I Prayed have prayed
Lord, our founding fathers understood E Pluribus Unum - out of many, one. Help us to return to our roots, where unity is held sacred and we are one in You.

The question that so many Americans are asking today is, how do we unite our nation once again? In the midst of so much division, how can we remember that we are “one nation under God?”

Today’s guest is best-selling author, journalist, and political commentator Sophia Nelson, who dives into the topic of unity in America and exhorts us to remember that the Founding Fathers “never said we had to agree all the time.”

“They never said we had to like each other all the time, because they didn’t,” Nelson says. “What they wanted was unity of purpose, and unity and loyalty to the Bill of Rights, and to the freedoms that keep us uniquely American.”

Rob Bluey: We are joined on The Daily Signal podcast by bestselling author, journalist, and political commentator Sophia Nelson. Sophia, thanks so much for being with us.

Sophia Nelson: My pleasure. . .

Rob Bluey: I wanted to ask about a book that you wrote called “E Pluribus ONE: Reclaiming Our Founders’ Vision for a United America.” Tell us more about it and why you felt it was important to write.

Nelson: Well, for those listening in your audience, of course “e pluribus” is the “out of many,” and I translated the word one, so I hearkened back to our founding motto, which was created by Charles Thomson in 1780, E Pluribus Unum. I just translated the word unum into one because I wanted the one to really stick out on the cover of the book.

Now you’ve got it, you’ve seen it. It’s a pretty book cover. It’s very patriotic. I don’t know if you flipped over and seen the picture on the back, but I look kind of cool on the back picture there, so you should check that out.

The one, I wanted the one to really jump out at everybody because I wrote this book, I penned it on a hunch that … I had an inkling that our current president would win. I just did. We can talk about that a little later when you get into the politics segment.

I wanted to write a book that really reminded us that no matter whether we’re Democrat, Republican, conservative, or liberal, there’s something amazing about being an American. There’s something amazing about being able to be united even when we disagree. I think we’ve lost that, and I think we’ve lost it in a really big way.

We’ve become very uncivil, incivil. We’ve become very unkind and we now want to look at our fellow American who doesn’t agree with us, and now they’re not an American or they’re not patriotic. That’s not the way this country was founded.

This country was founded by 13 colonies. If you think that South Carolina and Massachusetts liked each other, you’re wrong. If you think that Rhode Island and Virginia had a lot in common, you’re wrong. They didn’t agree on much of anything. Certainly they show slavery was a huge dividing block between the colonies.

Yet these men, these Founding Fathers as it were, and of course Founding Mothers too, but these Founding Fathers really understood that if they were going to defeat tyranny and elevate liberty, if they were going to create a new nation based on equality and the great things that [Thomas] Jefferson talks about in the Declaration of Independence, these truths that are self-evident that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator God, with certain unalienable rights, then they had to unite.

They were going to have to get past their differences, and they were going to have to stand shoulder to shoulder and fight the tyrant in order to elevate liberty.

As a woman of color, again, a lot of people say to me, “What are you doing writing a book about the Founding Fathers? Those guys are rogue. They had slaves. They were chauvinists.” All the things that people say.

Well, they might be right about all that in one sense, but in another sense, these men were also brilliant. They were trailblazers. They were flawed. They were human. They had weaknesses. Yes.

Do I like the notion that this country started half-slave and half-free? I do not. I am a direct lineal descendant of slaves on my mother’s side. Direct. A great, great, great, great grandfather who was a slave owner’s son, and they ran off together. We can talk about that story later.

The point is that all of us [are] a part of this great American tapestry, this great journey, and I want us to embrace the men and women regardless, again, whether that had an “R” by their name or a “D” by their name or an “independent” by their name. I want people to understand the greatness of America is that we perfect this union. It was not born perfect.

I think [Condoleezza] Rice said it best when she said that America’s great birth defect is slavery. I think that’s such a great way to put it. But I think that since that time we’ve tried to right that wrong. We’ve tried to perfect that union, and look at where we are.

We had an African American president. We have women senators and governors, and CEOs. We have black astronauts. We have Latino members of Congress and statesmen. We have definitely perfected, we righted, and we continue to do that.

The whole notion of “E Pluribus ONE” is that our Founders really had a vision for a united country. Their original vision as, like I said, put forth in 1780 when Sam Adams commissioned Charles Thomson to come up with a motto, and they came up with “E pluribus unum,” “Out of many, one,” they got it. They understood it was the unity that was going to keep this republic strong.

They never said we had to agree all the time. They never said we had to like each other all the time, because they didn’t. What they wanted was unity of purpose, and unity and loyalty to the Bill of Rights, and to the freedoms that keep us uniquely American.

I elevated that in the book by talking about our founding principles, by highlighting the men and women throughout history. Like I said, in every chapter there’s a male and a female. I wanted to show the men and the women, regardless of where they came from or who they were, that contributed to the greatness of this country, and how we keep it moving forward.

Allen: Sophia, that is so critical to take the time to go back and remember where we have come from as a nation and what our history is. So what has people’s response been to the book?

Nelson: Well, it’s now 2 years old. It was a genre switch for me. … My first two books, the first one earned a Pulitzer nod. I didn’t win, I got nominated. It got a best nonfiction book award. My second one, one of the best-selling women’s books of all time. I’ve written books about women, women’s inspiration, and women’s leadership.

I really made a genre switch when I went to politics, but I wanted to take those same principles of inspiration, of connection, of courageous conversation, the things that I talk about to women and the world’s biggest companies and all around the globe, and I wanted to apply it to our body politic, to our public square.

The response, I think was, it picked up … when it first came out, nobody wanted to buy the book because they were mad. Everybody was mad after the 2016 election.

I mean this sincerely, nobody wanted to talk about unity. Nobody wanted to talk about why we needed to be one country. Then within about six months we couldn’t keep them in stock. As I talked about it more on TV and people began to see, “Oh my, we’re really divided. Oh, this isn’t good.”

Then when Charlottesville happened, that was a game-changer. It really propelled me and the book into a different type of spotlight because people said, “Sophia got that. She saw it coming. She was trying to warn us and wave the flag and say, ‘Hey guys, we’ve got to figure this out.’”

It has been a great response to the book. I get invited all over to speak. Colleges, companies, trade associations, all over, literally all over the world. I’ve been to Australia. I’ve been everywhere to talk about this great American experiment, and the light and the spark that I think is still the envy of the world.

No matter how messy it might get over here, no matter how much we might poke at each other and try to fight with each other, we’re still the great envy of the rest of the world.

It’s been a good response. I’ve been happy with it. . .

(Excerpt from The Daily Signal. Article by Rob Bluey.)

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February 24, 2020

Praise the Lord. Thank you for Sophia’s book and her stand. Draw us together Lord in your righteousness.


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