The unity that had helped us survive faded as divisiveness took root. I look around today in amazement at just how far apart our nation has become—the endless possibilities that came with our unity have all but vanished.

Just 10 years after 9/11, despite our vows, the public servants, construction workers and others who lost their lives or still suffer with the cancerous remnants of the Twin Towers haven’t just been forgotten. They’ve been vilified. The extremist small government posse has turned them into public enemy No. 1, as though teachers and firefighters, EMTs and nurses and union construction workers ruined America’s economy…

Wealthy CEOs, anti-government extremist front groups and frothing talk show hosts—from the Rush Limbaughs and Glenn Becks to the Koch brothers, Karl Rove’s American Crossroads group, Americans for Prosperity, the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and the American Legislative Exchange Council—also pushed open the door to hate…

We’ve seen the costs of hatred in ill-thought wars, in shameful attacks on immigrants and our LGBT neighbors. We saw it in the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.