A different tone

On Friday evening, I turned on the television to catch some news. MSNBC’s Ali Velshi was conversing with Jennifer Rubin, an opinion writer for The Washington Post. Velshi asked, “Where does reconciliation come in? Or does it? … We are a divided country. … Where does it begin where people say, ‘We have lived a weird few years. How do we get back onto something that feels like pluralism and is a democracy that is shared by all Americans?'”

Rubin replied, “Well, for one thing, it does start at the top. I think everything Joe Biden has done since he was declared the winner really reflects that sentiment, that we’re one country, we’re one people. We have great challenges. We have to work together. So, I think one way of bridging these gaps is a different tone from Washington, D.C. … At least from the President and his appointees you’re going to get that message.” Then, a look inward:

“Part of this personal. We have to do it in our own communities, in our own organizations, our own churches, our own synagogues, our own state and local governments, which can operate with a lot less acrimony than we do at the federal government. So, I think the task of reconciliation … is a huge issue. It’s not simply a matter of government …. It’s really up to all of us in our personal and our communal lives.”

I’m up for this. I’ll try to be part of setting a different tone. If these posts fail to embrace this larger theme of reconciliation, I welcome your feedback. We’re in this together.

Here’s a surprisingly relevant opinion piece from Ghana in June 29, 2004, hoping the U.S. example of former presidents being gracious to one another would be practiced there: “Who Sets The Tone For Reconciliation?

5 thoughts on “A different tone”

    1. I understand. He’s given us plenty of reason to doubt that capability. If he’s as delusional and narcissistic as he appears, the possibilities of reason and rational thought are limited. In any case, I’m not holding my breath expecting an olive branch from him. What matters is whether I’m willing to extend an olive branch to him. Even more penetrating is the question of whether I would be disappointed if he accepted it (or angry, as Jonah was when Nineveh changed their ways).


      1. If Trump is capable of coming to his senses before the inauguration I will be rejoicing! I can’t imagine a better event. I will be crying tears of joy through the entire ceremony.


  1. Every bully that I’ve gotten to know has been a deeply wounded person, with some (or many) of the wounds self-inflicted. It’s a true art to stand firm against a bully’s destructive behavior without echoing it or lashing out in response. If I see someone as mentally wounded, I’m able to be more compassionate. It takes the edge off my anger and helps me deal with the behavioral issues at hand. It’s very difficult, and that’s why the best interventions (in the case of substance abuse, etc.) are done by loved ones and close friends acting together in a commitment to care and not to enable the destructive behavior. He (and the nation) would have benefitted by having a court jester, or a court prophet (like Nathan was for David), or at least tolerating negative feedback.

    The scene you imagine would be his greatest legacy. Ironically, it would be a Lincoln-like, “charity for all” moment that could help “bind up the nation’s wounds.” To do that, would require the binding up of his own wounds. Frankly, it’s been hard for me to pray for him, but this gives me a focus for prayer. All things are possible. Stranger things have happened. 🙂


    1. I totally agree that all things are possible and that stranger things have happened, so I am all prepared to be moved to tears on Inaugeration Day.


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