later, Denton has grown into a bustling city of 130,000 people from all over the world.
The same social evolution has played out in cities large and small throughout the United States.
We cannot decide whether we want to be a melting pot of shared values or a tribalized society of factions fenced off from one another.
This newspaper votes for a melting pot spiced with a love that brings us all together. Yes, that sounds a little hippie-dippie.
But why can't we find a way to focus on monuments and symbols that everyone can embrace regardless of race, ethnicity or religion: the American and Texas flags, the national anthem, military heroes, charitable giving, love of animals, a spring pasture festooned with bluebonnets or a courthouse Square teeming with happy children.
To make the melting pot a reality, we have to conquer the self-righteous and dogmatic demons that sit on so many shoulders and whisper in so many ears. Angels who counsel pragmatism and a spirit of compromise can disappear those demons.
Put simply, everyone must be prepared to give a little in order to get a little.
Must every Confederate statue be torn down? Must every one be left standing?
Must every abortion be condemned? Must every abortion be protected? Where is the middle ground?
America is yearning for a respite from the fight over every little thing. We need a new way to conduct politics that does not pit half the nation against the other half.
Maybe the peace-loving among us can found a new party. We could call it the Middle Ground. Vested interests in the Democratic and Republican parties will not be in favor because they thrive on division.