President Biden’s (boy, does that sound good!) inaugural address was short on platitudes, but long on message. It was a message of unity. If there was ever a president who understood personal hardships more than Biden, it certainly has not been so since JFK or FDR. The long game is clear. We will need to pull together if we are to conquer the virus, overcome its economic destruction, address systemic racism, and reclaim our position of leadership in the world.
It was not until I read this op-ed by Paul Krugman in The New York Times, not my favorite editorialist or economist despite his having won the Nobel Prize, that I was able to identify what has been so upsetting to me in the weeks since Joe Biden’s victory. Why did the outcome of what appeared to be the most organized, civil and peaceful election in history with more participants than ever before despite the coronavirus pandemic become so controversial?
The Wall Street Journal’s Opinion page on January 6 had three relevant articles to my point today. It is essentially that we have a federalist system of power distribution between the central government and the states and this was all for a reason.
The conduct of the President of the United States and his followers on January 6 was both sedition and an insurrection. Whether or not they were cause and effect is for the Senate to determine now. Many members of the House got up to say as much on January 13, a week after the riot as the chamber debated an article of impeachment that passed and was signed by the Speaker.
I am of two minds on this.
There are short-term and long-term goals here.
The short-term goal is to get Donald Trump out of the White House as soon as possible so that he cannot do any more damage. The question is the definition of soon enough and whether or not that is even possible.
Readers of this blog will know that the writer is no fan of Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR). Last year The New York Times ran an op-ed by Senator Cotton extolling the virtues of the use of military force to quell riots in the streets of our cities. He was specifically referring to the looting and vandalism that followed the George Floyd murder, but his point was that order must be maintained if civilization is supposed to thrive and our people are to be kept safe.
This is not the blog I thought I would be running today, January 8, 2021. In fact, it’s not a blog I thought I would be running—ever.
On January 6, 2021, a day that will be historic for certain, an unruly mob of Trump supporters, goaded by a sitting president to riot and attempt a coup because they did not like the result of a fair and legitimate election stormed the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.
Readers of this blog know that this writer has been struggling with the issue of Black Lives Matter, Black lives in America and the solution to the claims of systemic racism in America. So has Joe Biden.
Daniel Henninger makes the precise point that I have been mulling over for the past few weeks when he writes in The Wall Street Journal on December 17. I have been thinking about this actually for many, many years. It has all kinds of names—diversity, multiculturalism and affirmative action, but what it is in essence is the political battle among factions divided along ethnic and racial lines when it comes to gaining access to high-powered jobs in government, business or academia.
Happy New Year.
In a special column on Sunday, December 27 in The New York Times, Frank Bruni opines on whether or not “normalcy is obsolete.” The answer is, it depends. If normalcy is America before the pandemic, my guess is that we will not go back to that world.