A unity government for America in 2005?

More and more we are starting to hear cautious calls for some type of a “unity government” that can bring together this divided nation of ours. Among the strongest proponents are those who see with favor having Senator John McCain as a running mate for John Kerry in the Democratic ticket.

McCain, the independent Republican , Vietnam POW- and thus hero, and a likeable all-American blue-blood, would take the Democrats a step closer to winning the ‘04 election... that is the proponents’ claim or hope. Never mind his involvement in the Savings and Loans’ fiasco, or his quick temper, or the fact that, like so many other American royals (Democratic senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry among them) he hasn’t done a day’s work in his life.

Kerry and McCain, two blue-bloods, both military heroes, pitted against Bush and Cheney, the ANG-hideout and the consummate civilian. Wouldn’t America feel safer with a duo of decorated heroes than a pair of chicken hawks? After all, isn’t safety still our major concern… more so than jobs, or social-moral issues?

Can we, in good faith, reason out the need for a unity government? Not by a mile. It would seem as a totally senseless idea unless the ultimate aim is to popularize the cause for a “united, strong America staying the course” which would probably be translated by some at home and many overseas as dressing up with democratic clothes the existing political body of naked fascism.

America is a divided nation, yes. But what divides America is not something which may be bridged with a National Unity Government or a Government of National Salvation. We are neither at the aftermath of a Civil War nor are we being attacked or invaded, so a unity government is not, nor should it be our Republic’s answer to an oft-used approach by parliamentary systems such as those in Israel or the United Kingdom .

Most Americans don’t feel divided so much in philosophical terms as much as separated by more basic economic and social issues. As the distance between the haves and have-nots has broadened during the past three decades- at an accelerating pace during the current administration, idealism does not take a front-and-center with most voters, and does not even begin to register with the less fortunate in our society.

One third of Americans are materially well-off, very well-off, with little concern for the rest of their countrymen and probably no concern for the rest of the world. Not that Americans possess a gene that makes them less compassionate than other folks… it’s just that materialism is far more addictive than we are willing to concede, often with incredibly dehumanizing results.

Most of that third of Americans, overwhelmingly Bush supporters (80+%), are likely to remain faithful to him and to the Republican Party even if hell froze over, or Bush decided to add a swastika to our revered Old Glory.

This country has no need for a unity government, but only for a government that will create brotherhood and union, international as well as domestic.

The American government cannot continue being an international aggressor, overtly ( Iraq war) or succinctly (an unfair foreign policy), and expect to command the respect of the world community.

The American government cannot continue being a promoter of social and economic inequality domestically, and expect to keep Americans in harmony and believing in social justice.

In a political world that makes cynics of us all, it was still refreshing to hear a brand new head of state ( Spain ’s Zapatero) give, this week during the inaugural address, his political and personal credo: “An infinite hope for peace; love for that which is good; and the social betterment for the humble.” Lofty designs… we wish him well.

Forget about McCain or a unity government. The need is for a government with the right values that can bring unity to the American people and peace to the world.