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Biden appears unwilling to actually unify the country

Editor, Ceres Courier,

President Biden’s first full day in office, his first executive orders and his actions (which are in direct conflict with his words at the inaugural), have been anything but actual efforts to unify the nation. They have been actions of attempting to solidify his base and push the left’s agenda.

I don’t disparage his efforts here. He won the election, his party won the election (federally at least) and elections have consequences. This is the exact same thing I told the left when President Trump won in 2016 or when his SCOTUS nominees were confirmed. Many progressive and left loyalists – people in my life who I care about and respect – commented to me that their fear was real, that they were living their lives in literal fear of the president and the party in power. I believe their fear was real. It made me sad that they were indeed living in fear. But I did not excuse their fear as a justification for violence or for riotous acts against innocent people then. And I want to be clear, I do not allow it as an excuse for the right today either. But I ask those of you who lived in fear of President Trump and Republican Party control to remember the fear you felt in your hearts about the change or potential changes for the nation, and remember that many people on the right – including some people I care about and respect – are now experiencing the same levels of fear you on the left faced four years ago. Take a moment and consider that today. Are you capable of empathy and compassion for those who are opposite of you on the political spectrum? Or are we forever trapped into the human death spiral of tit-for-tat and one-upmanship over those we disagree with or who have caused us offense? 

Look, empathy is not weakness, compassion is not retreat, leadership requires uncomfortable sacrifices, indeed even compromise, to avoid our more base human instincts to fight what we don’t understand, to eliminate people who have different points of view that may offend us. Don’t believe it is possible? I look to the example of Nelson Mandela and his story as proof positive humans are capable of experiencing great offense, and still being able to lead a divided nation in troubling times.

However, the left’s silence on the Antifa, the directly anti-American protests on the west coast which are continuing even as I write, is deafening.

Even more shamefully so, after the nation rightfully admonished the attack on the Capitol, we now see signs of “We do not want Biden! We want revenge,” “Kill All Cops” and “Lynch Republicans” and the like. Directly after a narrow but sweeping federal election win for the left! Antifa’s preferred party won and they are still destroying property and inflicting violence in cities here on the west coast today. I ask these people, what are folks on the right supposed to take from these actions? These obvious and blatant threats from Antifa and the left? What are people on the right supposed to take from the silence of the left? I am only interested in solutions, not accusations or justifications. So saying that I really am uninterested in hearing the left zealots obfuscates or attempts to accuse me of comparing one riotous and shameful action to another. Both are dangerous to the future of the nation. Both ought to be condemned, and I hope elected leaders of the Democratic Party in the United States fully understand how close the nation is to sparking off into something truly terrible.

Back to President Biden, first I want to say that 24 hours is absolutely not a fair measurement of a presidency, and yes I am aware most of the left did not give President Trump any chance out of the gate. We cannot change the past but we can indeed change the future. So if President Biden is seriously interested in healing, lowering temperatures or attempting to build greater unity in the nation, his actions should start to show it past his beleaguered words. And if President Biden is not interested in healing he should come out and be honest with those intentions so we can move the ball forward to whatever end or resolution must come to decide this untenable rift between us in the United States.

My point is: President Biden did not have a first good day on the job, if we are to believe his words that he is indeed actually interested in healing the nation. The fact is, because of his actions and/or his inaction depending on the issue, we are less united on Jan. 21 then we were on Jan. 20. I am rooting for the president, as I root endlessly for our country, and I am rooting for him to do the right thing by our country. I wish him better luck today, he is certainly playing behind right out of the gate.

Do good. Be productive. Help someone else today. Try and put yourself in your adversary’s shoes for a moment. Try to find empathy, compassion, forgiveness and reason. Try to find love today. Pray for peace. Pray for wisdom. We live in dark times.

Josh Whitfield,


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