Help us heal (News Journal editorial)

Written in the form of a personalized petition, this editorial urges the incoming president to do the following: (1) Take swift and decisive action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already resulted in over 400,000 American deaths, by solving “the muddled puzzle of vaccine distribution,” and building "national testing and contact-tracing corps." (2) Lead recovery from the economic damage that has been caused by the virus-caused shutdowns, to include making up for “federal stimulus legislation” that “did not go far enough to preserve jobs and businesses” given that “states lacked [the] financial capacity to adequately address economic losses.” (3) Provide leadership to attend to “the searing wounds that have propelled the Black Lives Mater movement.” The goal should be to chart a productive path forward “so that all Americans can obtain equitable access to education and opportunity.” (4) Make good on your pledge to lower the political temperature in this country, reach across the political divide, and find common ground.

All of these problems are implicitly blamed on the other side, especially the “dangerous polarity” to be addressed by point 4. Here’s the verbatim back story provided in that context:

“Since your election, Mr. President-elect, America has suffered as Trump and his supporters have exploited the nation’s dangerous political divide with patently untrue claims of widespread election fraud. Content to disregard legally cast mail-in ballots as a measure of the electorate, the incumbent clung to a false narrative that he had secured a second term. In countless court battles, tweetstorms and speeches, Trump drove this false narrative. Servile accomplices in the right-wing press fueled the flames of the president’s staggering lies. As Congress met on Jan. 6 to certify your victory, Mr. President-elect, Trump and his allies urged supporters to assault the Capitol to attempt to change the election’s outcome. As both the House and Senate were disrupted and driven from the Capitol, five people were killed. Dozens who took part have now been charged. The episode, which unfolded live on television broadcasts and digital video streams, was the nadir of American public discourse. After a presidential administration with miraculous talent for finding new lows, we have to change the conversation.”

Comment: Starting with the premise that “we’re right and they’re wrong” doesn’t seem like a very promising strategy for national reunification. Hopefully, President Biden will offer some concrete concessions to conservative viewpoints. Rethink the need to impeach a president who has already left office - propose a crackdown on Big Tech companies that have shown growing boldness in restraining free speech - support a national commission to thoroughly investigate evidence of widespread electoral irregularities in the 2020 elections - accept the fact that the current proposals for additional economic "stimulus" are excessive and need to be vetted thoroughly.
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