Tag Archives: national unity

You ‘unify’ the country by trashing half of Americans?

Donald Trump is employing a fascinating tactic in his effort to “unify” the nation.

Let’s ponder this for a moment. He is trashing Democrats. He calls them “unhinged.” He says they are “wacko.” Democrats are the “party of crime.” He refers to Democrats as “socialists,” which is the new four-letter word in the Republican Party’s glossary of epithets.

My point? How does one “unify” a nation by trashing roughly half of its voting population? I do not understand this tactic.

I applaud the strategy the president espouses — if only he would set forth in implementing it!

He has been staging campaign rallies on behalf of GOP midterm election candidates. He’s also gearing up for his own re-election campaign in 2020. He staged another rally today, interestingly, while the nation’s attention is riveted on the Florida Panhandle and the savagery brought ashore by Hurricane Michael; you’ll remember that Trump criticized former President Obama for campaigning during earlier natural disasters. But it doesn’t matter to the current president, right?

In doing so, he trashes Americans who happen to adhere to the views put forth by the Democratic Party.

That’s how you unify the nation? That is how you bring people together? That is how you heal the wounds inflicted by the previous presidential election?

No. It isn’t. It’s how you deepen the wounds and peel away the scab. It’s how you foment division, hatred, fear and loathing.

The divider in chief is showing his true self. The man has no interest, let alone no ability, to unify this great nation.

Can the president set a different tone for discussion?

I am now going to wonder out loud: Is the president of the United States wired in a way that enables him to shift the tone of the public discussion?

Donald Trump has been ranting and railing seemingly since the beginning of his presidency. Every major speech he has delivered — beginning with the Inaugural — has been laced with gloom, doom, anger and rage. He took office proclaiming the nation to be in a disastrous state. He pledged to fix what ails the nation.

But along the way he has continually and incessantly blamed, in no particular order, his immediate predecessor, Democrats in Congress, the media, illegal immigrants and individuals and groups that are too numerous to single out in this blog.

Republicans have largely given the president a pass. Not all of them, though, have remained quiet. Some lame-duck congressional Republicans have pointedly called Trump out over some of his various idiotic statements.

All of that has prompted Trump to respond with vigor and extreme prejudice against those who oppose him.

Thus, the gloom, doom, anger and rage has only accelerated.

We’re not even two years into the president’s term in office and it already feels as though he’s been in front of us forever.

He launched his re-election campaign less than six months after taking office in January 2017. He’s already in full re-election campaign mode, traveling to various communities in states he won in 2016. He is firing off lie after lie while hurling insults at his political foes.

My question about the president’s emotional wiring stems from my belief that were he able to do so, he could change the tone and tenor of the national discussion all by himself. Yes, the president who said that “I, alone” can fix what troubles the nation could “alone” change the tone of the discussion.

He chooses not to do that. He calls himself a fighter, someone who hits back at those who throw the first punch, toss the first stone, hurl the first insult.

The result has been an increase in the national anger. The American political divide has turned into a political chasm.

A president who vowed to “unify” the nation has it within his power to make good on his pledge. He has decided instead to keep us divided.

That’s how he rolls.

Trump ignites a new era of nastiness

Donald J. Trump won’t leave a warm and fuzzy presidential legacy.

I feel confident in saying so. He’ll leave office no doubt proclaiming all kinds of economic and foreign policy success.

He won’t, though, be able to declare victory in his stated pledge to “unify” the country after the contentious and bitter campaign that elected him president of the United States.

We are more divided than we’ve been in the past 50 years. More divided than Bush v. Gore and the Florida recount — and a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision — that decided the 2000 election; more than the impeachment in 1998 of President Clinton; more than the fight over the Affordable Care Act in 2010; more divided, even, than during the Vietnam War, when millions of Americans marched in protest against that conflict.

Trump took office and declared at his inaugural that the “American carnage” would end “right here and right now.” It hasn’t.

He has dragged public discourse into the gutter. He has ignited his Democratic Party foes to follow him there. Man, I regret that trend. We hear Democrats using Trump’s own words and behavior as justification for their attempts to out-shout the president and the Republicans.

Trump’s declaration that the media are the “enemy of the American people” has energized his base, which is totally fine with him.

Donald Trump is not the president of the entire nation; he speaks only to his base and speaks only in language that his base understands. They comprise something around 38 percent of all Americans. That’s enough to suit the president.

Does any of this portend a legacy that makes us proud?

Nope. Not as far as I’m concerned. I’m pretty sure a lot of other Americans feel the same way.

Unity remains a distant goal

Donald Trump vowed to deliver a speech this past week that would “unify” the nation.

It didn’t happen. He didn’t deliver. His State of the Union speech was met with disdain from roughly half of the room in which he spoke and about the same percentage from Americans at large, those of us who watched the speech from far away, on our TV screens.

It now begs the question: How are we ever going to be unified?

I believe it starts with the president of the United States.

We have one individual with a political constituency comprising the entire nation: it’s the president (and yes, you can include the vice president, too, given that these individuals run as a ticket).

But the president stands behind the bully pulpit. He is the one we listen to. He is the one with the message, the policy, the principles we look for. The president also is the one who is capable of delivering the message of unity.

It’s been one year and about two weeks since Donald Trump took the oath as president. How much has he done to unify the nation?

Practically nothing!

He blasts congressional Democrats for failing to cast any votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The president ignores — he didn’t forget — that not a single Republican cast any votes to approve the ACA back in 2010.

Trump continues to pound away at the media, calling journalists the “enemy of the American people.” He undermines the media for reporting what he calls “fake news.” He plays directly to the base of supporters that continues to support him — no matter what!

The president uttered that hideous assertion that white supremacists/Nazis/Klansmen comprise “fine people.” Who in the world actually believes that utter crap — other than the president?

At his State of the Union speech, the president uttered a remarkably divisive comment, declaring that “Americans are dreamers, too.” How does someone who proposes to unify the country poke his proverbial finger in the eye of those U.S. residents who were brought here illegally as children but who want to forge a path toward legal residency and even U.S. citizenship?

How can we reach a unified state? It must begin with the president. It’s the president who must set the tone.

It is not enough to declare your intention to unify a badly divided nation. It is incumbent on the head of state to deliver unity in the form of rhetoric that seeks to calm the storm.

The unity that Donald Trump proclaims he wants remains far in the distance. My fear is that this president is incapable of getting us to that point. He cannot function in such an environment.

Keep it civil at SOTU

I have been preaching and screeching seemingly since The Flood about the need for greater civility and collegiality in the halls of political power.

Here comes my pitch for more of the same this week. The president of the United States is going to deliver his first State of the Union speech before a joint session of Congress.

Donald J. Trump will stand at the podium and will seek to tell the nation about how he sees the condition of things in the country and lay out his agenda for the future.

Yes, I’ll be watching along with the rest of the nation’s political junkies to see how his message will be received by Democrats. You know Republicans will cheer, whoop and holler at everything that comes from the president’s mouth. The Democrats? Let’s just say they’ll be more, um, circumspect.

There’s talk of congressional Democrats boycotting the event.

President Barack Obama wasn’t always treated with utmost respect by members of the opposing party when he delivered State of the Union speeches. There was the infamous “You lie!” epithet that came from U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson. I’ve commented, too, about how congressmen and women would operate their “devices” while sitting on the floor while ostensibly “listening” to the president.

The most recent time a president received universal applause from a joint congressional session clearly was when President Bush spoke to the nation immediately after 9/11. We were united in our sorrow and rage and Congress reflected that sense of national resolve.

My hope for Donald Trump is that he is treated with courtesy.

Many of us don’t like the idea of this man sitting in this office. However, he is the duly elected president of the United States. The office deserves loads of respect. It’s my belief that members of Congress assembled in front of the president should treat the office with reverence — and should act accordingly.

As for the president’s pledge that he will seek to unify the nation when he delivers his State of the Union speech, I’ll only add that he had that chance at his inaugural. It didn’t work out that way.

I am hoping for — if not necessarily expecting — a better outcome.

Still no sign of national unity under Trump

It has been a year since the nation was stunned by the results of its most recent presidential election.

The candidate who won that bitter contest, Donald J. Trump, made a solemn vow to unify the nation, to bring us all together, to bind the wounds that tore us apart … blah, blah, blah.

That’s what is has been: so much blather.

One year after that historic election, we are as divided as ever. Maybe more so.

Has the president delivered on his pledge? Obviously not. What’s worse is to ask: Has the president really tried to deliver? The answer to that is just as obvious. No!

Trump continues to play strictly and exclusively to his base, the shrinking core of voters who stand with him no matter what. You see it in his immigration stance, his views on environmental protection, his hideous tolerance of bigotry (see his response to the Charlottesville riot), his “America first” rhetoric.

A president who took office with zero political capital to spend has acted as if he had it in spades. Trump continues to ignore the numbers, which tell us that he got nearly 3 million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton. Yes, he won the Electoral College — and was duly elected president.

However, the man who pledged to be the president for all Americans has gone out of his way since his election to be anything but what he promised to be.

This division didn’t start with Trump. Barack Obama also presided over a divided nation, as did George W. Bush before him, and Bill Clinton before that.

Still, when a president takes office promising explicitly to do something, one should expect him to follow suit.

Donald Trump has failed.