What Does Unity Mean Politically?
The unfortunate thing about the current political climate is that many people live in an echo chamber.
Many people only watch news or listen to talk radio that they agree with.
Many people unfollow or unfriend people on social media simply because they have an opposing political view.
And unfortunately, that leads to disharmony or discord.
Therefore, when President Joe Biden vowed to seek unity amongst Democrats and Republicans, I believe some misunderstood what he meant.
Although President Biden has invited Republican leaders to the White House to discuss hot button issues like a third stimulus check and infrastructure, some Republicans I have communicated with remain upset because they disagree with many of Biden’s plans.
But what does political unity mean and can such a thing really exist?
Webster’s dictionary defines unity as “ being united harmony; and/or agreement.”
The dictionary goes on to define unite as “put together as one; combine and/or join together.”
By those definitions, I do not believe that different political parties can ever truly unite.
As a matter of fact, by those definitions I do not think there could ever be much unity inside one particular political party, race, socioeconomic group, fraternal order or any large organization.
For that matter, I believe Biden misspoke and should have used words or terms like respect, civility and lowering the temperature and not unite, because there is no way Republicans and Democrats can ever agree on everything.
On some issues, the GOP and Democrats will truly unite.
But those issues are few and far in between.
However, that does not mean that the country cannot come together for a common purpose.
But in order for the country to do that, politicians and the people they serve have to understand how majority rules work and how leverage works.
During the Civil Rights Movement, the leaders often disagreed on the methods to their movement.
Some entertainers donated resources to the movement and even helped by using their talents at fundraising events.
However, not all supported Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message of nonviolence.
Many like James Brown were admittedly not non-violent.
Nevertheless, those entertainers and nonbelievers in nonviolence knew that the movement represented more than just them, and they swallowed their pride in order to do what helped the African-American community as a whole.
When the late John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) wrote his initial speech for the March on Washington in 1963, the elders of the movement thought his speech would come across as too radical.
They did not agree with Lewis’ initial words, but everyone on that stage in front of the Lincoln Memorial that day had the same goals in mind for the African-American community, so Lewis deferred to his elders in the movement.
When King got up to deliver his speech on the same day, he had another speech in mind.
If people look at old pictures from that August day in 1963, they might see a picture of Dorothy Height looking somewhat skeptically at King as he stood behind the microphone.
Very few could match King’s oratorical skills, but the ladies of the movement wanted more from King that day, maybe not agreeing or liking the speech he had planned.
Gospel music legend Mahalia Jackson shouted to King, “tell them about the dream, Martin.”
And in mid-speech, King scrapped his planned remarks and replaced it with an impromptu speech that might arguably go down as the best speech in United States history.
In a nutshell, the leaders of the movement did not always agree on the methods used by others, but they believed in the end result of the movement.
Therefore, to me that represents unity because people who disagree on small details can come to an agreement on the bigger picture.
Honestly, in King’s last year, he got into shouting matches that included profanity with his colleagues like Jesse Jackson.
But those temporary disagreements did not stop their mission to improve the lives of all African-Americans.
The different political parties can take lessons from the leaders of the past.
If the Democrats and the Republicans agreed on everything, there would be no need for political parties, or politicians for that matter.
So by definition, true unity can never be achieved because whenever two people get together, very rarely if ever, are they in total agreement on every issue.
If two people cannot come to an agreement, how in the world will one hundred million people agree on everything?
But one thing all Americans hopefully agree on is the fact that the current political climate cannot continue without this country imploding as a result of our own ignorance and intolerance.
Last month, the hatred became so palpable that idiots stormed the United States Capitol to overthrow our beloved republic.
The hatred has become so palpable that politicians cannot even walk through the airport without harassment or threats.
The hatred has become so palpable that a politician like Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) has been shunned by some of his family members because he stood up to former President Donald Trump’s attempt at a coup.
That is why I believe God replaced former President Trump with Biden because he has enough decency, courage, intelligence and strength to truly make American great again.
Biden will not be able to unify the country on policy issues because in a country filled with intelligent and educated people from differing backgrounds, it will be impossible to get everyone to agree on the issues of the day.
But the 46th President of the United States can strike a conciliatory message and a unified tone.
And that by itself will be an improvement after years of divisiveness.