“A lifelong Republican, my complete and utter disgust at Donald Trump moved me to write a check to Hillary Clinton! It will be the first election, during the 45 years of my marriage, that my wife and I will pull the same lever.” We read so much (including, it’s fair to say, from me) about Trump the divider, the relentlessly negative bully who mocks anyone who gets in his way. The two-sentence note above from a college classmate got me thinking differently. Here, for example, is a couple who have been married for 45 years and never once agreed on their presidential candidate – until Trump brought them together.
And think of all the other people he’s unifying: Latinos, African Americans, women, young people – large numbers of whom are put off by Trump's nasty, divisive, demagogic rhetoric. He even united me with an old Republican friend I hadn’t seen in decades.
One other thing about my friend’s note: despite their longstanding political differences, he and his wife are still married after 45 years. They like each other even though he’s a Republican, she’s a Democrat. Forty-five years ago that wasn't so unusual.
Indeed, isn’t that how it’s supposed to be in a democracy? Oren Hatch and Ted Kennedy, senators of vastly different opinions, were close friends for years. Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill amiably tried to work through their disagreements over amber-colored libations.
Different groups joining together in search of a consensus – isn’t that what the founders had in mind for America?
Who knows? Maybe Donald Trump is the consensus we’ve been waiting for.