Watching with (admittedly) unbridled glee as President Biden issues executive orders reversing the most bigoted, oppressive, regressive, divisive, destructive, and illiberal policies of Donald Trump, I’m flabbergasted (though I shouldn’t be) by Trump’s Republican party sycophants’ crying foul that Biden is violating his campaign and inaugural pledge to unify the country. Right-wing pundits and members of Congress didn’t give President Biden even 48 hours of a honeymoon before charging that his executive actions represent a violation of his pledge. Unity, of course, doesn’t mean uniformity, and elections do have consequences, as Republicans reminded Democrats after Trump’s election.
Why the Senate shouldn’t follow through on its constitutional responsibility to try an impeached out-of-office president because it will upset his most ardent followers is also maddening. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it right when she told reporters this week: “The fact is, the [former] president of the United States committed an act of incitement of insurrection. I don’t think it’s very unifying to say, ‘oh, let’s just forget it and move on.’ That’s not how you unify.”
In the midst of multiple national crises, the urgent need to at last address the Covid pandemic (after 410,000 Americans are dead!), support financially states and cities as they struggle to care for the sick and those who have lost jobs and savings and who are food insecure, to address climate change, racial injustice, voting rights and voter suppression, and so much more IS to bring greater unity to the land.
Kerry Eleveld, a writer for Daily Kos, said that “If President Biden continues to rise to the moment, the unity he engenders may ultimately be less about winning GOP votes for his policies than it is about unifying some 65% of Americans against a factionalized but dangerous party of seditionists.”
That’s as good a definition of unity in these times as I think there is.
Go Joe! So many millions are with you.