Unity Is Only Possible When Things Get Done

Harrison Hamm
4 min readMar 2, 2022
Biden aimed for bipartisanship in the State of the Union, which admittedly is not always a great approach. This time it makes sense.

A section of Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address stood out to me last night. Later in the speech, he unveiled what he called a “unity agenda” — a plan that tackles four different issues that he laid out during the speech.

Those issues, more than anything that he talked about in the speech (apart from Ukraine), have a strong national consensus. Everyone at least in theory supports them: 1) stop the opioid crisis; 2) support mental health, especially for children on social media; 3) support veterans in need; 4) target cancer research and treatments.

Who disagrees with these things? These are not hot-button political issues. There are no immediate Culture War debates to be had. I would like to see the person who wants the opioid crisis to continue and disagrees with trying to find a cure for cancer. (Actually, to be fair, I just described the pharmaceutical industry.)

It is harder for Republicans to find fiery responses to these proposals, and that, I imagine, is by design. Biden is not focusing on issues that Republicans have already imparted on their voters as being the purview of the Big, Bad Democrats. These issues are not directly related to race or gender, so even the bigots have to be on board. It’s not climate change, immigration, abortion, criminal justice, or even healthcare. Republicans have talked…