There have been endless calls for unity in the days since Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election. Republicans like former Ohio governor John Kasich have beseeched Biden and other Dems to listen to “the other half of the country.” The President-elect himself has made the word unity central to his transition of power, calling for people to lower the temperature, lighten the rhetoric, and come together with those that disagree.
Political unity is agreeable enough in theory. But the sentiment simply doesn’t translate to reality.
Calling for Democrats and their voters to come together and forgive Republicans is asking them to forget the last four years. And no, that doesn’t just refer to all the lib trolling and tear drinking. During Donald Trump’s administration, GOP lawmakers have advocated for and abetted inhumane immigration policies, degrading LGBTQ rights, environmental destruction, and using state violence against innocent people. And that doesn’t include the myriad of crimes Trump and his cabinet have committed since he’s been in office. Right now, as you’re reading this, GOP operatives are working to subvert the 2020 election and all but a handful of Republican politicians have acknowledged the president’s defeat. Instead, many are sycophantically elevating his bogus claims of voter fraud, including Attorney General Bill Barr, who’s almost definitely going to open an investigation.
this is one of those if it happened elsewhere but really if a president refused to accept election results, gets the full backing of his party, he fires the defense secretary to get a more pliable one and his attorney general sends out a memo about voter fraud — that’s not good!
— farhad manjoo (@fmanjoo) November 10, 2020
None of the above accounts for the arrogant, emboldened racism brought forth during the Trump administration. Conservative media types have already begun crying persecution, saying they and other Trump supporters are tired of being called racist. But has it ever occurred to them to, you know, possibly stop being racist? Or calling out the open racists at the absolute least?
The answer is probably no, at least among the Megyn Kelly and Ben Shapiro types, because it’s all part of their swindle. They do better by portraying themselves as the subjugated minority, and Trump supporters eagerly glom on. In doing so, however, they too ignore the last four years during which they clowned the left at every possible turn while buying into an alternate reality in which Trump wasn’t an incompetent pile of flaming trash using the presidency to enrich himself but actually a very good president. How does one possibly bridge that divide?
It’s become pretty clear who actually wants unity—Biden himself, as well as Republican lawmakers seeking to influence an administration that’s likely to skew moderate. If the Kasich types can curry enough favor with the president and his party while portraying progressives as the real enemy, they can stymie the systemic change most Democrats actually want and bide their time until the midterms in 2022. Biden is about as conservative as a Democrat gets and really believes in working across the aisle with Republicans, even after a decade of the entire GOP showing little desire to do the same. Calling for unity with obstructionists openly working to subvert his victory isn’t just unreasonable, it’s downright foolish.