The Nature of Inaugurations and Unity Speeches
Joe Biden’s inauguration speech was all about unity. He said that his whole soul is in “Bringing America together, uniting our people, and uniting our nation.” The viewers on YouTube were not convinced. An hour later, Biden signed a slew of executive orders that totally reversed Trump’s policies.
Four years ago, Donald Trump’s inauguration speech also called for unity. But as soon as he took office, he started “Draining the swamp,” as he called it. Basically, he did everything he could to undo Obama’s goals and efforts.
You can have an opinion about which policy is better for America or better for the world, but if unity is not at the top of the list, you need to know that you are supporting the wrong policy. The era of dominant ideologies that dictate policies is over.
You can have an opinion about which policy is better for America or better for the world, but if unity is not at the top of the list, you need to know that you are supporting the wrong policy. The era of dominant ideologies that dictate policies is over. We have become too intertwined the world over to be able to champion one side or one ideology and oppress others. We have become one body. If the left hand is busy tying up the right hand, then both hands can’t function and the whole body cannot work, eat, or do anything at all. But if it is to the contrary, and both hands are free and work together, then there is no limit to what that body can do.
Globalization means mutual dependence. However, it also means mutual support. The former happens naturally, as products and food are produced in multiple countries and production chains become multinational. The latter can only come through conscious and continuous efforts since our natural tendency is to support only ourselves, and it takes realization and acceptance of our interconnections to willingly support one another. Yet, today, only if we support one another can we have a decent life on Earth.
Think of your hands, again. If you need to scratch your head, one hand can do it while the other one does something else that benefits the rest of the body, such as holding a cup of coffee. If the hands quarrel over which of them will scratch and which of them will hold the coffee, we will remain itchy and thirsty indefinitely.
Currently, humanity, and the United States, have bigger problems than coffee and an itchy head. The lives of millions of people are on the line. Covid-19 is raging throughout the US and throughout the world; the global economy is in freefall and worldwide hunger is a real and imminent danger. Bickering over power seats is infantile at such times, yet this is exactly what our leaders are doing, all over the world.
A correct policy today must encompass the entire nation, exclude no one, and forge solidarity and a sense of brothers-in-arms camaraderie. Indeed, we are at war. We are fighting against the virus; we are fighting against hunger, and we are fighting against poverty. But most of all, we are mainly fighting against the hatred that’s exploding among us. This is our real enemy. If we could reverse hatred and realize the benefits that each individual can contribute to humanity, we would realize how senseless it is to hate anyone, how it compromises our own abilities as a society and as individuals, and how it jeopardizes our future.
Unity will not be built by politicians, but rather by regular people. Politics, by definition, aims to divide. If it aimed for unity, there would be no need for so many politicians since everyone would be united. By setting us off against each other, they divide us and make each of us support a different party. As a result, we give them power, and they give us more hatred of each so that we will give them even more power. This is why we should not expect politicians to reconcile the people. We must break this vicious cycle by ourselves, decide that hatred is unwanted here, and start exploring how we can work together to build a more united nation, and a more united world.