Archive for April 16, 2012
There are two kinds of people: Those who divide people into two kinds, and those who don’t.
Given that the world is not binary, we should seek to be more like the latter than the former. Is that possible?
During the 2000 Presidential campaign, George W. Bush famously proclaimed, “I’m a uniter, not a divider.” That very statement is itself divisive, for it separates the world into opposed classes —“uniters” and “dividers” — and implies one of them is better than the other.
Candidate Barack Obama pledged to help America move past partisanship, into an era of coöperation. As President, both he and G. W. Bush presided over times of increasing and unflinching partisanship. Is there an alternative?
Abraham Lincoln tried to create a “team of rivals” in an effort to overcome the pressures of his day that were leading the nation toward civil war. Barack Obama specifically invoked Lincoln in appointing Republicans to his cabinet, and inviting Republican input into major legislation such as health care reform. Neither effort worked as desired. Why not?
I’m not going to place blame here on one party or the other. I am going to explore the source of the division itself. It’s deeper than mere politics; it sits at the root of our culture. (more…)