We All Need Some Patriotic Grace

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Thomas Jefferson and John Adams (Rembrandt Peale/Gilbert Sullivan)

Did you read the exquisite column — “How Two Great Friends Overcame Politics” — from Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal on how Thomas Jefferson and John Adams overcame bitter political division? You’ll want to.

Peggy once wrote a book titled Patriotic Grace and here she is living it. She writes:

What drove their reconciliation? A tenderness, toward history and toward themselves. They knew what their friendship had been. They had lived through and to a significant degree driven a world-historical event, the invention of America. They had shared that moment and it had been the great moment of their lives, greater than their presidencies, greater than what followed. They had been geniuses together.

As the Fourth explodes around us we should take some inspiration from the story of an old estrangement healed. We’re all trying to repair something.

Do read the whole thing, if you can.

The column reminds me of Jeanne Safer’s wonderful book I Love You, But I Hate Your Politics: How to Protect Your Intimate Relationships in a Poisonous Partisan World. We’re better than letting politics destroy friendships. May it be so.

With God’s grace . . .

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