Where did people get the idea that unity in a country like the United States is a form of strength? You know, all of us thinking the same thing, believing the same thing. All of us of one mind, is that desirable?

American unity has been rare

This might be advantageous in the aftermath of an attack upon America as Pearl Harbor was -- to show solidarity and national determination for justice and revenge. Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin, a lifelong pacifist, was the lone vote against America going into World War II in 1941. She maintained that the U.S.

by its aggressive actions in the Pacific had goaded Japan into making an attack.

More often than not, however, unity of purpose is a feature of totalitarian regimes. Germans during the Nazi era used to shout “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer (One People, One Nation, One Leader)!” Every dictatorship from Stalin to Saddam Hussein has claimed solidarity of people and purpose (dissenters are either dead or in prison).

So why is it in a two-party (and more) system, that being unified is seen as such a desired goal by a growing number of people in the United States? Donald Trump claims that polls showing him as unpopular are bogus. Obviously, he wants everyone to approve of him, but in a two-party system that’s impossible even if the President-elect is a reasonable man, which Trump often is not.

If unity of purpose is so desirable, why did the Founding Fathers create a two-party system (Federalists and Anti-Federalists) based on the principle of disagreement? Obviously, they wanted the system of checks and balances we all talk about. This helps prevent both a dictatorship, and one party running wild enacting disastrous policies without opposition.

In essence, one party, through voters, can impose justice and conscience on a party in power if that party lacks such things. Clearly then, the Founding Fathers wanted opposition to whoever is in power. Is this bad? To a growing number of conservatives and some liberals, it is.

Facebook and social media

Look at Facebook. I consider Facebook to be a kid’s computerized photo scrapbook, but it is a place where you can study the outlandish and often irresponsible comments of those who favor the political right or left.

One thing has become clear to me in reading these comments. More Americans than ever have abandoned the kind of two-party give-and-take that has run this country for over two-hundred years in favor of a desire for one-party (my party) hegemony of the kind you find in a totalitarian government.

I have an acquaintance on Facebook and he is to the right of Genghis Khan as they used to joke. He uses the term “leftist,” to disparage Democrats. “Leftist” rhymes with “communist.” The intent of using “leftist” on his part is deliberate. If he says “democrat,” that word is derived from the word “democracy;” a positive, friendly sounding word. Rather than seeing democrats as loyal Americans who disagree with him; he wants to demonize them as traitors.

In the 1950’s Joe McCarthy used the word “pinko” to slander someone liberal as a communist traitor, the color pink indicating red -- for communist.

Unity is often un-American

My acquaintance on Facebook thinks of himself as a reasonable man. But he has become intolerant of the right to disagree, the most basic right of our Constitution. More and more Americans are like him. They want one party that can ram policies down the throat of the public whether the public likes it or not.

Obviously, then, he wants his party (republican) and their vision to rule America without opposition. The simple fact is America has never been a united country except for rare instances like World War II. But that is a strength; not a weakness.