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 12:29 PM
Updated: Dec 4, 2018 12:29 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.

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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.

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Reported Deaths: 5885
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Hennepin918591461
Ramsey39405729
Dakota32551324
Anoka30638354
Washington19827221
Stearns17686184
St. Louis13453237
Scott1178693
Wright11485101
Olmsted1024870
Sherburne812364
Carver686636
Clay643278
Rice595266
Kandiyohi551069
Blue Earth533833
Crow Wing476573
Otter Tail449860
Chisago446331
Benton414885
Winona383946
Douglas370366
Nobles364646
Mower358026
Goodhue340757
Polk326754
McLeod321644
Morrison308743
Beltrami305746
Lyon298735
Itasca281143
Becker279438
Isanti279440
Carlton276942
Steele26879
Pine263813
Freeborn237219
Todd230029
Nicollet222136
Brown212334
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Cass203823
Meeker197433
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Martin168226
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Fillmore12084
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Rock108511
Sibley10757
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Faribault103214
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Murray8585
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Wilkin6179
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Cook1130

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Cases: 300884

Reported Deaths: 4197
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Polk44949440
Linn17563269
Scott15228161
Black Hawk13552228
Woodbury12896175
Johnson1191749
Dubuque11229148
Pottawattamie8863112
Dallas874169
Story857433
Webster464768
Cerro Gordo458766
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Clinton445461
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Muscatine382275
Des Moines377340
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Lee310828
Marion298852
Jones268949
Henry262130
Carroll252233
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Crawford227622
Boone214116
Washington213531
Benton207543
Mahaska189936
Jackson189631
Tama184757
Dickinson183225
Delaware171136
Kossuth169241
Clay165319
Wright161724
Fayette157022
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Hardin153129
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Page143115
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Mills135216
Lyon133132
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Sac110115
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Unassigned9370
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