Biden's Inauguration Speech


Joe Biden gave a very nice inauguration speech today. One of the best parts was this:

"To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy, unity. Unity. In another January, on New Year's Day in 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation. When he put pen to paper, the president said, and I quote, 'if my name ever goes down into history, it'll be for this act, and my whole soul is in it.'

"'My whole soul is in it.' Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause."

Biden also suggests we being seeing each other as neighbors, and not as adversaries:

"We can see each other, not as adversaries, but as neighbors. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature. For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury.

"No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward.

"And so today, at this time, in this place, let's start afresh, all of us. Let's begin to listen to one another again.

"Hear one another. See one another. Show respect to one another. Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn't have to be a cause for total war."

These are wonderful words, words to live by. However, I am old enough to suspect that the speechwriter is not accurately taking the measure of the country's mood. Yes, I think there is a lot of exhaustion. I know people who are just tuning out now after the election. But I am not sure it is an exhaustion that tends towards unity. It is an exhaustion that tends towards sullenness and a hardening of divisions.

Now, I don't think this is inevitable. I think there are steps that could be taken to shore up faith in the government. The establishment of a commission to set nationwide minimum standards for election integrity would be one. A law stating that every American has the right to a bank account is another. Sorting out social media de-platforming would be a third. These three things would go a long way towards overcoming the lack of unity.

Unfortunately--very unfortunately--I don't see any of these things on the new Biden Administration's agenda. That is a missed opportunity, in my opinion. What other concrete measures could help us "start afresh, all of us"? What is your opinion?