Ben Stein: Let Us Pledge Not to Give In to Hate

Contributor Ben Stein doesn't think the GOP's "Pledge to America" is enough, and suggests a Declaration of Conscience from both parties.
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Is there room in this heated election year for at least one gesture of bipartisanship? Contributor Ben Stein thinks so.

I see that the GOP has recently announced a new "Pledge to America", trying to imitate the "Contract with America" that supposedly helped the party so much in 1994 (although I don't think it really did).

The "Pledge" is about taxes and spending mostly, and those are big subjects, let's not kid ourselves.

But I would like to see something bigger, and from both parties - and maybe from the Tea Partiers, too.

America faces, above all, a spiritual and moral crisis. We suffer from low morale because of the terrorism, the unending and unsuccessful wars, and the drawn-out, painful recession. The results have sometimes been morally and psychologically ugly.

So, herewith, a suggested Declaration of Conscience from all parties:

"This is a big country. It is a great country, filled with opportunities. It is the magnet for those all over the world who want a better life. And while we face grim challenges from many directions, we make this pledge:

"We became a great nation because we are an open, loving nation. Most of us believe in a loving God. Whether we are believers or atheists, we believe in the rights of all. We welcome all who respect the rights of every other American. We welcome and respect all who want the same opportunities and legal protections for all Americans.

"We are a busy people, we Americans - rebuilding our economy, defending ourselves, educating our children. We are far too busy to hate. We will not preach hate, sell hate, try to get elected by hate. We will follow our forefathers' example and only stoop to hate those who try to kill us. For those within our borders, unless they preach hate, our motto is always "Love thy neighbor." We can and we will disagree about almost everything, but we will not do it in a spirit of hatred based on religion or race or sexual orientation or wealth or poverty.

"If our enemies want to live by hate, that is their loss. But we are not going to imitate their hatred. We live by love of our fellow man, and they will not stop us."

That is my humble idea of a pledge that means something. And no, it is not original with me.