A call to unity

President Joe Biden’s Inaugural Address was a personal word focused on the pandemic’s devastating impact on the nation’s health and economy. The assault on the Capitol two weeks earlier added an element of urgency to the new president’s call to unity. Some highlights:

“…the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us. On ‘We the People’ who seek a more perfect Union.” After citing some of the challenges that we now face, he said: “It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy: Unity. Unity.” Then, he said, “Today … my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together. Uniting our people. And uniting our nation. I ask every American to join me in this cause. Uniting to fight the common foes we face….”

Chris Wallace of Fox News said “I’ve been listening to these inaugural addresses since 1961, John F. Kennedy…I thought it was a great speech. … I thought this was the best inaugural address I ever heard.”

Yesterday, Dr. Anthony Fauci told Ted Koppel that we will see “much more of a coordinated, synergistic partnership between the federal government and the states.” The president set a tone of unity with his coronavirus team: “We might have setbacks. But…we’re not gonna point fingers. We’re not gonna blame people. We’re not gonna hide anything. We’re gonna be totally transparent and honest and we’re gonna try and fix it.” Each step toward unity helps restore confidence in our institutions. Dr. Fauci said, “And we’ve gotta repair it. We have to. Because the country’s at stake.”

From “Why Biden’s Inaugural Address Succeeded,” by James Fallows, The Atlantic, January 22, 2021

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