Friday, May 14, 2021

Cornpop And The Karenwaffen Don't Want "Unity" They Want Compliance And Obedience

realclearpolicy |  We hear a lot about “unity” these days. The Biden administration promises and even demands it. Meanwhile, Republicans (and some Democrats) charge the administration with hypocrisy because its radical programs can’t garner a legislative majority — let alone the consensus support the word “unity” implies. But the charge of hypocrisy misses the point: The demand for unity is dangerous because it aims to undermine the genuine diversity that is essential to a free people.

To call for unity is, in effect, to call for obedience. But free people are not obedient. Free people should obey the law, of course, but they do so only because they have consented to the law. And before consent comes debate: Free people air differing opinions that reflect their differing backgrounds and experiences, rather than bowing to those who claim they know what’s best. Free and open debate — and the diversity of viewpoint such debate implies — is therefore essential to lawmaking in a democratic republic.

This is our constitutional inheritance. Our lawmaking process is structured by mechanisms — such as the separation of powers, checks and balances, and lesser rules like the Senate filibuster — that ensure the views of the minority are not simply brushed aside by a fleeting political majority. Of course, from time to time, Americans do come together as one nation, for instance in the face of great tragedies or crises. Yet, unfortunately, such crises can easily be exploited or manipulated to stifle dissent and centralize political power.