by Dick Bingham, chair, CCDC, in Daily Local News, 1/20/21
Shortly after the election I wrote on these pages (November 9, 2020) that it was time to come together as a county, as a state, and as a nation. Since then, however, rhetoric has grown more heated, tensions have continued to rise, and ultimately, at the urging of Donald Trump, the US Capitol was breached for the first time since the War of 1812.
Unfortunately, my last call for unity, when Donald Trump still had more than two months in office, was destined to fail. He had no interest in bringing the country together or healing. He continued to sow discord, refused to concede, and deprived our nation of the traditional, post-election “cool down” period that we needed last year more than ever. But now, Donald Trump is a former-President.
As of January 20 at noon, we have a President who made healing the wounds of the last four years the hallmark of his campaign. He entered the election to help cool the temperature of the country and return a sense of normalcy to the White House. Indeed, some even jokingly said a President Biden would “make America boring again.”
There is no doubt that emotions remain raw on both sides – there was heated rhetoric and tensions that boiled over among Democrats, as well as Republicans. But now I write once again to urge calm, urge reconciliation, and urge us to heal the political divisions that have ripped apart the country the last four years. President Biden has reached out to those across the political spectrum and made a promise to reunite the United States.
For too long, neighbors have been pitted against neighbors, family arguments have lasted long after Thanksgiving leftovers were finished, and personal insults have replaced policy debates. It is time for that to end. We need to remember what we have in common – our love for freedom, our hope for a bright future for our children and grandchildren, and our commitment to a strong democracy that shines as a beacon of hope for those still stuck in dark corners around the globe.