We need a new Reagan to unite U.S.
By Ray Hanania
Twenty years of watching the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings has been very disturbing. But what is more disturbing is how divided America remains, polarized over politics, anger and hate.
Things are so bad in America that we couldn’t even get all of the presidents, the incumbent and the former presidents, to set aside their personal problems and focus instead on the American people.
Sept. 11, 2001 was a real trauma–not just for the families who lost relatives that day (2,977 were killed), but for the rest of America that lived in fear for the first few weeks as reports circulated of more violence.
You would think the depth of the tragedy would be enough to force politicians on both sides, Republicans and Democrats, to set aside their angry hate for at least one day to focus on the shared tragedy that this country went through.
Ironically, it was former President George W. Bush who acknowledged this hatred that has divided America during his remarks at the site of the field near Shanksville, Pa., where passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 rebelled against the terrorists and surely prevented the hijacked plane from crashing into the White House or the U.S. Capitol.
“In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks, I was proud to lead an amazing, resilient united people,” Bush said at the Pentagon ceremony. “When it comes to the unity of America, those days seem distant from our own. Maligned force seems at work in our common life that turns every disagreement into an argument and every argument into a clash of cultures. So much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear and resentment.”
America is a divided nation. Very divided. And no one is doing anything about it.
I do a podcast each week now with former Congressman Bill Lipinski, one of the nation’s iconic “Reagan Democrats.” Reagan Democrats, for those who don’t know or who have forgotten, are Democrats who dismiss the extremism of the left and the extremism of the right. They instead have found a centrist ground right in the middle between the two that embraces some of the views of the left and some of the views of the right.
These centrists, and I consider myself a Reagan Democrat, too, believe the middle is where the nation’s only common-sense attitudes persist. They don’t believe in the 100 percent, which is in effect undemocratic and a form of despotism. Instead, Reagan Democrats look at all politicians and apply an 80 percent filter.
There are some things that former Presidents Bush and Donald Trump did right or said right, and there are some things that President Joe Biden and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama did and said right, too.
Reagan’s former chief of staff, Jim Baker, recalled his boss explaining, “I’d rather get 80 percent of what I want than go over the cliff with my flags flying.”
That’s the kind of common sense we don’t have any more.
Fueling the divide, and they will never own up to their contribution to the polarized hate driven divide, is the mainstream national American news media. They have been stoking the flames of hatred by favoring one side over the other.
They close their eyes to the violence and tyranny of the Black Lives Matter protestors because they embraced the views of the Democratic far left. But they exaggerated the crimes of the far right, calling the same BLM-like violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 an “insurrection.”
Jan. 6 was an insurrection only because the media and the far left called it so. It was far less of an insurrection than the violent protests that destroyed thousands of businesses and killed and injured many more. That’s what the national media does best; speak from both sides of its hypocritical mouth.
When you try to point it out, taking a centrist approach to the various events, you are demonized if you are on the right and canonized if you are on the left.
That ignorant attitude is what is undermining this nation. It was on full view last Saturday on Sept. 11.
What America needs is another Ronald Reagan. He wasn’t perfect. But he sure had more common sense than any of the people who claim to be leaders today.
Check out more of Ray Hanania’s work at hanania.com.
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