Dan Crenshaw and Pete Davidson's sincere plea for unity

Something unusual and possibly even instructive happened on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend.Follow...

Posted: Dec 4, 2018 1:29 PM
Updated: Dec 4, 2018 1:29 PM

Something unusual and possibly even instructive happened on "Saturday Night Live" this weekend.

Following a small firestorm last weekend -- when SNL's Pete Davidson mocked Republican Dan Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL wounded in Afghanistan -- the two came together in a sincere plea for unity.

Celebrities

Pete Davidson

Apologies

Arts and entertainment

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Government and public administration

Government organizations - US

Political candidates

Politics

Television comedies

Television programming

US Congress

US Federal elections

US House elections

US House of Representatives

Seeing these two join in a message of reconciliation was moving. But the question has to be asked: Can we, in the time of Donald Trump, find common ground between those who oppose him and those who support him? It's an issue that I and many others wrestle with.

"SNL" offered us some guidance on how we might be able to achieve just that.

The controversy that led to Saturday's "moment of Zen" began last week when Davidson, during the Weekend Update segment, told jokes about several Republican candidates running for office.

"SNL" mocking people in politics is what the show does best. But in this instance, Davidson, whose father was a firefighter killed on 9/11, showed a picture of Crenshaw, who wears an eye patch because of his war injuries. Davidson joked, "You may be surprised to hear he's a congressional candidate for Texas and not a hit-man in a porno movie."

Then he added a line that made it worse, saying "I'm sorry. I know he lost his eye in war -- or whatever."

Well, the backlash was swift, with many on social media going after Davidson -- and the National Republican Congressional Candidate even demanding an apology.

Crenshaw, though, pushed back against the idea that an apology was necessary, stating, "I want us to get away from this culture where we demand an apology every time someone misspeaks." He did note that veterans across the nation "probably don't feel as though their wounds they received in battle should be the subject of a bad punchline."

That sentiment was a welcome breath of fresh air in a time when the slightest insult is met with instant outrage.

But Davidson still felt compelled to apologize, opening his appearance on Weekend Update this week with these words: "I mean this from the bottom of my heart. It was a poor choice of words. The man is a war hero, and he deserves all the respect in the world." The comedian added, "And if any good came of this, maybe it was that for one day, the left and the right finally came together to agree on something. That I'm a d---."

At that point, Crenshaw, who won his congressional race in Texas on Tuesday, made a surprise appearance where he accepted Davidson's apology and then delivered some good-natured jokes at Davidson's expense. One of the best was when Crenshaw joked about Davidson, "He looks like if the meth from 'Breaking Bad' was a person."

After a few more jokes, Crenshaw then delivered his own heartfelt plea, "There's a lot of lessons to learn here. Not just that the left and right can still agree on some things. But also, this: Americans can forgive one another." Crenshaw went on to remind people of the sacrifice of our veterans and those "we lost on 9/11, heroes like Pete's father."

It was a beautiful moment, unlike anything I can recall on "SNL" -- and I worked on the show's production staff for eight seasons. But the line that stayed with me the most was when he said, "We can remember what brings us together as a country and still see the good in each other."

Can we truly see the good in each other despite disagreeing so passionately on political issues? If we ever have a chance of becoming the United States of America -- as opposed to people who happen to live on the same land mass -- we need to do just that. And no, I'm not asking for a kumbaya moment where we all join hands and sing Elvis Costello's "Peace, Love and Understanding." Although I have to say I wish we could. It's a great song.


However, we could learn a thing or two from Crenshaw and Davidson. Rather than trying to one up each other or score political points with their respective audiences, they made a sincere attempt to connect in a respectful and playful manner. Our nation is desperate for more of this, and I bet many people across the political spectrum would agree. The only thing stopping us from doing more of that is ourselves.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 73287

Reported Deaths: 3036
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15701725
Lake7496275
Elkhart480184
Allen3835163
St. Joseph342381
Hamilton2723104
Vanderburgh192213
Hendricks1871108
Cass17869
Johnson1741118
Porter129439
Clark120247
Tippecanoe118911
Madison94365
LaPorte89430
Howard88465
Kosciusko84712
Bartholomew78047
Marshall77422
Floyd77246
Monroe74630
Delaware71452
Dubois68712
Boone67246
Noble66329
Hancock64738
Vigo61910
Jackson5855
Warrick57930
LaGrange55710
Shelby54627
Grant52630
Dearborn49628
Morgan46734
Clinton4303
Henry37620
Wayne36810
White36110
Montgomery35221
Lawrence34227
Decatur33532
Harrison32723
Putnam2868
Miami2692
Scott26610
Daviess26420
Greene24634
Franklin24114
Jasper2342
DeKalb2304
Jennings22412
Gibson2214
Steuben2073
Ripley1997
Fayette1867
Carroll1852
Perry18412
Starke1777
Posey1700
Orange16924
Wabash1653
Fulton1642
Wells1622
Jefferson1602
Knox1510
Whitley1516
Washington1391
Tipton1379
Spencer1313
Huntington1223
Newton11810
Randolph1184
Clay1165
Sullivan1131
Adams962
Jay910
Owen871
Pulaski791
Rush764
Brown731
Fountain732
Blackford632
Ohio635
Benton610
Pike530
Parke511
Vermillion490
Switzerland460
Crawford440
Martin430
Union390
Warren221
Unassigned0202

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 99969

Reported Deaths: 3668
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18182523
Cuyahoga13414499
Hamilton9583255
Lucas5288323
Montgomery431894
Summit3523222
Marion292245
Butler289163
Mahoning2532255
Pickaway238342
Stark1813139
Warren176739
Lorain173678
Columbiana165660
Trumbull1518106
Fairfield136732
Delaware129219
Licking126049
Clark114214
Lake111138
Wood103058
Clermont92111
Medina91435
Miami83238
Tuscarawas78114
Portage75461
Allen73244
Greene68412
Belmont62126
Mercer60513
Richland60012
Erie57027
Ashtabula56246
Geauga55444
Wayne52958
Ross4684
Huron3955
Darke39329
Ottawa37726
Sandusky37316
Hancock3723
Athens3561
Madison35510
Holmes3276
Lawrence2790
Auglaize2506
Union2461
Muskingum2251
Jefferson2242
Scioto2241
Putnam20517
Seneca2043
Knox2037
Washington20222
Preble2012
Coshocton1926
Shelby1904
Crawford1745
Champaign1732
Morrow1682
Hardin16412
Clinton1626
Highland1561
Logan1522
Fulton1471
Wyandot1458
Ashland1433
Defiance1424
Williams1343
Brown1272
Perry1233
Guernsey1167
Henry1162
Hocking1169
Fayette1120
Carroll1115
Monroe9118
Pike760
Jackson740
Van Wert711
Paulding670
Gallia651
Adams592
Meigs380
Vinton312
Harrison261
Morgan250
Noble170
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 79°
Angola
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 75°
Huntington
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 73°
Decatur
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 73°
Van Wert
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 73°
Sunny, Seasonable Saturday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events