What Could Pres. Biden Say To Bring Unity To The Country?
This Wednesday Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States.
NPR spells out the timeline: "The inaugural ceremonies will begin with the national anthem and invocation around 11:30 a.m. ET. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is expected to be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor shortly before noon. President-elect Biden will then be sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts at noon ET on the Capitol's West Front, as is tradition...After he's sworn in, Biden will deliver his inaugural address."
The inaugural address, that's our focus. Just what will Joe Biden say, what should he say, what could he say that might promote the unity he says he wants for the Country?
I have jokingly said he could say, "I resign" but there really isn't anything funny about where we are in America today.
So, what should he say to promote unity and what does "unity" even look like? In order to move toward some time of unified nation both sides will have to be willing to stand down, dial back the rhetoric, treat each other with respect born not of agreement but of acknowledging our shared heritage of being Americans. We used to say that we may not like what you say, think, how you vote, etc., but we'll fight to the death for your right to say, think, vote etc. how you want - because it's a free country and we both share the same freedoms as part of our shared heritage. Only that's not happening now. Would a Biden inaugural reminder of that help?
I doubt it. What everyone needs to be reminded of is that the anger and the frustration felt by tens of millions of American due to the policies of and treatment by the left is what paved the way for a Trump presidency in the first place.
The last 4 years of hounding and harassing the President only fanned the flames for Conservatives and Republicans and made it worse. Add to that all that's happened in the aftermath of the election and it has lit the fuse which sparked off the invasion of the Capitol on Jan.6 . And that action by the far right fringe has left losing their minds. Now it's time for punishment and revenge on Trump and all his supporters. You think that will bring about unity? Think again.
So what could President Biden say to stop that?. For starters he could say "STOP THAT". He could direct the Congress to withdraw impeachment. He could encourage Big Tech to treat all customers, regardless of political party with the same shared level of respect and cooperation. He could request the House and Senate to remember they didn't win a war but merely an election and to treat those who lost not as prisoners of was to be erased or squashed but as their fellow American deserving of dignity and respect. And most of all he could demand an end to the double standards in all arenas that threatens to destroy our Democracy.
An article in Forbes Magazine suggests a list of things a sincere effort should include. "Joe Biden said he will be “a president who seeks not to divide, but unify” the country. Easier said than done. Fortunately, there are best practices for managing a crisis that the new president and his team can follow to help bring the nation together."
Those best practices include:
- Listening to what all sides have to say
- Finding/creating common ground
- Prioritizing what needs to be done
- Demonstrating empathy
- Communicating often
- Telling the truth
- Not casting blame
- Following the advice of experts
- Setting realistic deadlines
- Taking swift and decisive action
It's a good list, Keep track of it, see how many checkmarks Biden gets in his speech and the next 100 days. That could be really telling.
Do I expect that, no. Do I even want that, sure, on those issues that we can both agree are good for the Country. But from what I've heard so far, Biden's plans for executive orders on undoing Trump's work on immigration, regulations, climate and energy do not give me much hope.
So, do I think there is anything President Biden can or will say to start the journey to unity on Wednesday?
In all honesty -- no.