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Strength in Unity: David Pickler's New Year's Letter

Abraham Lincoln, our nation’s 16th president, once stated, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” Lincoln assumed the office of President at a time when America was deeply divided and on the cusp of a bloody civil war. His character, leadership, and commitment to restoring the American union of sovereign states would forge an indestructible foundation to preserve our United States.

Over our nearly 250 years as an independent nation, America has faced and overcome countless challenges from adversaries, both foreign and domestic. The fabric of our democracy has been strained to the point of rupture on many occasions. But the enduring story of America is how we have always found a way to set aside our differences and embrace those ideals and principles that unite us as We the People.

We are living in a time of extreme political division. Our various media outlets, whether print, video, or digital, continue to fan the flames of conflict and polarization of views. To a great extent, we have lost the ability to engage in meaningful debate without acrimony. The list of topics available for family or friendly conversation seem to be more limited on a daily basis. Popular culture dominates our thinking, and the pursuit of celebrity seems to be preferable to leading lives of substance and significance. “Cancel Culture” has become a nuclear weapon to destroy lives and careers.

With this pervasive culture of negativity and discord, it might be easy to embrace a negative perspective on the future of America. While that might be a reasonable approach, I choose to embrace a more optimistic view. It remains my belief, to quote the Puritan John Winthrop, that America is “that city upon a hill; the eyes of all people are upon us.” Ronald Reagan took that quote to the next level by stating that America is that “city on a hill, when light of liberty shines as a beacon for all to follow.” We have certainly experienced periods in our history when our light of liberty was dimmed; where our challenges as a people diminished our moral and ethical leadership. But America has always emerged from periods of challenge into ages of incredible energy, boldness, and passionate leadership. Each night of darkness has been followed by glorious daylight.

One of the reasons for my optimism is our quadrennial electoral opportunity for rebirth. Our American system of four-year Presidential election cycles provides the opportunity for constitutional change and leadership restructuring.

This legalized and (hopefully) bloodless form of revolution empowers each of us as Americans to advocate for new voices and revised agendas for cultural, economic, and political change. Our American Constitution provides a process for our nation to alter its course in response to the challenges of our times. As someone who has been an engaged participant in the political process for over 50 years, I believe in the power of the people to pursue change through our system of elections. Having successfully run five political campaigns, I clearly understand the power of every vote. While our process has many flaws, it still remains the envy of the free world.

As we enter another presidential election cycle, I encourage each of you to engage. Your voice has power and impact, but only if you choose to be a part of the process. The election of 2020 was far from a “best practice.” We must all be diligent in demanding fair and free elections so that the results will be credible. Advocate strongly for the candidate and causes which you are passionate about. Campaign energetically for the results you desire. Vote and ensure your voice is heard. And, once the election cycle has concluded, hopefully we can unite as Americans as, collectively, we overcome the challenges of a most uncertain future.

The history of all great civilizations is that they are not destroyed by some conquering force from beyond the borders. History, instead, shows where most great societies crumble from within. If our great American experiment is to long endure, we the people must advocate for our nation to continue to be that “shining city on a hill.” In these times when the world can seem to be a dark and stormy place, we need America to shine the light of liberty and illuminate the entire world.

May God bless each of you,

David A. Pickler, Esq., CFP®


Pickler Wealth Advisors



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