Rhetoric in America has reached a boiling point, leaving Americans tired. We’re tired of politicians and media elites trying to divide us. We’re tired of the constant lectures about how we are racist. We’re tired of think pieces informing us about what terrible human beings we are.
From last week’s National Day of Prayer proclamation to his joint address to Congress, President Biden occasionally takes up an encouraging tone with calls for unity while delivering scripted remarks. Even if such a request is never a difficult one for a president to make, it’s always a welcome reprieve from the partisan politics that typically dominate the day.
Mr. Biden’s recent calls for unity echo the tone of the Oscars speech delivered by Tyler Perry. In his speech, he stated: “I refuse to hate someone because they are Mexican or because they are Black or White or LGBTQ. I refuse to hate someone because they are a police officer. I refuse to hate someone because they are Asian. I would hope that we would refuse hate.”
Although there are likely many topics where those on the right disagree with Mr. Perry, his speech was overwhelmingly met with praise from the conservatives. Yet, that same round of applause was not echoed by many of the liberal leaders in our political class or talking heads on left-wing cable news stations. Perhaps unity isn’t truly their goal.
That would explain how Mr. Biden can call for unity one day and still be found peddling the divisive lie that Georgia Republicans passed voting laws aimed at intentionally discriminating against Black voters. Biden essentially labeled every supporter of voter ID laws as a virulent racist, conveniently ignoring the history of Jim Crow and its ardent historical support from Democrats.
Reverting to the talking points of the far-left wing of his party — a group consumed by identity politics and desires nothing more than chaos, conflict, power, and submission — certainly doesn’t scream unity to me.
Calling voting ID laws worse than Jim Crow paints a demonstrably false picture. Using that type of rhetoric depicts one group of Americans as having contempt for another group of Americans based solely on a preference for free and fair elections. Voter ID laws are supported by 75 percent of all Americans and 69 percent of Black Americans.
Unfortunately, much of our current debate around race insults many Americans who were actually past victims of racism. Consider the plights of Emmitt Till, the civil rights workers, or the victims of Jim Crow laws. Does anyone truly believe that asking someone to show an ID before voting is equivalent to segregated bus stations, movie theaters or restaurants?
Democrats cry for unity in speeches, but when Republican Sen. Tim Scott, a Black man, gave his rebuttal to President Biden’s recent joint address and spoke about how America is not a racist country, what was the response? “Uncle Tim” began trending on Twitter. Joy Behar, a White woman, told Tim Scott he did not understand systemic racism. Nathalie Baptiste published an article for Mother Jones calling Scott “The GOP’s Black friend.”
It’s the same Tim Scott whose police reform bill was filibustered by Senate Democrats. Apparently, police reform is important to Democrats until the legislation is introduced by a Black Republican. Demonstrating their supreme lack of self-awareness, Senate Democrats and President Biden now claim the filibuster is a tool of racism, as they seek to eliminate the filibuster in a partisan power grab.
As one of the only remaining tools to force compromise, is there any action that would be less indicative of a party seeking to unify with Americans who share differing political views than eliminating the filibuster?
Democrats were happy to tweet #StopAsianHate until they develop early-stage carpel tunnel. But when it came time to vote on an amendment that stripped funding from universities discriminating against Asians, those same politicians were missing in action.
Does adding justices to the Supreme Court — a decision singularly based on the fact a majority of current justices weren’t appointed by Democratic presidents — sound like something that would unite our nation?
By and large, folks in everyday America outside the D.C. bubble love their neighbor. They get along with those in their communities, regardless of political views. Mr. Biden promised us unity while on the campaign trail. Most of America is ready to tone down the rhetoric and experience some of that promised unity. Now, we’re just waiting on Joe Biden and the Democratic elite.
• Evan Berryhill is a lawyer and political communications strategist at GOPAC. You can follow him on Twitter @EvBerryhill.