The divisions between us have existed all along, but they had been neglected by our leaders.
Trump saw his chance and made the most of it.
Crafty fellow that he is, he assessed the circumstances and thought to himself, ‘I can do something with that. I can stir that pot to my advantage.’ And oh, he did it so well.
One for the record books.
There has been much pain and acrimony from all that the man has put us through, but he may have done us a favor.
The favor of exposing how vulnerable we are to the devices of a demagogue. Demagogue, as in a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims, to gain power (Webster’s).
Yes, he did it.
But we can learn from it.
Ideally, we should start on that process right away.
Biden has made it a chief theme of his campaign. Overcoming our divisions.
It won’t be easy but it’s a journey we should embrace.
It would require a little self reflection, an acknowledging that no one owns the truth, and that in compromise lies the key to a successful resolution of our major differences. Never mind the small ones. There will be time for those later.
Having a leader steering us through the healing process will be essential. Biden is uniquely qualified for the role of Healer in chief. He’s been preparing for the task a lifetime and is willing to invest the years he has left to guide us through the process.
We should take him up on it.
Of course, we can always ignore him, hoping for yet another demagogue to show up down the road – there’s no shortage of demagogues in waiting – but we would be prolonging our pain.
There is, however, another way to come together as a nation. It is cruder and more traumatic but it works too. That is to wait for an outside force to threaten us.
Nazi Germany and the Axis nations united us. We knew that we had better pull together or, eventually, we would end up being their vassals.
There is no prospect for another Nazi Germany today. And Russia is starting a process of renewal.
So which nation could threaten us into uniting? China.
They are rising fast and aim to be the leader of the world. Why not? A divided America only makes it easier for them.
So wouldn’t it be less painful and more productive to go the Biden way?
Settling our differences without an outside threat would be a sign of national maturity.
We can do it. We ought to.
And this is the time
Oscar Valdes is the author of Psychiatrist for A Nation and other books. Available on Amazon.