Biden Unlikely To Calm Nation

Written by Bill Thomas on January 14, 2021

President-Elect Joe Biden has promised to bring unity to the country. His administration will roll out “America United” as an inauguration theme. While it would be the right thing to do, the path Biden has to walk to accomplish it is narrow. The responsibility of healing and unity is on the Democrats. They will control all the levers of power. Nothing will happen that they don’t want to happen.

It’s clear from many of the Democrats that “unity” and “healing” are not part of their vocabulary, but if Biden is to be president of all of America as he claims to want to be, then it needs to be a part of his. Because of the political climate in 2020, I don’t think there’s much chance of real unity. I do, though, think there can be calm.  To see that happen, Biden has to properly handle what I think are four key issues. Here are the issues and my guesses as to what Biden will do.

First, Biden must end the impeachment process against Trump. Trump amassed over 75 million votes, more than any sitting president in history, and is still loved by his base. I get it that the Democrats hate Trump. They have since 2015.  Like sharks, they taste blood in the water and want to attack. Biden has to be better than that.

If Biden needs a reminder, he can turn to the pages of biblical history. In 1 Kings 12, it is noted that Solomon’s son Rehoboam has become king. Jeroboam, representing the northern tribes, comes to him to plead that he lighten the burdens Solomon had placed on the northern tribes. Older advisors tell him to lighten up and use grace and compassion with the northern tribes. Rehoboam’s contemporaries tell him to really stick it to the northern tribes now that he’s king. Rehoboam opts for a heavy hand and the kingdom divides.

Will Biden find it in his soul to use grace and compassion against his political opposition or will he heed the loud, shrill voices that demand payback?  My guess here is that he’ll say nothing. He’ll cower behind some platitude while the Democrats attack, not just Trump, but all who voted for him.

Second, Biden must speak out and do something about the social media and corporate shut down of free speech by censoring and canceling Republican voices.  This is an ugly and repugnant act that many across the world have denounced. Biden, who calls for a diverse cabinet, must stand up for a diversity of voices and viewpoints in the public arena.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) should not be pilloried by the press or Democrats for doing what Democrats themselves did in 2000, 2004, and 2016. Biden must make it clear that not all protestors are rioters.  He’s said that throughout the summer. He needs to say it again.

Will Biden have the courage to stand up to the media giants and the cancel culture?  I’d like to say he will, but my gut tells me he won’t. He’ll look sad when he speaks to a divided nation. He’ll say the words “healing” and “unity,” but I’m guessing he’ll have nothing to say to Twitter, Facebook, and a host of corporate bullies.

Third, Biden must stop attacking law enforcement and bringing race into every discussion. I know of no one who condoned the violence that occurred on January 6th.  It was incredibly disheartening to read the Democrat take. The rioters were not choosing “whiteness” over democracy as Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) asserted.

I suspect they did not think one thing about race. Their thoughts were on violent acts,  breaking, and smashing things.

It is offensive to suggest that the law enforcement officers would have treated that crowd any differently if they were predominantly another race. That, as I see it, is an insult to every woman and man in law enforcement.

Biden has to calm things when it comes to racial tension. There are incidents that need to be highlighted and repudiated as racist. There is no doubt racism is a sin. It isn’t completely gone, either. However, crying racism every time something goes down does a disservice to when racism really occurs.

Does Biden have it in him to take on BLM?  Unfortunately, I think this is an easy one. No, he doesn’t.  Law enforcement will continue to bear the brunt of this struggle.

The last issue, as I see it, deals with the pandemic. Biden has to increase the money the government has sent to the American people and get the vaccine out so America can open. I know many fiscal conservatives will hate the first part of that, but, as I see it, that ship has sailed. The American people are stunned to see so much relief money go to other countries and so little to our own people. Biden and Congress must work together to fix that.  They must also coordinate with the states to get out the vaccine.

This is the one that I think Biden will come the closest to doing.  The American people will likely get more stimulus money. Middle class taxes will rise, but we’ll get another $1,200 now.  I also think the medical companies are supportive of the Biden administration, so we’ll probably see a distribution plan in the next month or so. Biden, of course, will be hailed as the hero.

So, overall, I think Biden will accomplish one of the four.  That’s not likely to calm things down much. Look for two years of hyper-partisan politics and hope that, in 2022, the GOP hasn’t imploded, and we can take the House and Senate.

 

Bill Thomas
Bill Thomas lives in Washington, Missouri and is a professor at St. Louis Christian College. He's also on staff at First Christian Church in Washington, Missouri. He's authored two novellas, From the Ashes and The Sixty-First Minute published by White Feather Press of MI and three Bible studies, Surrounded by Grace, The Critical Questions and More and The Road to Victory published by CSS Publishing of OH.