With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inagural Address
We’re not involved in a Civil War, but the United States is deeply divided and most of the 75 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump, still appreciate much of what the President accomplished, despite the catastrophe of last week inside the U.S. Capitol.
President-elect Joe Biden promised prior to last Wednesday that he would be President for all Americans. But he has shown an incredible tin ear toward the half of America who didn’t vote for him. He is already appearing weak and leaderless in the face of the continued hatred being spread by Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and other “Never Trumpers.”
Last Wednesday was a terrible moment in our history (Although the invasion of the Capitol was not the first since 1814 as was widely reported. In 1967 armed Black Panthers invaded the Capitol and held it for awhile before they were disarmed by Capitol police.), but in terms of Joe Biden’s pledge to bring America back together and serve the entire nation, how doe Pelosi’s call for a second impeachment with less than 10 days remaining in Trump’s term create any basis for healing?
The answer, is, it doesn’t, because it is driven by hatred, vitriol and spite that was fostered by Democrats even before President Trump took office.
We have American history that can guide us through this mess, if we want to turn from hatred and offer grace. First there is Abraham Lincoln’s amazing “with charity for all” inauguration speech where he lays a framework for bringing the nation back together. That’s the grace part. The hatred part comes after Lincoln was assassinated, Andrew Johnson became President and many in the North wanted to continue to punish the South. Malice toward none; with charity for all resurfaced under President Grant as he pushed for reconstruction and equality for newly freed slaves. And then that fell apart driven by the hatred of racism and the rise of the KKK.
At the end of WWI, the U.S. under the weak leadership of Woodrow Wilson, joined England in France in severely punishing the German people, sending their economy into collapse and giving rise to Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party. But the U.S. seemed to learn at the end of WWII with the Marshall Plan for Europe and Gen. MacArhur’s plan to rebuild Japan and turn her into a U.S. ally.
And who reaches out with charity? The victor or the vanquished?
The question remains, will Joe Biden be led by the utter hatred of Pelosi and Schumer toward Trump and his 75 million supporters, or will he offer a peace plan for the nation? In the short run, at least, it appears he will let Pelosi and Schumer run with this completely insane call for a second impeachment.