On this July 4, new commitment to who we are is needed

On this Independence Day it would be understandable for Americans to wonder if our heritage of freedom is in jeopardy.

The country we live in is under siege verbally from a battery of dictators and terrorists that openly wish for the demise of our country.

It is under siege from within, with political divisions that have crossed the borders of political debate into open hostility and even violence.

Against that backdrop, a little fear and trepidation is understandable.

But we can overcome this, just as we have overcome a series of mountainous challenges over the past 241 years.

We can be the world’s beacon of freedom and defender of independence.

We can foster those qualities in nations where people are yearning for a better existence.

We can once again be a country that thrives economically while nurturing a governmental standard that is the envy of the world.

But to defeat the scourges of our time, we need political leadership that mixes American vision with political consensus that is arrived at with the good of all our citizens in mind. Now more than ever, we must have leaders that put political wins on the back burner of priorities.

And we, as citizens, need to demand the same of ourselves. We’ve got to remember who we are and how we got here.

Today we need to think long and hard about the role each of us plays in these unsettling times and the role we can play to turn the chaos back into order that illuminates the best quality in all Americans and these United States of America.