[Screenshot from Business Insider, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smueV2tyCrA]
So how’s that “unity” thing working out?
Back in November 2016, the American electorate signaled a change — one in stark contrast to the nation’s previous election of Barack Hussein Obama.
In terms of all he offered during his Make America Great Again campaign, Donald Trump was about as far away from Obama as could be. And the shift in Washington was going to be quite a brazen one.
But POTUS 44 told the nation — let us be unified. And may we root for the new Commander-in-Chief’s success.
“It is no secret that the president-elect and I have some pretty significant differences,” he pointed out.
But there was this:
“[R]emember that eight years ago, President Bush and I had some pretty significant differences. But President Bush’s team could not have been more professional or more gracious in making sure we had a smooth transition so that we could hit the ground running. … I have instructed my team to follow the example that President Bush’s team set.”
According to Obama, everyone was “rooting” for New York’s eccentric billionaire Democrat-turned-Republican to flourish:
“We are now all rooting for [Trump’s] success in uniting and leading the country. The peaceful transfer of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy, and over the next few months we are going to show that to the world.”
So how’d all that go?
Obama claimed, “We’re not Democrats first, we’re not Republicans first, we are Americans first. We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country.”
That may be, but what is “best” to some may come in the form of a tricked-out DeLorean.
Ever since the swearing-in of Leader-of-the-Free-World #45, those across the aisle have opposed and tried to undo every step. Including the step of being sworn in.
And, it seems to me, things are getting worse.
Impeachment mania is currently the high-note peak of a song that began nearly three years ago. And God help us if there’s a key change.
Here is, it seems to me, a foundational problem: We’ve lost the idea of what “unity” even means.
It isn’t a state of having the same beliefs. It isn’t a condition of agreement.
Though we may presently be at a historic red-alert point of polarization, America has never agreed.
From the beginning, we’ve had opposing parties vying for political power in an idealogical tug-of-war. For hundreds of years, voters have fallen on different sides of the issues.
But we were still an American community, a national family.
And this is what we have lost: Unity is the embrace of one another, despite our at-odds beliefs. And in clear light of them: “You are my brother, no matter what.”
We’ve let go of that, even — in some cases — in the literal sense: Brothers and sisters have chosen politics over family.
The notion of “my fellow countrymen” has gone away.
We experienced a resurgence 18 years ago: the tragedy of September 11th saw Republicans and Democrats join hands and sing. The colors of Red and Blue came together on a flag worn by both sides with a strong sense of national identity.
But now, we are fractured.
And there is certainly blame to be laid upon a Leftward lurch.
In my opinion, much can be learned from the evolution of language among social contention.
For years, there seems to have been brewing the notion that if one doesn’t agree with a socially liberal point of view, one’s opinion is invalid.
For all the talk of diversity, the only kind that actually matters — that of thought — has been warred against.
There can be no discussion, because there can be no disagreement — after all, the conservative, traditional point of view is one bred of mental illness, aka “phobia.”
The idea was, in its beginnings, a cheap sleight of hand attempting to frame any opposition to progress as emotionally unbalanced and, therefore, not worthy of registration.
But at some point, penetration was achieved. Mainstream Americans eventually picked up the lingo themselves, and anything with the attached suffix was off-limits for debate.
And so went the national conversation. In a sense, so went tolerance.
And, with it, unity.
A large part of the nation had been ostracized, and that sense of disenfranchisement led to Trump.
But regardless of who started it, here we sit — all in dire need of togetherness, of a recognition that our nation depends upon a sense of America as a family: “We may disagree, yet we remain as one.”
And that’s what Obama touted. Nearly three years ago.
Many — including, perhaps, himself — didn’t adhere to it.
But we must find our way.
“[T]he day after” a lost election, he said, “We have to remember that we’re actually all on one team.”
That’s good advice.
For us all. Including the winners.
How do we do that? I wish I had more answers. Some may be found below.
What are yours?
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