In his first public appearance since his wife's catastrophic loss in the presidential election, former President Bill Clinton appears to have gone off-script once again warning repeatedly against “us versus them” thinking that he said has become such an active part of politics in America, in the Brexit vote, in the Philippines and throughout Europe.
Coming from the former leader of the party that seemingly stands for nothing but identity politics and divisive thinking, the irony is not lost on us, but of course, Mr. Clinton's perspective on who is responsible for the “them against us” politics is different. As Politico reports, during a speech that was the keynote at an event hosted by the Brookings Institution honoring the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Clinton opined…
“People who claim to want the nation-state are actually trying to have a pan-national movement to institutionalize separatism and division within borders all over the world.“
“It’s like we’re all having an identity crisis at once — and it is an inevitable consequence of the economic and social changes that have occurred at an increasingly rapid pace.”
“The whole history of humankind is basically the definition of who is us and who is them, and the question of whether we should all live under the same set of rules.”
People “have found more political success and met the deep psychic needs people have had to feel that their identity requires them to be juxtaposed against someone else.“
Finally, reflecting on comments from his old friend Rabin's tough-minded approach to finding ways to work and live together is what’s needed, Clinton said…
“If you got that, in every age and time, the challenges we face can be resolved in a way to keep us going forward, instead of taking us to the edge of our destruction.”
In other words, “can't we all just get along?” – judging by the various cohorts that the Democrats have carved the nation into, we suspect not. Just ask Mika.