The hard sell is over. We bought into who we want, or at least who we think we want. The good news is that unity is the new buzzword and everyone wants to get along. The bad news is that this newfound togetherness doesn’t mean anything. It is just a prelude to more divisiveness. Our differences are always going to be worth more money than unity.
Traitors and detractors suck up
Republicans and Democrats are stumbling over their feet, sucking up to the president-elect and pretending what they said about him over the past many months was all just good political fun. Even President Obama sounds conciliatory. The real question is whether our new unity is just a sham to wrangle some advantage from a new administration, or whether our differences are still what matter.
I’m betting on our differences. Staying apart is much more valuable politically than getting along.
Our differences create wealth, but who profits?
There is money in exploiting our differences. A lot of it.
Eight years of a presidency and a very expensive left wing campaign focused on politicizing our divisions in the name of bringing America together. On Tuesday that all changed in one evening. Now the sex of who we sleep with doesn’t make us quite as special. The color of our skin is less important. Our income doesn’t make us an enemy of the people. If you are a criminal you are just another crook, not a cause for reform waiting for that presidential commutation to come through.
It would be impossible to calculate how much money went into making us more aware of our differences. Congressional and presidential salaries, campaign contributions, lobbying, pressure group costs, state efforts to pass legislation, and time lost from work to roam the streets in protest all went into the differences pot.
That’s a lot of money spent and anger stirred up over a creature created by partisan politics.
Our differences gone, unity is the buzzword
Back in those giddy days of Obama’s first term we heard about the value of our differences:
At root, this isn’t just about our laws; this is about who we are as a people. This is about whether we value one another — whether we embrace our differences, rather than allowing them to become a source of animus.1
Lefty America embraced, exploited, and politicized those differences, especially when it came to race. There was violence in the streets. Police were killed. Black Lives Matter captured the nation’s attention. The more things went bad, the more we talked about our differences.
There is one big problem with casting America as a nation of people who are different. Those differences are worth so much money that politicians decided they should take the place of being Americans. In fact, the anger over our differences became so intense this year that America turned on itself and hasn’t looked back.
Is using our differences to advantage a political party why we suddenly hate each other so much? Post-election protests and even outbreaks of violence prove we still have a long way to go before eight years of divisive Democratic propaganda fade into history.
Unity for one group, division for the rest
There is another set of differences that have nothing to do with race, sex, gender, or income. They lead to all sorts of treachery and ugly, backstabbing behavior.
For now GOPers pretend to have set these differences aside. Even Paul Ryan commended “one of the most impressive victories we’ve ever seen.”2 He didn’t actually praise Trump, but we can rest assured he was glad what the president-elect did for the near-defunct party that won big from a White House bid that it tried to destroy.
Republicans just received the gift of new life. The White House and defeated candidate Clinton express optimism, not that their party has much choice given the GOP victory. We shouldn’t confuse trying to salvage a tremendous loss with a decision to set partisan differences aside, work together, and get along.
There’s no money and no political future to be had in that.