OPINION — Why are you shocked? Democracy is disunity and debate

Published 12:30 pm Thursday, September 22, 2022

Dear Editor:

Curious and frustrating that the Republicans are now prating about “unity.” They claim that Biden’s rhetoric is divisive. Ironic after four years in which that same party chanted “lock them up” and insulted the opposition in every possible way, constantly lying.

But it is true that Biden’s rhetoric is meant to divide. It is meant to divide those of us who adhere to the Constitution from those who do not, and so it has been throughout America’s history, from Washington’s administration down to the present day.

Democracy is disunity

Unity is not only an unachievable chimera, but is actually undemocratic. The essence of democracy is disunity and debate. The disunity is punctuated by periodic elections, in which majority opinion (if all goes well) prevails. Then, according to our Constitution and the principles of our founders, all agree to abide by the will of the majority.

The minority, as has happened so often in our history, may, in the next election, become the majority. This system of contention only works if we adhere to two rules: 1) debate is to be civil, and 2) when the majority prevails, that is the law. We certainly fail all too often on the first principle, but to sacrifice the second is to bring an end to democracy. That is the danger proceeding from the January 6 insurrection.

With utterly no basis in fact, a substantial minority of Americans believe that President Biden does not legitimately occupy his office, and they are willing to use violence to overthrow our government. In this they are encouraged by an amoral, sociopathic ex-president whose only goal is to “win” to assuage his own boundless ego. Yes, by drawing public attention to this, President Biden is being divisive. But it is a divisiveness that is essential to the survival of this republic. Up with division! “Unity” is a feature of dictatorships and is always enforced.

William Shear



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