E Pluribus Unum: Do We Still Believe in It?

In 1782, the then-Congress of the United States approved the Latin phrase, “E pluribus unum,” — “Out of many, one” — for the Great Seal of the United States. The phrase since that time has been attached to many of our country’s official documents and appears on all of our coins.

The Founding Fathers placed great value on the profound meaning of those words, but today we take it for granted.

We are living amidst a perilous world. For the first time since World War II, we are facing threats from two enemies. In the 1940s, they were Germany and Japan; today, they are Russia and China.

Fortunately, we presently are by far the most powerful nation on earth, both militarily and economically.

But as strong as we may be outwardly, our nation has not been this divided internally since 1860 — and we all know how that ended.

The lessons of history, from the ancient Roman Empire to the former Soviet Union, are clear: Great nations fail not because of outside forces, but from within.

Despite our superiority to our rivals, the same fate awaits us if we remain the proverbial house divided. Similar to 1860, a large portion of the country today would rather see us devolve into chaos than remain united.

Our foes cannot defeat us. But unless we recommit to the values expressed by e pluribus unum, our days of greatness are numbered.

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