As the United States celebrates its 237th anniversary as a nation, the American people find themselves deeply divided over the right course for the future.
That is OK. That is how things are supposed to work.
We are a free people, so we express differing opinions and opposing viewpoints. The world reserves unanimity in public thought for miserable places like North Korea and Kyrgyzstan.
The Founding Fathers of the United States chose a different course in setting the foundation for what Abraham Lincoln later called "a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."
The Founders cemented their belief in the unalienable right of all people to life, liberty and happiness given to them at birth by their Creator.
"That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed," as Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence.
What a concept.
Eleven years later, many of the men who signed that document and other civic leaders from the 13 former colonies gathered in Philadelphia once again to institute a federal government to secure those rights with the consent of the public.
The arguments were long and occasionally fierce, because the men knew that the future of a continent rested on the framework they set. They had serious divisions between regions, and small states correctly feared that large states would overwhelm them under a federal government.
In the end, a bicameral Congress and the division of the power among three branches of government allayed those fears and set up a system to settle regional and other political differences civilly.
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America," they wrote.