I was reading through the comments on this article at National Review, and came across something from “KCMulville” that I thought was absolutely brilliant. The highest honor I can pay someone is to say “This sounds like something John would have said”:
Think of your local shopping mall. Within the mall, there are competitors against each other (for example, there are multiple shoe stores, jewelry stores, phone stores) but they all contribute to keeping the mall clean, crime free, pleasant, etc. There’s a dynamic in the mall, where competitors work together for a common purpose. Even though they work together, they remain competitors.
These days, we see a lot of people calling for “unity.” But it’s a misconception to see this country as all working for the same team. We are not the same team. We were never designed to be the same team. Remember, when the Founders worked their little miracle in Philadelphia, they saw themselves as a collection of individual states. Virginia did not have the same priorities as New York, and Pennsylvania did not have the same priorities as Massachusetts. When they created the “union,” they never intended to form a single, large football team. They thought they were building a league.
And so, the minute I hear someone suggest that we can only achieve unity by becoming a single team, with the same beliefs, priorities, and perspectives, I immediately stop listening, because that speaker has shown that he doesn’t understand this country in the first place.
My only hesitation with that analogy is that shopping malls are largely obsolete and dying, so there is a certain weakness based on that “staleness”. But otherwise, I think this is perfect.
I thought of John because he frequently points out that what is called “bi-partisanship” is generally nothing more than “if you would just shut up and adopt my view, we could get along”.
So I find myself asking, what is “the mall”? What are the things that California and Texas, Florida and New York agree is in their common interest and therefore worth protecting and preserving?
What I see too much of is a politics that says “wouldn’t it be great if we could use the Federal government to make [California/Texas] just like us [Texas/California]”.