Tag Archives: national unity

Prepare for ‘unity’ campaign for POTUS

Once we get past this impeachment trial of Donald John Trump, the current president of the United States, we should steel ourselves for a presidential campaign that well might focus on “unity.”

And that brings me right to the point: The incumbent president is not equipped in any sense to provide anything close to “unity” as he seeks re-election to the office he won after a scorched-Earth campaign in 2016.

Sure, he vowed to unify the nation. He pledged to work across the aisle. He said he would be the president of “all Americans.”

Has he delivered the goods? Well, you know how I feel about that.

Indeed, the president has been campaigning for re-election almost from the moment his smaller-than-boasted inaugural crowd dispersed from in front of the U.S. Capitol.

He has been speaking almost exclusively to the base of supporters who have stuck with him throughout his presidential term. He does, after all, demand unfettered loyalty among those who work with and for him, isn’t that right? That demand has been pretty well proven.

The unity mantra, therefore, is going to fall as well on whoever emerges from the Democratic Party field to challenge the president …. presuming, as virtually all observers have done, that he survives the impeachment trial that is underway in the U.S. Senate.

The way I see the fall campaign matching up — Trump vs. Any Democrat — the burden of unifying the country is going to fall on whoever challenges the president, given that Trump is incapable of unifying anyone.

I am one American patriot who yearns for a return of the “one nation under God” we all cherish.

Unity becoming a signature issue among Democrats

I have heard a lot of talk of the “u-word” among those who are running for president of the United States.

They want to bring unity to the country. They want to bridge the divide that is growing between and among various ethnic, religious, racial and political groups.

They say we are living in (arguably) the most divisive period in our nation’s history. I agree with their goal. I favor a more unified country, too. The divisions that have torn us apart have created nations within the nation.

I am going to disagree with the implication I have heard from some of the Democrats running for president that this division is the worst in our history.

We had that Civil War from 1861 to 1865. The nation fought against itself, killing 600,000 Americans on battlefields throughout the eastern third of what is now the United States of America.

The Great Depression brought about huge division, too. Americans tossed out a president and brought in another one who promised a New Deal. It took some time for the economy to recover. Indeed, it’s been argued that World War II was the catalyst that sparked the nation’s economic revival.

Then came two more wars: in Korea and Vietnam. Those conflicts produced division as well. Vietnam, particularly, brought death in our city streets as well as in far-off battlefields.

The divisions today are severe. Donald Trump campaigned for the presidency pledging to unify the nation. He has failed. Indeed, his rhetoric only has deepened the divide.

The white nationalist debate that has flared with the New Zealand massacre allegedly by someone associated with white supremacists has underscored the division.

So now we have a huge and growing field of Democrats seeking to succeed Donald Trump as president. One of the themes that links them all is their common call for unity. One of them, Beto O’Rourke, says he wants to “restore our democracy.” OK, but . . . how?

Seeking unity is a noble and worthwhile goal. I applaud any candidate who says he or she wants to make that a top priority.

However, I am no longer in the mood for platitudes. I need some specifics on how to achieve it. I know that Donald Trump is a lost cause. He cannot unify his own White House staff, let alone a nation he was elected to govern.

The rest of the field needs to lay out their plans to achieve what Trump has failed to do.

In . . . detail!

Saudi prince, family: great unifiers?

Jamal Khashoggi’s hideous murder has done something quite remarkable in the United States of America.

It has produced bipartisan condemnation of the brutality of the act and demands that the Donald Trump administration do something significant to respond to Saudi Arabia’s governmental sanctioning of the Khashoggi’s murder.

U.S. Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, told ABC News today that the U.S. government cannot stand by and accept the “savagery” that occurred inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, where Khashoggi reportedly was cut to pieces — while he was still alive! — before he died.

The Saudis have offered lame excuses, backed away from one so-called “explanation” and have settled on saying that Khashoggi died in a fistfight at the consulate.

Khashoggi was a U.S. resident; he was a columnist for the Washington Post. Indeed, his final column discussed the need for free expression in his home country, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the Middle East.

What might be a “significant” gesture in response to the Saudis’ savagery? Here’s a thought: Send the Saudi Arabia ambassador to the United States home until his government provides a full, comprehensive and transparent finding on what happened to Khashoggi. What’s more, the Saudis need to provide proof that they are taking serious punitive measures against those who have been accused of this heinous deed.

Unity at last?

Democrats and Republicans now are speaking with a single voice on this. The issue now is for Donald Trump, the nation’s top Republican politician, to heed their calls for a tough response and a full-throated condemnation against this kind of attack on a U.S. resident.

Whether the president delivers on all of that remains to be seen. I am one American who remains skeptical that Donald Trump is capable of offering this level of outrage.

Divide-and-conquer POTUS is at it again

Leave it to the president of the United States to show us once again how little he cares about civility, collegiality and comity in our public discourse.

Yep, Donald Trump applauded a Montana congressman for — get a load of this — body-slamming a reporter in 2017.

Rep. Greg Gianforte, the state’s lone member of the House, is Trump’s kinda guy. That’s what Trump said at a rally in support of his fellow Republican, who this past year body-slammed reporter Ben Jacobs, who had the temerity to ask him a tough question. I mean, the nerve … you know?

Gianforte pleaded guilty to assaulting Jones and performed community service as part of his sentence.

Back to my point … which is that Trump clearly doesn’t give a rat’s rear end about all Americans, no matter what he says. He is talking exclusively to his base of supporters who share his perverted view of the media being “the enemy of the American people.”

Why do you think he got such a holler yesterday in Montana when he declared how Gianforte is his guy? “Any guy that can do a body-slam is my guy,” Trump said. Implied in his low-level praise of Gianforte is that he is especially proud of him for assaulting a reporter.

Trump is seeking to divide the nation and conquer the part of it that agrees with him and his wide range of idiotic notions. The rest of us, those who didn’t vote for him in 2016, those who gave Hillary Clinton that nearly 3 million-ballot cushion in the popular vote?

I believe the president of the United States is telling us to go straight to hell. 

Yep, that’s our president.

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.