What we expect to hear in the closing days of a campaign is a call to arms. Instead, what we’re hearing from both sides is a call to disarm.
“I’m going to have to reach across the aisle and meet with good Democrats who love America just like you love America,” Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney told a recent campaign rally in Virginia. “And there are good Democrats like that.”
“In the end, we’re all in this together,” President Barack Obama said at a rally in Wisconsin. “We rise and fall as one nation, one people.”
Why the sudden craving for unity? Because that’s the issue that got Obama elected. He became a star when he told the 2004 Democratic National Convention, “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America. There’s the United States of America.”
Unity is also the issue of the moment. Unless the president and Congress can agree on some kind of budget deal in the next few months, the country will go over the fiscal cliff — huge tax increases and mandatory cuts in domestic and defense spending. It’s unity or calamity.