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"Who could re-unite America?" Topic

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13 Dec 2021 8:58 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP25 Nov 2021 9:07 p.m. PST

If we could bring back one leader from history to re-unite the United States, who would it be?

Personal logo David Manley Supporting Member of TMP25 Nov 2021 10:07 p.m. PST

George II, it all went downhill after he died

smithsco25 Nov 2021 10:26 p.m. PST

Literally nobody. We are too polarized now. Maybe Washington because of his outlook but I doubt both sides would buy in.

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP25 Nov 2021 11:19 p.m. PST

Well considering he was a slave owner, I doubt he could reunite anything.

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP25 Nov 2021 11:31 p.m. PST

This is a tough one because the times now are so different. Social media, 24hour news cycle, investigative reporters, book authors etc. I would say FDR but there is so much about him that remained in the closet, that would be front and center now.

LBJ was a master politician that knew how to get stuff done. He could work both sides of the isle. If it wasn't for Vietnam he would be considered one of our greatest Presidents.

Harry Truman might be able to do it. It doesn't necessarily have to be a former President. I think technology, the modern press and what I pointed out above makes it difficult. Smithsco correctly points out the polarization of our tribal politics makes it virtually impossible.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2021 4:41 a.m. PST

1. This paints no miniatures.
2. Historical leaders come out of historical circumstances. Some of their most attractive points then would be worthless now, and we have only the foggiest idea of how they'd deal with modern politics, let alone modern issues.
3.1 In different circumstances (and on another site) I'd name the ways in which that master politician LBJ created the mess we're in today--not by Vietnam, but by his domestic policy, and by his striking example of corruption.
4. The leader who will re-unite America will actually be a figure out of other nations' histories--Franco or Pinochet if we're lucky, but more likely Lenin, Mao or Hitler. Mussolini would be better than we deserve.
5. The serious question is what sort of chief executive we'll get in two or three generations when we're on the far side of the "reuniting leader." If we're lucky, someone like Don Carlos in Spain. What we deserve is Putin or worse.
6. All of which said, if I could bring one historical American leader back, Alexander Hamilton, with Ben Franklin in second place. But it's been too late since about the Clinton administration.

"The avalanche has started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote."

Oddball26 Nov 2021 6:16 a.m. PST

"re-united", what?

Everything is going great. Bright future ahead for the nation.

What Robert said above. I remember working at a University in '92 while getting my Masters. Everybody thought the Clinton / Gore ticket was wonderful, mostly as Tipper Gore (Al's wife) was a graduate of this school.

Nobody wanted to pay attention to the warning signs from Arkansas when the Clintons were running the show there.

So, that is what the "Baby Boomer" generation gave us for their first president. Now you see the path taken. Only going to get better.

Great quote on the pebbles, I'm going to remember that.

Col Durnford26 Nov 2021 6:45 a.m. PST

The ET version of Hitler. Nothing like an external enemy to unite America. Remember 9/11 and all the American flags out as well as the bipartisan resolution from congress.

Personal logo Steve at The Vault Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Nov 2021 6:47 a.m. PST

I fear at this point it will be the leader of the side that wins our second civil war.

Oddball26 Nov 2021 6:47 a.m. PST

I don't know if an event as terrible as the one listed above would pull us back together. The split is too deep and at core beliefs.

"When in the course of human events……."

Irish Marine26 Nov 2021 7:16 a.m. PST

Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2021 7:18 a.m. PST

Does Lincoln and his Team of Rivals have any relevance here?

Franklin might take the tech in stride and give us some pointers.

I would feel much calmer immediately if Eisenhower came back. The leaders of the Greatest Generation in general had the character and resolve needed, IMO. And Ike might transcend the media storm at the heart of this. it is possible we are not so bad off as we think and most of us are not buying the hype. Just a thought.

I paint a lot less miniatures wondering about all this and I don't like to think of the grandkids painting figures of the second civil war.

Mister Tibbles26 Nov 2021 7:57 a.m. PST

So, Tortorella, you started the fire. Who do *you* think will "re-unite" the USA, how, and why? And how do you feel we are not united? What does united mean in this context?

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2021 8:17 a.m. PST


Lascaris26 Nov 2021 8:45 a.m. PST

This discussion starts with the fallacious assumption that the US was ever united in the first place. I don't believe there's been any time in history, including WW2, that there wasn't a significant level of dissent across the political spectrum. I don't know if today is "the worst" as it's very difficult to be objective about something you're directly experiencing but my gut says that it's been worse in the past then it is right now.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2021 8:48 a.m. PST

I did start it because I do not really know. I wanted to get a sense of the qualities we will need in a leader to make our society more civil and our government less corrupt and more functional, to remind us that the wars we game had meaning and purpose and maybe clues to help us.

I believe we are more united than many think but this is threatened by factions seeking personal gain, power and money, in dividing us.

We are divided by fear of change. The media help push this into an angry reaction, social media runs with it. It creates customers who come back for more because they are worried and angry. It works as a business model, is used by politicians and media stars to wage political warfare, demand allegiance.

We then lose sight of our common ground – love of country. Left or right, crazy or dissenting, or just plain different, from the Squad to the Proud Boys, I think nearly all of us love America as the bottom line. Its a complex place but a big tent, the biggest still.

Who has the character to to bring us together under some sort of mantle like this? I look to history and wonder what characteristics worked before. TMP is a place of history. It is in the context of miniatures, and we want to get some relief from the elephant in the room here. But it is still an elephant.

Best I can do.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2021 8:50 a.m. PST

Lascaris this is very true. It seems like the worst ever when its happening right now. Again, history has examples that help with answers. There have always been people who are for and against, and they speak out freely in America. But right now people think we are on the edge of a cliff, and I wonder what qualities in a leader help calm these waters.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2021 9:04 a.m. PST

Oddball, credit where it's due. The quote is from Ambassador Kosh on Babylon 5.

And I did not mean to imply that the Clintons created the current mess--though they certainly made it worse--only that when I look for where the downward spiral might have been reversed by a leader with foresight and determination, I keep winding up with "no earlier than Bush I, and no later than Bush II." I don't think Clinton steered the car of state toward the brick wall, but that he didn't steer away or hit the brakes.

We picked these people, remember--and promoted and paid attention to all the lesser ones who are driving us toward a future I don't even want to think about. No one did this to us: we have done it to ourselves. And the Great Leader isn't going to bail us out, either.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2021 9:04 a.m. PST

Oddball, credit where it's due. The quote is from Ambassador Kosh on Babylon 5.

And I did not mean to imply that the Clintons created the current mess--though they certainly made it worse--only that when I look for where the downward spiral might have been reversed by a leader with foresight and determination, I keep winding up with "no earlier than Bush I, and no later than Bush II." I don't think Clinton steered the car of state toward the brick wall, but that he didn't steer away or hit the brakes.

We picked these people, remember--and promoted and paid attention to all the lesser ones who are driving us toward a future I don't even want to think about. No one did this to us: we have done it to ourselves. And the Great Leader isn't going to bail us out, either.

Kevin C Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2021 9:21 a.m. PST

The real danger is thinking we can be united only if we find the right individual to bring us together. People should take responsibility for their own actions. Looking for a man on a white horse seems characteristic of a slave mentality. And people with slave mentalities will always find themselves a master.

dBerczerk26 Nov 2021 9:29 a.m. PST

Interesting discussion.
I believe I'll go re-read The Book of Revelation.

14Bore26 Nov 2021 9:37 a.m. PST

I really doubt anyone, irreconcilable differences

HMS Exeter26 Nov 2021 10:14 a.m. PST

The film Gettysburg was only a bit above average. Too much wooden dialog, and too many Lee Press-On beards. But there was one scene that really kind of resonated.

There was a scene between Longstreet and the British observer Colonel where the Colonel expresses amazement that a nation of "transplanted Englishment" would ever make war with themselves. Not when they shared so many of the same names, the same histories and the same songs. But, he observes, different dreams.

I suspect the problem is that each side of the divide envisions a tomorrow threatened by the other. More than the potential threat of any foreign enemy.

We have done a singularly poor job of cultivating leaders, at every level of government, whom both sides can at least respect. We're fortunate in Maryland to have at least one, tho.

But tomorrow, in some form or other, is coming, whether we like it or not, and we're all going to have to live in it.

Leaders, like gold, are where you find them. Keep your eyes peeled.

Deucey Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2021 10:30 a.m. PST

J Caesar

ie. A dangerous opportunist. I'm not saying it would be better. Just answering the question.

I agree with the outside threat proposed by the Col.

Oddball26 Nov 2021 10:50 a.m. PST

or create one.

Well used tactic to avoid or delay domestic issues is to create an external villain.

Aspirin factory anyone?

"The factory was destroyed in 1998 by a missile attack launched by the United States government, killing one employee and wounding eleven." – Clinton Lied, People Died.

"Indeed, officials later said that there was no proof that the plant had been manufacturing or storing nerve gas.."

"The attack took place a week after the Monica Lewinsky scandal….prompting some commentators to describe the attack as a distraction for the public from the scandal."

"Rally to the flag as one people to face this threat!" called the fearless leader.

Not falling for it again.

SpuriousMilius26 Nov 2021 10:59 a.m. PST

I've watched Gettysburg more than once but I don't remember the scene HMS Exeter refers to but I'm sure that it brought to mind the English Civil War when I saw it.

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Nov 2021 11:35 a.m. PST

Agree with others that reconciling the quarter to third of Americans who control academia, the press, popular culture, with the majority who have no ambitions beyond just living a decent life cannot be done by any one person.

It will certainly require a great national--or even global--disaster that actually puts all lives at risk that ends the fairy castle world view of that dominant minority. When people have to go back to growing their own food, for example, and rely on their immediate neighbors for help and security, the "number of genders" issue (among others) will suddenly resolve itself.


Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2021 12:34 p.m. PST

Why do you all go straight to political leaders when answering this question? Reuniting will require a bottom up effort, not a top down one.

dBerczerk26 Nov 2021 12:43 p.m. PST

Ȟoká Psíče (Jumping Badger), also known as Sitting Bull

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2021 1:15 p.m. PST

Forrest Gump

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Nov 2021 1:33 p.m. PST

The real answer to this is simply: "It depends on what you mean by "Re-Uniting America"…."
Because before you can reunite it, you have to admit that it is divided and you have to define "how" it is divided and identify the causes and the people who caused it to divide, and thus in order to reunite the country, you then have to do decide "What to do with those people" that you have identified as the troublemakers that have divided the nation"…
And sadly no one that I know in this day and age and time, is ready or willing to do that.

skippy000126 Nov 2021 1:39 p.m. PST

Khan Noonian Singh("We offered the world Order!!")
or Cincinnatus(do the job, go home, repeat).

Repiqueone26 Nov 2021 1:47 p.m. PST

" Agree with others that reconciling the quarter to third of Americans who control academia, the press, popular culture, with the majority who have no ambitions beyond just living a decent life cannot be done by any one person."

So the third of America that do have ambitions and teach, read, travel, create new ideas and concepts, write, and fill our lives with creative input, are beholden to those that do none of these things and have no ambitions but wish to punish or limit those who do? How do you reconcile facts with superstition? Science with Quanon? Serious problem solving with cultural ignorance?

There will be no civil war, but there will be large social change. Certain generations are presented with a crisis such as this. With one exception, they are resolved in the US short of war.

I don't know who the leader is that will finally establish a new political equilibrium, but I hope she does it soon and protects our democracy as well!

Inch High Guy26 Nov 2021 1:57 p.m. PST

Xi Jinping.

Repiqueone26 Nov 2021 1:58 p.m. PST

PS- The forces that most decry modern American decline, are not a majority, but a minority that is committed to maintaining their power in a way that is decidedly authoritarian and very uninterested in facts or solutions.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2021 2:10 p.m. PST

Murphy, I thought reuniting meant to make the government less corrupt and more functional. Knowing that you can never make it perfect.
Another was a more civil society – again knowing it can never be perfect, but should be better.

Others may differ.

I think its implicit in the question that we are divided, and I have said that IMO we are divided by fear of change. Fear that is ramped up by certain media for profit. I don't know what to do about that business model. They have a right to speak/blame/get rich, but the fear factory is 24/7 and they have created tremendous demand for it.

Its also implicit in the question that I think leadership is critical. Also, your troublemakers and my troublemakers may not be the same. We need negotiators, perhaps.

Others argue that there is not a top down solution.

But I was interested in what qualities are need for us to get back to normal interaction – still full of differences, but not ready to jump off the cliff as a nation.

Personal logo Endless Grubs Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2021 3:01 p.m. PST

Someone I don't have to look at, hear, or read about. Failing that, I'm going on long walks with a 20# pack, so I can practice being a refugee.

JimSelzer26 Nov 2021 4:25 p.m. PST

Jon Snow

now seriously Ike or Lincoln maybe JFK

Thresher0126 Nov 2021 4:57 p.m. PST

Those that possibly could from history are now being demonized by some/many, so I don't see it happening.

KSmyth26 Nov 2021 6:46 p.m. PST

First there would have to be recognition that there are multiple sides to our current crises and that everyone has legitimate issues that need addressing.

I suspect that there's simply too much water under the bridge and too many difficult mountains to climb to choose someone from history address manage our current climate.

However, if I had to choose it might be Truman.
He had a history of integrity and a positive civil rights past. He could tell it like it is, though he never found a way to work effectively with a conservative Republican majority in Congress.

There really aren't too many good answers here.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2021 9:09 p.m. PST

The demonization comes from both sides, Thresher. It happens on the right, where they cherry pick people to go after just as much as the left. That's part of the con in blamer culture.

KSmyth, I think you are right about legitimate issues on all sides We are missing mutual respect for each other as Americans, respect for our right to differ without so much bitterness. IMO – first we turn off cable news…

I am naive… I am thinking about Ike. There was an intelligent, competent authority there and a human quality. Truman, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt.

But it does not have to be a former president…

Zephyr126 Nov 2021 10:06 p.m. PST

"Who could re-unite America?"

An extinction-level extraterrestrial invasion.

Martin Rapier27 Nov 2021 12:43 a.m. PST

From this side of the Atlantic I can only shake my head in despair as the world's greatest democracy implodes. I'm sorry we shipped all those religious nutcases out to you in the seventeenth century. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2021 4:11 a.m. PST

ksmyth, Truman and that Republican majority he never found a way to work with produced NATO, the Marshal Plan, the Defense Department and the NSC. (Also the CIA, but you can't get it right every time.) Don't confuse Truman's speech-making with Truman's actions.

Martin, the ones who've lost religion but kept the fanaticism are only a fraction of the problem--though you might not have vetoed Virginia's effort to block the slave trade. We imported the continental European Marxists and anarchists all by ourselves. And no one forced the citizenry to believe them.

No Great Leader can maintain a democracy--or a republic--among people convinced that all their woes are caused by domestic enemies, and can be cured by a more powerful government only their side can be allowed to control. The belief that speaking opposing views is physically harmful and such speech must be suppressed is just the icing on the cake. We'll get the Great Reunifier right enough--complete with special title, work camps, reeducation centers and block wardens. But what he will rule over will not be the United States as we knew it. Our own fault and no one else's.

YogiBearMinis Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2021 6:07 a.m. PST

Genghis Khan, leading his hordes of warriors from Vermont and New Hampshire, sweeps across the land and reunites the peoples. The only downside is his sack and burning of Harrisburg PA and Silver Springs MD

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2021 6:38 a.m. PST

Khan and his tens of followers from the vast Vermont/New Hampshire plains! It is a striking image. Good luck on I 87 down to Harrisburg unless the repairs are done. Die rolls will be crucial!

I get that the idea of one great leader is a perilous one. I was looking for values and character, wondering if there were examples to follow. And I do realize that we have had a lot of bad presidents in our history, the road has never been easy, our system has never been as pure as we like to think.

Tortorella Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2021 6:41 a.m. PST

David M – I like the idea of a do-over!

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2021 8:53 a.m. PST

Martin, I have my doubts about us ever having been the world's greatest democracy. We were a great nation and a democracy, but I suspect others--probably at least the Swiss--were greater democracies.

And there are worse things than implosion. My nightmare is that what was the United States of America comes out it a time of troubles as the 21st Century's analog of Revolutionary/Napoleonic France, the Soviet Union, Maoist China or Nazi Germany--the sort of nation no one wants for a neighbor, and everyone needs to do something about. In that event, I can almost guarantee the Great Reunifier, complete with statuary and hagiography. But the price will be much too high, and we won't be the only ones paying it.

troopwo Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2021 10:05 a.m. PST

Based on the chants at the college football games,,,America is solidly united.

Wished I knew how to get that smily emoji,,,.

Gwydion28 Nov 2021 7:07 a.m. PST

How about the person Americans democratically elected to govern them?

What is it with all these dictators?

Mao, Hitler, Lenin, Mussolini, Franco, Pinochet, Caesar etc?

Not noted for uniting people – killing them, dividing and ruling and oppressing absolutely. Uniting nations? Not so much.

You've got leaders, accept democracy (yeah I know you call yourselves a Republic – that still uses a form of democratic governance) and get on with it.

Have a long hard look at those dictatorial alternatives and like Nancy Reagan: Just Say No.

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