Greetings Gentle Reader,

A mother of my acquaintance, in an attempt to keep her twin sons from fighting, told them that brothers only fight back to back. The boys tried mightily to follow her instructions. Soon, in a state of extreme frustration, they returned. Turning their backs to each other, they demonstrated the impossibility of landing a blow no matter how they tried, and, oh, how they tried!

Even though we all had a good chuckle, the principle remains intact. Brothers should never fight, except back to back. To whom does this apply? Obviously, it applies to siblings and, yes, their parents as well. All homes would benefit from parents who never fight with, but only for, each other even though that principle (a correct one) has little credibility these days.

There are things which the children of quarreling parents assume to be acceptable, one is that petty bickering is okay, another is that negotiation is not necessary, still another is to neither compromise nor take turns, but the saddest thing they learn is that family cohesiveness and loyalty always take a back seat to personal whims. How can any child feel secure when he knows that parental wants are more important than he is?

If brothers shouldn't fight and parents shouldn't fight, how about fellow Americans? Can perpetual nastiness between citizens be acceptable? We modern Americans need to relearn the meaning of fighting back to back. We are being taught from all sides, by both precept and example, that fighting is not only acceptable, but that it pays very well.

Benjamin Franklin said to a colleague, at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately." The basic meaning of this is "We must fight back to back or we will be so vulnerable that 'they' will pick us off one at a time."

We ask decent, honorable people to run for public office, and then we abuse them with very little provocation. We have some truly loyal Americans in some of our state capitals and in Washington, and yet the slander to which they are subjected is something of which all Americans
should be deeply ashamed.

The best, the finest are, too often, unwilling to tolerate the attacks they would attract if they were to accept a term as a public servant. Since we do want the best, and we do need the best, we are going to have to change the way we treat loyal, hard-working citizens who are in our service. We do have some good ones to practice on, and since we are not going to learn this skill any younger we had better get started, hadn't we?

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