Tone It Down, Mr. President


“Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: bringing America together, uniting our people, and uniting our nation.”

Mr. President, you spoke those timely, eloquent words during your inaugural speech on Jan. 20, 2021, and, at the time, I was genuinely hoping you really meant that.

With it being just a couple of weeks after the mass outbreak of anger, violence, and sheer stupidity at the Capitol - and after the months of protesting, rioting, and looting that swept the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death – and following one of the most contentious election cycles in American history – and amidst all the collective trauma that goes with a global pandemic – after all that, the American people were definitely needing to calm down, back down off all the extreme rhetoric and behavior, and stop looking at each other as the enemy.

We were in dire need of a calming voice and a moderating influence.

But now, 20 months or so into your presidency, I can’t honestly say I believe you meant any of that, Mr. Biden.

And your recent address from Philadelphia – what the heck was that? Was my mind playing tricks on me, or were you actually trying to sell the American people on the idea that we need a domestic war against homegrown insurrectionists, terrorists, and semi-fascist extremists (otherwise known as MAGA Republicans) in this country?

Now I don’t consider myself a MAGA Republican – I’m not even a Republican. I’m independent and proud of it. Sure, I voted for the big orange jerk once, but I don’t plan on doing that again.

But I do have some family members and friends who are Republicans and are also still pretty big Trump supporters, though I’m not sure if they really meet the definition of MAGA Republicans that you outlined in your speech, Mr. Biden. Personally, I can testify that they love this country, they have a deep respect for the Constitution and the rule of law, and they very much believe in democratic processes and that good government should reflect the will of the people.

And, by the way, none of them were anywhere near the Capitol on Jan. 6, so I would appreciate it if you would refrain from sending FBI agents to interrogate them and take their cellphones.

Now look, I get it. What happened on January 6 was really bad … and shocking and disturbing to most Americans.

But (forgive me for blatant whataboutism) so was the nationwide rioting in the summer (and, in some places, well into the fall) of 2020 - which certainly appeared to involve organized, coordinated squads of unemployed far left extremists road-tripping from city to city with the purpose of steering otherwise honest protests against racial injustice in a sinister, destructive direction. I’m assuming they were far left extremists from all the neo-Marxist rhetoric and the ceremonial American flag burnings they proudly posted on social media.

And thousands of injuries (including about 2,000 injured police officers), around two-dozen deaths, and an estimated $2 billion in property damage is nothing to sneeze at.

Perhaps my memory is failing me, Mr. President, but I seem to recall some elected leaders from your side of the aisle actually stoking that madness. And I can’t seem to remember you calling them out on that.

But you’re absolutely right, Mr. Biden – millions of American citizens doubting the integrity of our election system is very troublesome and does not bode well for the future of our democratic institutions.

Please tell me if I’m out of line here, but I believe it was those on your side of the political divide who first ramped up the questioning of election results to a whole new level following Trump’s win in 2016.

Maybe I was just hallucinating, but it seems that for the first two and a half years of Trump’s presidency, Dems and most of the corporate media relentlessly pushed the narrative that Trump had colluded with the Russians to steal the 2016 election – that is until poor old Bob Mueller had to come out in public and reluctantly stick a pin in that balloon.

And, pardon me for muddying the water with facts, Democratic members of Congress objected to the certification of electors from more states (nine, to be precise) in January of 2017 than the six states Republican House members raised objections about on Jan. 6, 2021.

But, while the last two presidential elections certainly involved more electoral disputes than normal, all that is a legit part of the longstanding machinery of democracy we have built in this country. And, while large numbers of citizens questioning election results is definitely not a healthy development for democracy, it does fall within the constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech we all share as Americans.

Look, there’s no doubt that we have issues with extremism in this country, both on the far right and the far left, but criminalizing and seeking to stamp out extremism on one side while pretending that extremism on the other side doesn’t even exist – well, that’s not exactly a blue-ribbon recipe for national unity, Mr. President.

And there’s nothing that will end free society faster than politically weaponizing law enforcement. Now, I won’t go so far as to say you’re doing that, Mr. Biden, but, honestly, I am a bit concerned by some things I’ve been seeing and reading about.

But, all sarcasm aside, I’m going to assume (for the time being) that all this hyperbolic language you’re using is just aimed at firing up your base ahead of the midterm elections. At least I hope that’s all it is.

In any case, I think you need to tone it down a bit, Mr. President. That’s my advice, anyway.

And you might take a minute to reflect on the words you said and the promises you made back in January of 2021.