Allowing Syrian refugees into our country will change the way many of us live.
So will wrestling with gun violence, and police shootings, and rape culture, and immigration.
We’ve done it a few times before:
When we recognized the right of gay couples to marry.
When we ended the Cold War.
When we recognized a woman’s right to choose is greater than my right to force her choice.
When we resolved to go to the moon, not certain that it could be done.
When we recognized that all people–not just white people–should enjoy the rights and privileges our Constitution grants us.
When we stood up against fascism on the other side of the world, knowing the cost would be great.
When we came together to help each other out of the depths of the Depression.
When we recognized a free society has no business tolerating slavery.
When we drafted and ratified the Constitution, and made the choice that our public servants would work for it rather than for a head of state.
When brave men met in Philadelphia and decided our best course of action was to separate from the country of their ancestors.
It’s not an exaggeration to say we’ve made a way of life out of changing our way of life. Usually for the better. Often to improve someone else’s lot at our own expense. Usually because we perceived an imbalance of justice and resolved to right it.
Our way has rarely been to choose the easy road. It’s almost always been to face our fears head-on, never certain of victory but always confident. Always willing to take one more step along the road less traveled.
We’ve always been a courageous nation. Let’s not falter now.