We are repeatedly told by the news media that there is a deep, almost
palpable, yearning among Americans for unity. And Sen. Barack Obama's repeated
and eloquent claims to being able to unite Americans are a major reason for his
present, and very possibly eventual, success in his quest for his party's
nomination for president of the United States.
I do not doubt Mr. Obama's sincerity. The wish that all people be united
is an elemental human desire. But there are two major problems with it. First,
it is not truly honest. Second, it is childish.
First is its dishonesty. Virtually all calls for unity -- whether
national, international or religious (as in calls for Christian unity) -- do not
tell the whole truth.
If those who call for unity told the whole truth, this is what they would
say: "I want everyone to unite -- behind my values. I want everyone who
disagrees with me to change the way they think so that we can all be united. I
myself have no plans to change my positions on any important issues in order to
achieve this unity. So in order to achieve it, I assume that all of you who
differ with me will change your views and values and embrace
Take any important issue that divides Americans and explain exactly how
unity can be achieved without one of the two sides giving up its values and
embracing the other side's values.
Barack Obama wants American troops out of Iraq now. About half of America
believes that American troops abandoning Iraq will lead to making that country
the world's center of terror and to the greatest victory thus far for the
greatest organized evil in the world today. How, then, will Mr. Obama achieve
unity on Iraq?
Mr. Obama believes in repealing the tax cuts enacted by the Bush
administration. How will he achieve unity on that? Many of us believe that
re-raising taxes will bring on a recession.
And what is the "unity" position on same-sex marriage? Either one
supports it or one supports keeping marriage defined as the legal union of a man
and a woman. The only way to unite Americans on this issue -- and I don't know
what is more seminal to civilization than its definition of marriage -- is to
convince all, or at least most, Americans to embrace one of the two
It is fascinating how little introspection Sen. Obama's "unity"
supporters engage in -- they are usually the very people who most forcefully
advocate multiculturalism, who scoff at the idea of an American melting pot and
who oppose something as basic to American unity as declaring English the
country's national language.
Their advocacy of multiculturalism and opposition to declaring English
the national language are proof that the calls of the left-wing supporters of
Barack Obama for American unity are one or more of three things: 1. A call for
all Americans to agree with them and become fellow leftists. 2. A nice-sounding
cover for their left-wing policies. 3. A way to further their demonizing of the
Bush administration as "divisive."
In case the reader should dismiss these observations about calls for
unity as political partisanship, let me make clear that they are equally
applicable to calls for religious unity. For example, one regularly hears calls
by many Christians for Christian unity. But how exactly will this be achieved?
Will Catholics stop believing in their catechism and embrace Protestant
theology, or will Protestants begin to regard the pope Christ's vicar on
Ironically, one reason America became the freest country in the world was
thanks to its being founded by disunited Christians -- all those Protestant
denominations had to figure out a way to live together and make a
Given what Sen. Obama's calls for unity really mean -- let's all go left
-- it is no wonder he and his calls for unity are enthusiastically embraced by
the liberal media.
For nearly eight years the media and Democrats have labeled President
Bush's policies "divisive" simply because they don't agree with them. They are
not one whit more divisive than Sen. Obama's positions. A question for
Democrats, the media and other Obama supporters: How exactly are Mr. Obama's
left-wing political positions any less "divisive" than President Bush's
Second, the craving for unity is frequently childish. As we mature we
understand that decent people will differ politically and theologically. The
mature yearn for unity only on a handful of fundamental values, such as: "We
hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they
are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these
are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Beyond such basics, we yearn
for civil discourse and tolerance, not unity.
The next time Sen. Obama speaks with his usual passion and eloquence
about his desire to unite Americans, someone must ask him two questions: Why are
your left-wing positions any less divisive than President Bush's right-wing
positions? And if you are so committed to uniting Americans, why did you vote
against declaring English our national, i.e., our unifying, language? Without
compelling answers, Sen. Obama's calls for American unity are no more than calls
to unite around his politics and him.