In 1838, a 28-year-old Abraham Lincoln declared that the greatest threat facing America comes not from a foreign invader:
“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.”
The thought that Americans, themselves, may destroy the ideals for which so many have sacrificed is sobering. Trust among Americans is at its lowest levels in generations, and stereotyping and prejudice have become substitutes for knowing and understanding one another as individuals.