Obama’s ‘unity’ is not what it seems

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    Posted: January 8, 2008
    1:00 a.m. Eastern

    Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.
    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 ‚Äì behind my values. I want everyone who
    disagrees with me to change the way they think so we can all be united. I
    myself have no plans to change my positions on any important issues to
    achieve this unity. So to achieve it, I assume that all of you who differ
    with me will change your views and values and embrace mine.”
    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 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 ‚Äì 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 positions.
    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.
    (Column continues below)

    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 Earth?
    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 nation.
    Given what Sen. Obama’s calls for unity really mean ‚Äì let’s all go left ‚Äì
    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 right-wing positions?
    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


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