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It’s official. At 12:00 PM today, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. became the 46th President of the United States.
A very important theme during the inauguration today, and indeed during the Biden campaign back in 2020, was the concept of “unity.” The country has been plagued by extreme polarization, and as President, Mr. Biden will bridge the gap between left and right to mend the tears in our social fabric. So deadset the President was on emphasizing this message, in fact, that he mentioned the word “unity” 10 times in his inaugural address.
On face value, it is a noble message, but I was angered by its naiveté.
Begin by asking yourself: is it really both sides sowing disunion? Or is it just one side that is the main culprit?
Which party politicized the pandemic by lamenting “poorly-run blue cities?” Which party’s members refuse to wear masks to stop their colleagues from getting sick? Which party’s members were live-tweeting the locations of Nancy Pelosi during the Jan. 6th insurrection and showing rioters the way around the Capitol the day before?
The problem isn’t that both sides are sowing chaos, the problem is the Republican Party. The Democrats are more than willing to work with Republicans, but Republicans have absolutely no interest in working with Democrats, and I am dumbfounded that the Vice President, after seeing the treatment that Barack Obama got, still thinks Republicans will give him a chance.
Respectfully, Sir, was there nothing in your 8 years as VP that made you think twice about Republicans? Thinking that Obama was born in Kenya, illegitimate, and a Muslim? The Tea Party? 0 Republican votes for Obamacare? Blocking over 100 judicial appointments and a Supreme Court seat? Nothing? Nothing ever crossed the line? The Republicans refused to even certify his own election, and yet The President still speaks positively of them to this day.
Furthermore, I don’t buy that Trump supporters “are being ignored.” In fact, they’re being heard too much.
Republicans control everything. Republicans control most of the governorships, state legislatures, the federal and state judiciary, the Supreme Court, and only up until now the Presidency. In fact, they’ve controlled the presidency, Senate, and House for the majority of the last 20 years despite consistently getting fewer votes than Democrats in each election cycle.
And, of course, the favor is never returned. While Democrats compete to see who can sprint furthest to the right to accommodate the elusive “Trump supporter”, you never hear Republicans trying to accommodate Democrats’ needs. We always hear how Democrats “need a moderate to win.” Oh yeah? How about Republicans meet OUR needs for once? Why don’t THEY ever compromise with our positions?
And finally, Democrats, why do you wish to unite so badly with the Republican Party, anyways? I say Party, not people, because while Republican voters can be reasoned with to an extent, the current Republican Party is a party of authoritarianism, denial of reality, bigotry, and selling out to the rich. Such a party does not belong in the United States, or anywhere, for that matter; not in the 21st century.
Think through this practically. On one side, you have one party that thinks a woman has a right to choose to have an abortion. On the other hand, you have a party that believes no woman anywhere, under any circumstances, should have an abortion, because I said so. How do you unite these two halves?
I fear President Biden’s solution will be to cave to the right, as a token of goodwill, and if that is indeed what unity means, then I want no part in it.
And as a side note, maybe this whole “division” thing is blown out of proportion. Maybe the left/right divide is smaller than we think. Maybe the problem isn’t left and right; maybe the problem is that our ruling elites have allowed economic conditions to deteriorate to the point that enough people are desperate enough to fall for race hustlers like Donald Trump, who stoke anger towards immigrants, refugees, and poor black mothers, the weakest and least powerful in our society, instead of pointing the blame at the real problem, namely Reagan-era economics, the rise of Social Darwinism, and the dismantling of The New Deal, propagated by both corrupt Democrats and corrupt Republicans.
I’m not saying that racism will go away if we improve economic conditions. After all, only a fool can say that obstructionism during Obama had nothing to do with race. But there are a lot of Obama to Trump voters in this country, who saw that Obama turned away from his progressive economic vision, and decided to take a bet on Trump to burn it all down and start anew. After all, white or black, racist or not, everyone loves good wages and everyone loves good healthcare.
So no, until the Republicans moderate, there can be No Unity. The Republicans are a radical, far-right, obstructionist party that has no interest in “unity.”
We must remember that unity is a two-way street. So until Republicans step up, Democrats must match fire with fire. Call them out, and obstruct them when they do bad things. Stop looking for opportunities to compromise away your ideals and hold your ground when you know you’re right. If the Republicans are so damn concerned about unity, let THEM make the first move, let THEM come to us, because Democrats are already doing plenty to unite this country.
And if you still think we should give the Republicans another chance after all of this, you and I both know that if it was them in power, they certainly wouldn’t think twice about giving you such kind treatment.