As a Nationals fan since they were in Montreal, like a great many, my wife and I have waited a long time for a World Series victory. So when it came time to celebrate last week in D.C. with the parade and rally, there was no question that we’d be there.
The day was beautiful and the festivities were great, but that is not what struck me. Here I was, in the capital city: Washington, D.C.—a symbol for political divisiveness and contempt. Yet what I saw, was inspiring.
There were people as far as you could see in any direction, elbow to elbow. A crowd that looked like America. Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, male, female and any other definition of diversity you might imagine. On this day nobody was a Democrat, nor a Republican. Everyone was united, as one people with one voice. I saw the true meaning of E pluribus unum. Out of all this diversity was one people, united.
The question to me, as floats of waving ballplayers rode by was: Why is this so rare? Why was I struck by this as a phenomenon and not the norm?
Humans have a natural affinity to come together, a tendency or disposition to be sociable or associate with one’s fellow humans. This is called natural sociability and has been around as long as humanity itself. It’s our nature. We’re drawn to each other and it begins with the household—and then a community of households.
Aristotle wrote much about this, referring to it as the polis. We organize together in municipalities for the good of all the households, and enter into social contracts. Municipalities come together to form states, and states will come together as a nation, as one people, E pluribus unum. People have historically pooled their resources and united together for the good of all.
Even in small groups of people at a family party we see those with similarities breaking into groups to share interests and unite behind them—a human trait we cannot avoid.
So why, then, was I so surprised and delighted to witness what’s merely our natural affinity?
The answer is easy. We’re being forced to act against our nature. The two political parties currently given power spend a lot of time and money training us to act against our nature. They have been doing this for a long time and we don’t even notice it, as we are distracted.
The very cornerstone of a republic is the coming together of people for a common cause or belief. It is the sense of community that makes a republic strong, promoting responsibility to and for each other.
In order to destabilize the republic and seize control from “We the people,” this nature must be controlled and inhibited. The smallest unit—the household—was the first to be attacked, and now the communities themselves. By keeping these units in a state of war the two parties are the only united community, and may seize control of all facets of our society.
I still believe in human nature and our sociability. I believe that we can restore the family and households—and thus our communities, our states and ultimately our nation—with that spirit of republic, E pluribus unum.
We can, and we will one day, stand up to these entities and come together as Americans, with a belief in our constitutional values that have united us—especially life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I believe we can have a society where liberty and justice for all really means all.
I believe this country can look like the Nationals crowd, without a natural or government-sponsored disaster to do it.