IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Americans are mostly united on Ukraine. We need the same unity on America.

This is a crucial moment to stand up for the ideals in our Constitution.
Image: A protestor holding a red flag that reads,\"Trump\" inside the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Protesters gather storm the Capitol and halt a joint session of the 117th Congress on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington.Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images file

What former President Donald Trump, various GOP senators and representatives and Ginni Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, have done and continue to do is the gravest threat to our Constitution in 150 years. If we cannot unify around that truth and see past our divisions, then our democracy is in danger of dying by suicide.

The failing of the world’s longest-running modern constitutional democracy has the potential to create far deeper wounds and have farther-reaching ripples at home and abroad.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Americans across political persuasions came together, putting many divisions aside and standing as one. After Russian President Vladimir Putin rolled his military across the border into Ukraine unprovoked and in potential violation of international law and norms, killing civilians and causing a massive humanitarian crisis, Americans of different political stripes stood together, many laying aside partisan differences.

Yet this has not been the case when it comes to the attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol or the ongoing attacks on our democracy facilitated with continuous lies about “stolen elections” and “election fraud.” While a majority of Americans have serious concerns that our democracy is failing, Americans are ever more divided over the appropriate response. And that division is something we cannot ignore.

Yes, the numbers of casualties both on 9/11 and in Ukraine are far greater. But the failing of the world’s longest-running modern constitutional democracy has the potential to create far deeper wounds and have farther-reaching ripples at home and abroad.

Abraham Lincoln said in Springfield, Illinois, in 1838: "At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time or die by suicide.”

As Lincoln intimated, we as Americans are not likely to lose what we have from a foreign power or from outside our country but rather from destroying ourselves internally. Yet another deep concern is that the fostering of anti-democratic forces here, by people in or close to power, is spreading to other countries around the world as the forces of autocracy push to overrun the freedoms and liberties we have held so dear. Just look at the rise of autocracy in Poland and Hungary over the last five years.

This is a crucial moment for all of us to unify and stand up for the ideals laid out in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, tell the truth and get past the divisions so our future generations can keep moving us toward a more perfect union as a beacon of democracy for the world. We need to hear not only from our political leaders, but also from key business leaders, leaders in the media and heads of charitable foundations about the truth of what is happening today in America.

This must include not only elected officials of both political parties, but also the news media, which have a special responsibility to consistently cover and highlight the war here at home. By and large, the news media have done an exceptional job reporting on and covering Ukraine, and through this coverage the world has risen in unity to respond. We need to do the same in the fight for democracy here in our homeland.