I am uplifted by Tuesday's presidential election results because I believe we have a good chance to start turning things around in the country for the better, from economic issues to social issues and matters of national security and the rule of law.
There is one subject, however, I feel compelled to address above many others today, as I see it raised by so many Democratic leaders and many liberals throughout the country — inclusiveness.
In their postelection speeches, Hillary Clinton and President Obama both called for unity and inclusiveness. These are very nice-sounding words. But "inclusiveness," like so many other words of the left, is pregnant with implications and accusations. In reality, it has been not an appeal for unity, except in the most superficial sense, but a battle cry to liberals and an indictment of conservatives.
Those who typically preach inclusion practice the most exclusive form of politics. One's actions must validate the words, or they are nothing more than cynical tools to achieve political ends.
Just look at Clinton's words. She wants a nation that is "hopeful, inclusive and bighearted." She laments that the nation is divided. Yet she — her team, her party — appeals to people not as individual Americans but as faceless members of groups, lumping people in terms of race, religion, gender and sexual orientation.
Liberals talk about unity, but President Obama has been the most divisive president in modern American history. Admittedly, the country was deeply divided under President George W. Bush, as well, and we are always going to be divided politically and ideologically because liberals and conservatives have largely different worldviews and vastly different visions for America. So let's not pretend that we are going to come together in some historic wave of kumbaya. The best we should aspire to is civil discourse and mutual respect.
But Bush didn't try to divide us. He needed to unite the nation to fight a common enemy in Iraq and radical Islam. He tried to reach across the aisle on issues, such as making genuine overtures to Sen. Ted Kennedy on education, and Democrats rebuffed and ridiculed him and eventually slandered him as a war criminal.
President Obama, by contrast, has tried to ignite passions in terms of race, gender, income, religion, policing, global warming and a host of other things. He hasn't sought consensus other than nominally. He said, "I won" and "I'm the president." And he crammed his agenda down our throats, from his deceitful legislative power plays on Obamacare to his lawless executive orders on that, immigration and many other issues.
Obama and Clinton talk a good game about inclusiveness, but this nation couldn't be more fractured on so many levels. Race relations in some areas are arguably worse than they've been in my lifetime, including the 1960s. Tensions abound between many other groups.
The main reason is that the Democrats' political power wholly depends on dividing America into identity groups and alienating them from each other. If they didn't consistently garner some 90 percent of the African-American vote, they probably wouldn't be competitive in national races. They are striving for the same with the Hispanic vote.
Obama irresponsibly uses inflammatory language about the disparate treatment of blacks in the criminal justice system and distorts the data to support his claim. He has directly appealed to minority groups to vote for him based on their racial and ethnic interests. He openly accuses "bitter clingers" of not being comfortable with people "who don't look like them."
Democrats also stir the pot on gender. In framing the abortion issue, they characterize pro-life advocates as being oppressive and callous toward women and their health rather than wanting to protect innocent babies. They similarly try to alienate women from Republicans in their demagogic campaigning for equal pay for equal work when they know that the differences in pay between men and women are based on not the law or discrimination but other factors and when, in any event, the institutions they control see similar disparities in pay.
Democrats divide us not only through identity politics but also with their policies. They say they want everyone in America to succeed, but they demonize businesses, individual entrepreneurs and corporations as greedy and evil. They punish the very activities that lead to prosperity for all people. That is, their policies have the effect of excluding a wide array of people from access to the American dream.
If you want all Americans to succeed, shouldn't you strive to get as many as possible in the workforce? To reduce the government dependency cycle so that people can support themselves and not rely on bribery from politicians to make ends meet? To ensure that the government level the playing field and not stack the deck against certain industries, such as coal? To quit pursuing policies that keep minorities trapped in inferior inner-city schools? To quit suppressing the conscience rights of Christians? To quit trying to convince minorities that the other half of the nation is racist and bigoted?
In his victory speech, Donald Trump also called for unity, but conservatives have a different idea about unity and inclusiveness. To them, those concepts are based on equal opportunity and equal justice for all. The general goal is to reduce the size and scope of government in areas it was never intended to intrude in and to promote policies that will allow people — irrespective of race, gender or religion — to thrive.
We've experienced eight years of unbridled liberal policies, and half the nation is not paying income tax and is on some form of government assistance. Record numbers of people are out of the labor force altogether. Health premiums are going through the roof. Incomes are down. And people are at each other's throat. Let's let freedom ring again and truly promote inclusiveness in the sense that all Americans are free and encouraged to achieve their dreams for a more prosperous nation for everyone.
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is "The Emmaus Code: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament." Follow him on Twitter @davidlimbaugh and his website at www.davidlimbaugh.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.