More and more Democratic leaders are not showing any promises to unify America following the 2020 presidential election.
In his victory speech following the election, President-elect Joe Biden claimed he plans to unify Americans, becoming a leader for those who did and did not vote for him in 2020. While he was not entirely certified as the Electoral College's official president-elect until Dec. 14, he promised that citizens could put the harsh rhetoric behind us and work towards our country's healing.
Despite many conservatives and Republicans willing to accept the results and want to move forward with our lives, top Democratic leaders and “celebrities” show that they are unwilling to follow Biden’s plan to unify America.
Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s campaign manager and White House deputy chief of staff, was not shy when she came out calling Republicans “a bunch of f---ers.” This explicit name-calling directed towards half of a nation is, in fact, not a call for unity. Dillon has since revoked her ill-suited claim. However, following her controversial statement, she pointed out her opinion of how terrible now Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is, only for Biden and McConnell to shortly come out saying they are excited to begin working with each other.
After the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the division rose even higher among the lies promulgated by Democratic leaders in the House. The members of the establishment media are also happy to echo the condemnation of their opponents. Many conservatives and Republicans have come out saying they condemn the senseless and dangerous act of rampaging through the Capitol. It is essential to call it out for what it was: a peaceful protest hijacked by rioters and anarchists.
However, prominent Democrats held no reservations in condemning all those who voted for Trump, saying we are responsible and condone this un-American act of violence and anarchy. Michelle Obama tweeted a statement the day after the Capitol riot where she wrote, “Now is the time for those who voted for this president to see the reality of what they supported.” However, in the last section of her statement, she said that in order to repair the division in our country, we need to “reach out” and to “listen,” all at the same time calling for the banning of conservative voices from all platforms. They are taking a time where most people on the left and right have a unified consensus that the actions of the event on Jan. 6 should not go unpunished and use it to demonize their opposition by saying we support the rioters.
It is hard not to mention Hillary Clinton’s statement in 2018, concluding that any political opposition to the Democratic agenda promotes incivility, and the solution resides through single-party control. “That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
While this is not new, the intolerant leaders' agenda who believe “it’s my way or the highway” is becoming more apparent. They claim that they are fighting for free speech, which is the ability to speak freely without worrying about getting fired or censored for a comment that should not be controversial. This used to be an apparent truth that united American years ago.
If Biden truly wishes to complete his unification goal, there has to be discussion, not censorship. If you want conservatives and liberals or Democrats and Republicans to understand one another, it is time to stop dismissing one another as racist, homophobic, snowflakes, libtards, bigots, etc. Right now, productive debates are replaced by amplified altercations, and trigger warnings replace civil discourse. Speakers are banned from talking to students on college campuses because their opinions are not in the mainstream. Trying to tell conservatives to check their privilege or cancel them altogether prevents discourse necessary for genuine progress in society.
This piece is not an attack on my peers who disagree with me or those who support those I have described, but blindly following the politicians is folly because they have never been the true victors of unity. American culture has. Real unity will come when we finally open up a dialogue with one another. Instead of relying on political leaders to call for unity, why can’t we initiate it ourselves?
Dawson Schmitt is a junior in agricultural and life sciences education.