Democrat Joseph R. Biden Jr., sworn in on Wednesday as the nation’s 46th president, has called for unity in America.
Mike Rowe, the well-known host of “Dirty Jobs,” “Six Degrees with Mike Rowe,” and “Returning the Favor,” has long advocated for common-sense, hands-on solutions to many problems in our country—and he weighed in on the “macro” plea for “unity.”
“Honestly, I think of [John F.] Kennedy [and his famous line], ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country’… I’m saying that this is, ‘Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what you can do for your neighbor.’ It’s our neighbors who are hurting,” Rowe said on “Fox News Primetime” on Wednesday night.
“It’s our neighbors who are in trouble,” he said. “I don’t know about ‘unity.’ I don’t know about conformity. That’s all macro thinking. This is ‘Mike Rowe’ thinking. This is real small. And I don’t think we get out of this because of the government. We’re not going to get out of it without the government—but the government can’t possibly take care of what ails us right now.”
“This is biblical,” said Rowe. “And I’m not a religious guy, but a plague is a biblical thing … We’re back on our heels as a people.”
He said that the notion of moving forward—of healing, of helping, of fixing our nation—“this idea starts with our neighbors, and it starts in our zip code. There’s something to that. If we’re going to unify, it has to begin there.”
The idea of “unity” doesn’t and won’t magically appear overnight, Rowe also said.
Rather, “We’ve got to look for leaders in places we typically don’t find them, and we have to look for examples in places where we don’t expect to discover them.”
Rowe oversees the Mike Rowe WORKS Foundation, which he started in 2008 to advocate for skilled labor in America. Skilled workers “keep our polite society humming along,” he notes on the foundation’s website. They find “opportunity where no one else [thinks] to look.”
“We have to reconnect the average American with the value of a skilled workforce,” Rowe also says. “Only then will the next generation aspire to do the work at hand.”
Rowe is also the host of the hugely popular podcast, “The Way I Heard It,” as well as the author of a book based on it.
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This article was written by Maureen Mackey. She is a writer, editor, and digital content strategist in the New York City area.