Joe Biden’s inaugural speech was a call to unity and decency.
My wife and I watched the Wall Street Journal live coverage on YouTube. Not a single chattering news-head. Refreshing. Intimate.
Mr. Biden was restrained, sincere, patriotic. His simple, panpartisan message was uplifting. Many of Mr. Trump’s supporters were grateful he did not attend.
This is a fading memory: Mr. Trump’s last rally, held within walking distance of the speech, a full-on disaster. The destructive, violent outcome was foreseeable. Mr. Trump was too hungry for approval and validation to restrain himself or his rabid followers.
He is accountable for all that followed. He was painfully unpresidential. But the Trump era is baked, packed and in the can. Done. No need to put a fork in it.
I am done with the name-calling, the blame game. And with Trump infatuation. His imagined political resurrection four years hence is a pipe dream. The very prospect of a rerun of the Trump presidency in 2024 is giving responsible GOP leaders nightmares.
Impeachment is just theater now. Removal is accomplished. We need to move on.
Mr. Biden was presidential and his message projected hope. Yes, we know that all is not well. We understand that Americans will wake up to a damaged country and a broken polity. But the Spanish flu of 1920 also brought on a period of unhinged behavior. Our circumstances in 2021 are comparable. Americans of that period recovered their balance and civility. And so can we.
It is time to change focus. The honest people still standing are now called to face the aftermath honestly.
This means restoring decency to our discussions. It also means addressing the misrepresentation and policy bias in the nanny media complex. It means cleaning out an intelligence apparatus that proved willing to sabotage a presidential candidate that it could not control.
The U.S. intelligence establishment can never again be the tool of the ruling party.
We have been living through a crisis of incoherence. That must change. But it will require a determined push back. The promise of the cyber age of effortless communication has not served us well. We are constantly exposed to uncurated electronic media — a blizzard of “info-mation” where distortion and deception have been weaponized.
The truth hides in a fog of misinformation, misleading factoids and snarky polemic. Reliable information is hard to find because our media minders want to first decide whose side it will help or hurt.
We still need old school journalism, the kind that earned credibility by sticking to the facts, presented without spin. Truth-telling is due a comeback.
Think of it: a renaissance of unvarnished truth-telling. Until we insist on that, rational policy discussions will be out of reach.
We can start by taking a deep breath and dialing down the anger. Think of the difference between an argument and a discussion. Remember that we are not our opinions. Sometimes we just might be wrong.
When you have been through a firestorm, you don’t just keep lighting new fires.