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Top Story: From Sabrina Siddiqui and Michael C. Bender of the Wall Street Journal News Team: At a drive-in rally in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, “President-elect Joe Biden called for an end of ‘a grim era of demonization in America,’ as he promised to unite a deeply divided nation mired by a pandemic, racial unrest, and an economic recession. ‘I pledge to be a president who does not seek to divide, but unify, who doesn’t see red states and blue states, but only sees the United States,” Mr. Biden said. Would a President Joe Biden be able to unite the country? Here’s what both sides are saying:
On the Right: From Liz Peek of Fox News Opinion: “Joe Biden won’t ‘heal the country’ – he wouldn’t dare try. If Biden really wants to bring the nation together, he could start by proving to the satisfaction of all voters that his election was free and fair. He should encourage a recount in those states, like Georgia, which remain too close to call, and join the Trump campaign in investigating possible chicanery in Pennsylvania and computer ‘glitches’ that reportedly boosted Biden’s winning tally in Michigan.” (Side Note: Biden is being called on by other members of the right to back an audit or ballot review: J. Peder Zane of RealClearPolitics said, “Biden Should Second Trump’s Call for Ballot Reviews.” Jeffrey Lord of American Spectator wrote, “If Biden Wants ‘Unity’, He Needs to Get Behind an Audit.“) Peek continues by saying: “…demanding transparency would be a good beginning for Biden. Taking an office that millions of Americans believe you ‘stole’ will only deepen our country’s divide. But imagine the blowback he’d get from Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, who tweeted: ”Any R now promoting rejection of an election … should never serve in office, join a corporate board, find a faculty position or be accepted into ‘polite’ society. We have a list.” Joe sure doesn’t want to be on Rubin’s ‘list.’ Biden could also help heal our nation by denouncing Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes’ threat to archive tweets challenging the election outcome from ‘Trump sycophants,’ presumably to face punishment in the future, along with similar comments by failed presidential candidate and never-Trumper Evan McMullin. Biden should remind these folks that 71 million Americans voted for President Trump; that’s a long list of ‘enemies.’ Most likely, Biden will do none of these things. He’s terrified of the progressive wing of his party, and rightly so. By not sitting out the election in a pout, the Bernie Sanders brigade helped carry Biden over the finish line. He owes them; they will demand payback.” Peek concludes saying, “We hope, as everyone should, that Joe Biden is able to bring us together. But uniting a country requires leadership and strength. We have yet to see either from Joe Biden.”
On the Left: Prior to the election San Jose’s Mercury News Editorial Board, along with others, wrote: “It’s time to heal and work to unite the country. For that, the US needs a president who will put the country ahead of personal and political self-interests. Who believes in science. Who cares about people of all economic and racial backgrounds. Who has a history of reaching across the political aisle rather than demonizing those who disagree with him. It’s time to elect Joe Biden.” The Editorial Board said: Biden was “the candidate who wears a mask and recognizes that the pandemic will not magically disappear [and] selected the first woman of color as a vice-presidential candidate for a major party. He’s the candidate who distinguishes between those legitimately protesting racial injustice and those who are simply looting — and doesn’t try to conflate the two to foment strife for political ends nor disseminate discredited conspiracy theories to sow division.” The Editorial Board concedes that Biden wasn’t their first choice (Amy Klobuchar was), which is something Dan Balz, chief correspondent at The Washington Post notes as well. Balz said, “Skeptics, including some of his rivals for the Democratic nomination, saw his talk of unity and bipartisanship as the naive musings of a politician from a bygone era.” However, “… Biden was able to rebuild key parts of the Democrats’ northern blue wall that Trump had demolished in 2016. … More to his credit, he is leading in two states in the Sun Belt, Arizona and Georgia.” Balz says, “Biden might have been the only Democrat among the two dozen or so men and women who sought the nomination who was capable of doing what he did.” Douglas Schoen, a consultant who served as an adviser to President Bill Clinton and to the campaign of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, says, “whether we are red or blue, northern or southern, white or people of color, Biden will need to make broad efforts to reject political division. This is something the former vice president has pledged to do, yet it will be a challenge in this era of polarization and division. Though without this, Biden will not be able to fully succeed as president, or for this country.”
Flag This: The Visual Capitalist’s Iman Ghosh published the chart above in September 2019. The data came from “a report by the independent think tank Pew Research on the partisan divide between the two major U.S. political parties, Democrats and Republicans. The data is based on surveys of over 5,000 adults to gauge public sentiment, tracking the dramatic shifts in political polarization in the U.S. from 1994 to 2017. The results are a fascinating deep dive into America’s shifting political sentiment.” Ghosh says, “The animation above demonstrates how the political divide by party has grown significantly and consistently over 23 years. In 1994, the general public was more mixed in their allegiances, but a significant divergence started to occur from 2011 onward. By 2017, the divide had significantly shifted towards the two extremes of the consistently liberal/conservative scale. Median Democrat and Republican sentiment also moved further apart, especially for politically engaged Americans.”