President Trump

Scoot: Will the coronavirus crisis unite America?

March 18, 2020 - 12:26 pm

The hint of cooperation between Democrats and Republicans during this coronavirus crisis is encouraging. Could COVID-19 be the catalyst that unites a divided nation?

Regardless of political ideology - recognition of the deep, dark divide in America is understood by all. There may be debate over which side started it or which side is more responsible for perpetrating the divide - but there is no debate that the divide exists.

There are moments when the divide is so intense that the question - “What will it take to unite America?” arises with no hope for a real answer. Each day that brings new numbers of deaths and confirmed cases and more calls for businesses to shut down out of respect for social distancing - the seriousness of the coronavirus spread deepens.

President Trump’s tone in addressing his administration’s actions to fight this “invisible enemy” has suddenly grown somber; and with the exception of the President referring to coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” - Trump’s news conferences the past two days have carried a more presidential ambience.

As I write this - it is pointless to mention the numbers because the numbers continue to go up. The only thing that needs to be mentioned concerning numbers is that they continue to rise as a result of more test kits allowing more people to be tested. The hope is that the ongoing increases flatten out in the wake of growing respect for social distancing.

As we look for any positives from this crisis we can look at the reality that there is a greater sense of all of us treating each other like Americans in a common fight against an enemy - coronavirus.

The appeal to shut down non-essential businesses and to practice social distancing should be a rallying call for us to see ourselves as Americans first and conservatives, liberals and independents second. We have seen America unite after tragedies, like 9/11, weather-related disasters and mass shootings; but we quickly retreat back to our political tribalism.

The threat to every American posed by the coronavirus and the extraordinary measures we are asked to take to slow the spread of the disease should inspire us to step back and understand the pettiness of many of our political battles.

Let us look at what we are asked to do in the name of what’s best for America - as a way of serving our country. We may not be dodging bullets, but we are dodging a deadly virus. What we are asked to do now does not physically or emotionally compare to being in the trenches of war - but we all have a chance to serve our country by acting like Americans.

In his morning news conference, President Trump spoke about the young generation in 1941 that rallied around our flag to help America defeat enemies in the Pacific and in Europe. Let’s hope that even the young generation dying the practice of social distancing by participating in spring break rituals will come to the realization that they need to be Americans first - and party centric citizens second.

I sense that a strong loyalty to our country and each other is spreading more rapidly than the disease that threatens us. We don’t always like to do the right thing. Sometimes the right thing and the hardest thing are the same.

Let’s serve our country, and be Americans!!!

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