During his inaugural speech, newly minted president Joe Biden focused a lot on “unity” between the right and the left. He even addressed Republicans and/or Trump supporters directly at one point.
“Hear me out as we move forward,” he said addressing those who refused to vote for him.
“Take a measure of me and my heart,” he said. “If you still disagree, so be it, that’s democracy, that’s America. The right to dissent, peacefully.”
Biden continued by saying that “disagreement must not lead to disunion.”
“I pledge this to you – I will be a president for all Americans, and I promise you, I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did,” Biden said.
Beautiful words. I wish I believed them.
The issue is, that while Biden was saying this out of the right side of his mouth, out of his left he’s been spewing the same divisive rhetoric that causes each side to feel like there can be no peace between the two. When he’s not furthering this division himself, he’s silent as people in his party continue to spew insults and promises of retribution themselves.
For instance, Biden is a big fan of comparing his political opponents to Nazis.
UNHINGED: Joe Biden compares President Trump to Joseph Goebbels pic.twitter.com/GRYqN8UkTb
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) September 26, 2020
Really sad. At a time of deep national division, President-elect Biden’s choice to call his political opponents literal Nazis does nothing to bring us together or promote healing.
This kind of vicious partisan rhetoric only tears our country apart. https://t.co/YMMepv1OhV
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 8, 2021
Meanwhile, Democrats have been tossing around the idea of “deprogramming” Trump supporters such as Region 10 Director for the California Democratic Party, David Atkins.
No seriously…how *do* you deprogram 75 million people? Where do you start? Fox? Facebook?
We have to start thinking in terms of post-WWII Germany or Japan. Or the failures of Reconstruction in the South.
— David Atkins (@DavidOAtkins) November 18, 2020
New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was talking about making a list of Trump supporters while deputy campaign manager on Pete Buttigieg’s failed presidential campaign tried to launch the “Trump Accountability Project,” which had the goal of blacklisting Americans found to have ever helped the Trump administration.
Those who are considered guilty range from being those who served under him to those who elected him. It was a plot so disgusting that even CNN’s Jake Tapper denounced it.
An organized attempt by former Dem officials to blackball from employment anyone who worked for the US government during the Trump administration seems the exact opposite of the calls for unity and healing we’ve heard from President-elect Biden. https://t.co/IICk2fDOck
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 10, 2020
If Biden truly wants to heal the divide, he can start by doing something very obvious.
That’s just the start, but apologizing for his own divisive language is the first step in making things right. Not only will it be him taking responsibility for his contribution in making both sides devolve into Godwin-Esque language, but it will set the course for how the party should approach their ideological opponents.
The second thing Biden can do is denounce any horrific rhetoric thrown around by his own party as well. Whether it was elected officials or Democrats in the media, Biden would do well to call them out as wrong to do. It would be unrealistic to denounce every single one individually, but even just bringing up a few examples would go a long way.
Inevitably, the question will be asked as to why the right shouldn’t start by trying to come to the middle first.
For that, I have a two-part answer.
For one, Republicans aren’t as sensational or outlandish with its rhetoric about the left. You’re far more willing to hear about a right-leaning individual come to the center to try to communicate with the left than you will the opposite. Those on the right who do make ridiculous claims to the point of sounding like conspiracy theorists are often not taken very seriously within their own party.
Meanwhile, if a leftist makes a wild claim, like white Trump supporters being the largest terror threat to this country, he gets a job at CNN.
Secondly, the left dominates the media scene from the culture to the newsroom. In order to curb the problem, Biden has to urge the left in every corner of the media and the arts to tone it down by a lot. No more holding the bloody severed heads of Republican leaders during photo shoots, no more attempting to ruin the lives of innocent people off of unproven and highly unlikely claims of rape, no more celebrating the lives of actual terrorists because they were killed by Republicans.
Once the media discontinues its assault on the right then attitudes will begin to change in America and conversations in the center may return.
Sadly, I doubt this will ever happen. Leftists have proved that they’re willing to go to great lengths to silence conservatives, ruin their lives, and have them “canceled” in the name of ideological purity across the board. Unpersoning is so common a tactic on the left that people and corporations will act in obedience before they even commit a thought crime.
I sincerely doubt Biden will take any of these measures. Leftists calling for people to come to the center is usually them asking the right to lay down their ideological proclivities and adopt leftist ones. Leftists have never asked others to come to the center while promising to drop some of their more intense beliefs.
I honestly hope I’m wrong, but my money is on Biden being just one more leftist to ask everyone else to behave while he and his continue to be as nasty and divisive as they please.