A Time to Gather Stones Together

The Uniters and the Dividers

Five of the six Democratic candidates favor a rhetorical/political strategy of “national unity.” One of the six pursues a rhetorical/political strategy of “Us good. Them bad.”

The Diver has the support of about 35-40 percent of Democratic voters, while the Uniters have the collective support of about 60-65 percent of primary voters. However, most of the Uniters are “dangerously close to going broke.” Likewise, it’s reliably reported that Democratic megadoners are standing aside as the Divider increases his popularity.

Let Me Be Clear

“Divisiveness” as such is not inherently inferior—or, for that matter, inherently superior—to “inclusiveness.”

Nor is the majority view necessarily to be preferred to the minority view, just because it’s the majority view. Majorities are often wrong.

It depends on what the issues are, and on what the times demand.

As Ecclesiastes happened to remark, there is a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together.

The Central Question and the Central Issue

The Central Issue is whether Democrats ought, or ought not, to counter Trump’s version of divisive hatred with an equal and opposite divisive hatred: less wealthy people encouraged to hate the affluent, and especially the very rich.

Us good. Them bad.

The central question is how Democrats should address a toxic coalition of their enemies, a coalition made up of the pathologically racist and the cynically affluent.

An Illustration and Example of the Central Question

Here is Proposition A: “It is immoral for society to allow anyone to have $60 billion in net worth.” And here is Proposition B: “John Smith has a net worth of $60 billion, therefore John Smith is an immoral person.”[1]

What I heard on the stage Wednesday was the Divider asserting Proposition A and pretty clearly implying Proposition B. Which does not, in fact, follow logically from Proposition A.

Resolving the Central Issue

As I said, the central issue is how to defeat Trump’s toxic coalition.

A problem with the Divisiveness rhetorical/political strategy is that it tends to push the cynically affluent back into the arms of the toxic Trump coalition. What some of the affluent will hear is, “We don’t want your money, we don’t want your support, and we don’t want your votes.” This tends to encourage the well off to overlook little matters like the treasonous destruction of United States intelligence, or the breakdown in the rule of law, or the overthrow of the constitutional republic.

Now the Dividers may retort: “Well, there is that. But, at the same time, our Us-Good-Them-Bad rhetoric can go at the toxic coalition from the other direction, breaking off some of the working class white Trump voters.

A Wonderful Ideal if it Works

Getting lots of working class Trump voters to start voting the economic interests for a change would be terrific, if it were possible.

After all this time, color me skeptical.

And, so, it seems to me that this is the season to gather stones together, not to cast them away.

[1] “Oh, but” you say, “John Smith is not only very rich, he also has committed misogynistic deeds, uttered misogynistic words, and pursued racist policies, and he’s a very bad man.” “That’s as may be,” I respond, “but the bad acts and words you describe do not arise from the fact that he has a lot of money. There are plenty of allegedly racist and misogynistic folks around who have very little money.”