It didn’t appear that some of his supporters did.
That was a nice inaugural speech that President Joe Biden gave–as in kind, cordial, gentle and okay. Widely acclaimed for having struck “the right note,” Biden deployed every cliche, bromide and platitude to call the country back to his notion of unity.
Until he didn’t, when he tossed another bone to his sore winners. That’s when he revealed that his idea of unity was painting Trump’s supporters as defenders, perhaps even advocates, of domestic terrorism and racism.
Clearly he didn’t come right out and call them that, but no one had to guess to whom he was referring. Ex-president Donald Trump surely was the Master of Mean (yes, I agree, for which he was widely and justly scorned), just as Biden’s supporters are kind, civil, decorous, hip and decent to the core. That was the message. I suppose I should add something about their good taste, as exemplified by Lady Gaga’s protuberant from-the-butt-down red dress that made her look like a bell about to be rung.
Oh, I know, that’s the kind of nastiness that Biden’s people expect to hear from the other side. Ignoring, of course, the divisive attacks on former First Lady Melania Trump (here and here, for example). Everything from her yucky taste in fashions to her disinterest in typical First Lady causes, all of which were repulsive when compared with the sainted Michelle Obama’s. Resisting a final slap proved for some to be irresistible.
Immediately after Biden’s call for level-headed, dispassionate and unifying language, I turned onto MSNBC to see how the advice was being taken. Sure enough, the two lady commentators were reinforcing their loathing for the presence of Trumpers at the inauguration. Seeing Sen. Ted Cruz, who exercised his right to challenge the election results, made their “blood boil.” Clearly, they agreed, he nor anyone else of his kind, shouldn’t have shown his shameless face.
Unity for me, but not for thee.
Biden himself failed to “reach across the aisle.” He typically mealy-mouthed his way around questions about whether he supported or opposed the vengeful Democratic leaders insistence on the unconstitutional and irrational Senate trial to throw out of office a president who was no longer in office. Whatever they, the senators, decide, Biden remarked–from a safe distance.
Nor did he call on the barons of social media to hear his message of open arms. Silence, as the woke reminds us, is violence.
The Democratic hate squad of course would have found reversing course after Biden’s call for niceness to be much too difficult. They had nailed in their contempt before the inauguration. Here, unity means “Every leader of the GOP must finally offer a full-throated rejection of the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump.”
Over at the Washington Post, one Philip Bump proclaimed, “National unity would be required to address climate change and the scourge of extremism, particularly racist extremism.” Meaning: Cast aside any ridiculous scientific challenge to the global warming orthodoxy. Or an opposite view on the prevailance of racism.
His is one more irrational attack on anyone who believes that the Left’s description of racism and extremism in America is too broad and inclusive. Might not it help America unity if the Left made clear that there are decent, carrying and respectful people on the other side, ones whose positions coincide with Trump’s because they have concluded that those policies are the best for America? Just as the Left demanded that the Right agree (I agree) that not all the summer protests against racism were violent?
No, that would be too close to the truth. Come to confession all ye sinners, seek forgiveness on bended knee and then we can talk about unity. The kind of unity that raised full-throated cheers from the crowd in the Roman Coliseum as the Christians were marched out to meet the friendly lions.
Yes, there will be unity when respect for the other side is clear and unequivocal from both sides.