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Monday, 05 November 2018 07:21

Unity: Not the American Way

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Flag 1105wrp(Photo: Tristan Bowersox / Flickr)


A near-constant refrain from all sides of the American political spectrum is a call to unity. For the pundit class, the refrain often takes on the hand-wringing form and furrowed confused brows of flabbergastment over why Donald Trump does not rise above the partisan filth that he wallows in and instead use his prodigious salesmanship skills to manifest this unity that seems just ready and waiting to burst forth fully-formed upon the national scene.

But you know what? F--k unity. Unity is anti-democracy.

Stop whining that Trump doesn't appeal to national unity and shared values. Trump doesn't want unity and doesn't share your values. To the extent that he wants anything besides money and attention, the only unity he wants is defined by Trump himself at any particular moment and requires that he receives unquestioned approval at all times. He is not a representative of the office he holds nor of the nation that put him there. He hasn't changed and he will never change. The problem at this point isn't that reality. The problem is that so many people, especially those who stand as self-appointed arbiters of national propriety, continue to want or expect that he will change.

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We have all known people in our lives utterly incapable of personal growth or reflection. And despite it all, we all come to realize those people won't behave the way we think they should. What too many of us don't realize is that at that point the fault in this wanting is ours for wanting what isn't possible or what we cannot have. It's a recipe for unending disappointment, and in this case, continuing damage to the values that we think he should be adjusting towards.

In life, as much as we'd like to, sometimes there are reasons that we can't avoid people of the sort like Trump. So we end up making the adjustments, compromises, and rationalizations necessary to contend with and get beyond the inevitable interactions with them. This is how it is when we can't avoid or eliminate these people from our lives.

This is American politics. Everything is transitory. We DO have a means to eliminate him from our lives. And it's a really simple one. It requires no stress, no anger, no sorrow, certainly no violence or threats of violence. Stop complaining about what you can't have, and work like mad for what you can have. Make that better than any initial unfulfilled desire you thought you needed. That's the American way.