Diversity is not our Weakness

To combat a vision as malevolent as that currently hovering over America, it’s not enough to counter it with a series of bland policy bullet points aimed at attracting disparate groups of people by offering each something that won’t drive the others away – the way the Democrats keep trying to expand their coalition by appealing to just one more identity group.

Many conservatives disaffected with the current direction of the Republican Party – columnists like David Brooks, George Will, and Jennifer Rubin, and, most recently, Arizona’s Senator Jeff Flake – understand that the antidote requires more than a better way of herding cats. It calls for a vision that will both excite and unite the country.

And what might that vision look like? Perhaps it’s right in front of us and we just don’t see it. Instead of decrying “identity politics” as a divisive development in which interest groups demand special favors, why not recognize it as the widening and deepening of the American community to include people who have historically been left out? Instead of seeing all those hyphenated Americans as a source of weakness, why not realize they are a source of strength, each honoring its own culture, its own history, its own traditions, not in isolation but as part of a single fabric made stronger by its diverse parts? Isn’t this what has made America exceptional?

What might we call such a vision?

How about something like: out of many parts, one whole?

We could put it in Latin for a little extra cachet, maybe even put it on our money.

James G. Blaine

About James G. Blaine

Most of us undervalue what seem our tiny contributions to our communities and the world. As a result, we feel powerless, even victimized. But, like the butterfly effect in science, the lives we lead with our families, in our communities, and at work – all the so-called little things we do – collectively change the world. As I grow older, my ambition grows more modest but not less important: to participate fully and to contribute what I can. That’s my goal with this blog.