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In just a few short days, Joe Biden will address the nation at his inauguration, themed “America United.” This unity message, the Presidential Inaugural Committee declared, “reflects the beginning of a new national journey that restores the soul of America, brings the country together, and creates a path to a brighter future.”
The announcement of this bipartisan theme seemed apropos following a week of turbulence and destruction perpetrated by Trump supporters at our nation’s Capitol, the seat of American self-government— upheaval that serious figures on both the left and the right have categorically and correctly condemned. After Biden’s speech on Jan. 20, he and his wife, along with soon-to-be-Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, accompanied by Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and the former first ladies.
If you ask Biden and the inaugural committee, this display of bipartisanship aims to reorient the nation, binding us across ideological lines and uniting us all. At the conclusion of the ceremony, echoes of “Kumbayah” will undoubtedly rise from America’s heartland as the right-thinkers and the deplorables join hands in glorious oneness.
This, of course, is all a facade. On its surface, Biden’s call for unity is a slimy display of partisan gaslighting. Deep down, however, it represents a profound misunderstanding of who America is and, worse, a perverse denial of the left’s leading role in inflicting the deep and deadly wounds that threaten to torture America the Beautiful beyond the point of recognition.
Half of America Is Irredeemable, but Let’s Have Unity
The fact is, no speech, no theme, no assembly of presidents past can “restore the soul of America, bring the country back together, and create a path to a brighter future” so long as the commander in chief and his No. 2 consider half the electorate to be irredeemably racist, sexist, homophobic, and bigoted insurrectionists and seditionists — or at the very least, complicit in all these sins.
Further, 74 million Americans just voted to re-elected an anti-establishment outsider and a cultural matador, whose very existence in the political realm offers a direct rebuke to the political realities wrapped up in all that Obama, Clinton, and even Bush represent. The symbolic presidential reunion Biden has organized is no olive branch to the new Republican Party, which is tired of funding detestable institutions, weary of political correctness and corrupt elitist claims of decorum, and sick of endless wars.
There’s a little something about unity Biden doesn’t understand. In games of winners and losers, sincere unifiers value harmony when they lose, not just when they get their way. Americans lose interest in unity when the people calling for it were so recently hostile to their values and livelihoods.
After all, the Democratic Party that now holds the power of the presidency and both branches of Congress is the same one that spent four whole years trying to undo the loss they suffered in 2016, including a despicable special counsel investigation, based on Democratic National Committee-funded oppo research, that came at a $32 million price tag to American taxpayers.
Democrats led a no-holds-barred crusade against the commander in chief, pledging to “impeach the motherf-cker.” When that didn’t work, they settled for canceling conservatives online and in classrooms for questioning leftist gender orthodoxy, maligning pro-life advocates as science-deniers, and smearing champions of due process as rape apologists.
They dragged Christians through the mud and into the courts, upending the life of a cake artist and trying to force nuns to pay for abortifacients. When conservatives doubled down on their Second Amendment rights, Biden told gun owners he would take their “AR-14s,” even telling one concerned working-class man he was “full of sh-t” and partnering with hell-yes-we’ll-take-your-guns Beto O’Rourke.
For the past 10 months, Democrats and their corporate media friends have smeared faithful churchgoers, mask critics, and lockdown detractors as grandma-killers. They’ve shouted online that boys are girls and in the streets that silence is violence.
When law-abiding Americans took offense at the rioting and looting that plagued America’s cities for months, the left downplayed the violence, with the incoming vice president even working to help bail out dangerous criminals, including a suspect who shot at police, a woman charged with second-degree murder for stabbing her friend to death, and a twice-convicted sex offender. Now Biden will lay a wreath in Arlington National Cemetery with the woman who called voters who wanted to Make America Great Again “deplorables” — and we’re calling it “America United”?
Save Your Unity Speech
Democrats’ interest in unity is a new one — and harmony can’t be manufactured with a presidential publicity stunt and empty words read off a teleprompter. Speechwriters can type their little fingers to the bone, crafting flowery language and hopeful imagery, but how on earth are those who really want to make America great again, not as a political slogan but as a principled return to America’s founding ideals, ever supposed to reconcile with a party whose figureheads have maintained that America was never really that great? How can we hope for unity when conservatives are being purged from social media and when right-wing retailers, by mere association with Trump, are being de-platformed?
If Trump has taught us anything — and he’s taught us many things — it’s that we’re better off actively engaging in the raging culture war as we wrestle with our country’s ills than to fake a veneer of civility and unison and watch as our deeply cherished beliefs go to hell in the name of decorum. If we really want to “restore the soul of America,” we must grapple with all the ways we’ve strayed from our convictions — without taking the easy and deceitful path of pinning them all on Trump.
Trump was a symptom of our sins and in some ways even a repudiation of them. He wasn’t the origin, and we’ll never have unity again until our political betters are honest about that fact. Unity would be great, but our divisions can’t be cured with ignorance or obstinance about what the real problems are — and unity most certainly isn’t possible if our solutions involve deep-seated malice toward our opponents, glossed over with a simple speech.
If Biden really wanted America to be unified, he’d stop mischaracterizing the 74 million Americans who believe differently than he does — but his feelings about irredeemable America didn’t change overnight just because he eked out an election.