It’s a story that the mainstream press is going just ga-ga over: Unity08 is a small group of people who are trying to start a new political movement to shake up both of the major political parties… by helping both major political parties to remain in power.
I know, it doesn’t make lots of sense, but there you have it. The goal of Unity08 is to create a unity government with a President from one political party and a Vice President from the other political party. The Cabinet would also be staffed by members of both political parties.
Why, how would such a government function, if the Democratic Party and the Republican Party disagree with each other about important policy matters? Well, that’s the creepy power of the Unity08: The organization’s goal is to get the Republican Party and the Democratic Party to stop disagreeing with each other, and unite behind a single vision of how the government should be run.
The people at Unity08 call it bipartisanship, but I have another name for it. I’ll give you a clue: It’s what happens when you take a two-party system and smush the two parties together so that they’re working for the same, single political agenda, without any disagreement (also known as dissent)… Have you figured it out? I knew you could. It’s a One Party State, for crying out loud!
In other words, what Unity08 is aiming for is the end of democracy. You see, if you have two political parties that share exactly the same political platform, then voters are only going to have the chance to vote for that one political platform, no matter who the candidate is. Are we supposed to think that’s a good thing? Hell no!
Listen, I live in a town where the Supervisor has been endorsed by both the Republicans and the Democrats. That means that when voters go to the polls to vote for who should occupy the most powerful political seat in the town, they have the choice for voting for the candidate on the Republican line or voting for the very same candidate on the Democratic line. In other words, the voters have no choice at all.
Look beneath the surface, and you’ll see that this Unity08 project is little more than an attempt to ressurect the spirit of that terrible, dissent-silencing slogan “United We Stand”. You know what I’ve learned over the last six years? I’ve learned that leaders who expect everybody to unite behind them are very, very dangerous. This idea of unity is a thin mask for the suppression of dissent.
For cripes sake, it is a sign of a seriously unhealthy society when everybody agrees on the most important issues of the day! Stop and think about the kinds of societies that have achieved unanimity of political opinion: The Soviet Union, Taliban Afghanistan, China during the Cultural Revolution, Nazi Germany. I don’t think that America should be headed down that road, thank you.
Dissent is good. Disagreement is good. You can’t have democracy unless voters have a choice, and voters cannot have a choice if all the political parties stand for the same thing.
The crisis in American government that we are experiencing today is not due to political polarization. The crisis in government our country is experiencing is due to the fact that the Democratic Party has not been serving as a strong opposition party. The Democrats have caved in and cowered in fear every step along the way as George W. Bush has abused our trust and reduced our freedoms. We need the political parties to be more different, not less different.
The truth is that there is no coherent political philosophy that can be called “moderate” or “centrist” that all Americans can rally around. There’s good reason for that. The Republicans in government have radically transformed the American way of life from one based on freedom to one based on fear. That radical transformation requires a strong reaction to restore our liberty, not some mushy campaign asking everybody to stop arguing and just get along for the sake of looking nice.
Let’s say that this Unity08 project works, and we get a unity ticket elected to the White House in 2008, with support from Republicans and Democrats alike. There will be a President of one party, and a Vice President of another party, with the Cabinet all mixed up.
What the hell kind of political philosophy can we expect out of such a White House? Oh, the answer is easy: We can expect no political philosophy at all. No guiding principles. No common understanding. No uniting strategy. Just a bunch of very different politicians with very different agendas playing it safe, and not dealing with the most challenging issues of the day. The White House would become a political puree, a mush of a bunch of different political philosophies all put into a blender until their chopped up into a stinking, soupy mess.
How very evocative of Soylent Green. Pablum. Mushy porridge without any spices. A safe, but bland and uninspiring dish for America to eat.
No thanks. You keep your unity. In the America I love, there is a diversity of opinion, and people care a lot about what they believe in. In the America I love, people aren’t afraid to disagree. In the America I love, we have the freedom to be different, and to work like hell to promote our particular visions of what our society should be.