Joe Biden had an opportunity to reach out to the 75 million Americans who voted against him, instead he insulted and disparaged them. In his inauguration speech after being sworn in at the 46th President of United States, Biden struck a false note in his call for unity when he mischaracterized what divides America today:
I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. But I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal, that we are all created equal, and the harsh ugly reality that racism, nativism and fear have torn us apart. The battle is perennial and victory is never secure.
No, that is not what divides America today. How does Biden expect to foster unity when he describes those on the other side as racists and nativists? There was not a single passage in Biden’s speech that acknowledged the concerns of the half of the country that voted for the reelection of President Trump. Biden’s repeatedly returned to themes that attacked the integrity of half of this country that he claims he wants to unify.
Despite his call for Americans to “join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature,” there was no sign that he intends this call to be applied to both sides equally. Where was call for the Democrats to stop the impeachment process against President Trump? Does he not understand that those 75 million Americans see this process not as an impeachment of a single person, but instead an impeachment of all of those who voted for him?
Biden’s problem is that he showed no understanding of what is the true fault line in the country’s body politic. He failed to show any ‘dignity and respect’ for the half of this country rejected his candidacy and instead voted for Donald Trump.
The true division is this country is that one side believes that the role of government is to protect American liberty as promised in the Declaration of Independence and the other side that believes that the role of government is to administer ‘social justice.’ A divide between those who believe that Americans are a free and noble people who should be left to run their own lives and those who believe that we are fundamentally flawed people who must be controlled in order to properly balance the rights and privileges of various favored or disfavored social groups.
Sadly, the clash between this reality our true divisions and the Democrats continuing attempt to characterize half of the country as racists and extremists will doom Biden’s purported goal of unity. Unless Biden shows true respect for his political opponents, he will leave this country further divided than when he took office.