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Why Should The Nation Unite?

We’re called the United States of America, but the way that many political commentators talk, you’d think there’s a civil war going on. I saw this image taking up half of the front page of a newspaper today (maybe because the paper’s one or two writers on staff couldn’t come up with many stories to write about, and maybe because of a genuine political interest):

The headline asks: Can Obama and Congress Unite the Nation?

I ask, why should Obama and Congress unite the nation? Is it ever humanly possible to unite the nation and to keep democracy alive? Doesn’t democracy thrive on honest disagreement and division?

Can a culture be regarded as healthy when it contains only one dominant form of opinion, behind which almost everybody stands together?

By what mechanisms exactly would the President and Congress unite a nation that includes citizens who want the federal government to do well for its people and citizens who want the federal government to just go away?

I am reminded that Unity has long been the rallying cry of organizations, like Unity08, that actually are designed to represent only a tiny portion of the population.

As for me, unity is one of the last political goals that I want Barack Obama and Congress to pursue.

But, if you disagree with me, say so. Maybe there’s a splinter group in American culture that’s for unity. If so, please let me know exactly how you’d like to see it work… because my mind is divided, really. Part of my mind runs from the idea of unity, but the other part is curious. Speak to that part, if you can.

2 comments to Why Should The Nation Unite?

  • Bill

    You make a great point. I certainly don’t want to unite with the Republican-controlled House…I want to oppose them.

    If ‘unity’ happy-talk means anything sensible, perhaps it means ‘unity of purpose’…i.e., to be united in wanting what is best for our nation, its people, and the world. Within that unity we may disagree strongly regarding what is best, and how to achieve what is best, but we agree that we’re all united in trying to do the right thing.

    Clearly, we’re not anywhere near there. When a sitting president is constantly demonized as being un-American, not even a citizen, and actively conspiring to destroy America, we obviously don’t have unity of purpose. The worst that liberals ever accused GWB of (and quite properly) was of being a drooling idiot — I don’t think that I ever once heard anybody accuse him of conspiring willfully to destroy America.

    When Mitch McConnell said “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president” he declared himself to not have the best interests of our country at heart.

  • David Murray

    I think unity for our nation has always meant having greater reasons for sticking together than remaining apart. This may shock some, but liberals and conservatives have far more in common than they think. Each wants what is best for the Country but each has their own ideas about what that is and how to achieve it. It might just be possible that if all the conservatives in the nation disappeared tomorrow morning, by the end of the day all the liberals who remained would have sorted themselves out into various factions and politics would remain just as bitter as we experience it now.

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