Yesterday, Joe Biden got sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. In his acceptance speech, Biden spoke the word “unity/uniting” eleven times, and he declared that,

We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal.

Such speeches are always the stuff of loftiness and aspiration, and they are nothing if not validated by actions – by the speaker, by those who work for him, and by those who support him. Fortunately, every inauguration is like the first day of baseball season: a clean slate, an unblemished record, and a time where one can dream and aspire.

Thus, it remains to be seen if this language of unity and reconciliation translates into policy and behavior, and giving him a chance to live up to his words is the right thing to do.

While Biden, as President of a one-party government (by a whisker, but nevertheless…) has it within his power to manage policy, behavior is something he’ll be far less able to dictate and direct.

Indeed, the left-leaning news media presented the end of Trump’s term in pretty much the same way it presented the beginning: with rancor, nastiness, and petty snipes. They are, of course, playing to their audience, or more accurately the audience they chose to serve, i.e. the Trump-deranged (a group to which they themselves clearly belong). Not the Trump-skeptical, or those with a dispassionate interest in actual news, and certainly not anyone who had any more favorable view of the man, but the subset of the populace that spent the last four years in an near-constant state of rage.

The question today is, with Trump gone, with none of the doomsaying about him going non-linear in his last couple weeks, and with the predictions of more violence and chaos proving to be the exaggerations most of us deemed them, will the TDS crowd finally embrace a more peaceful or conciliatory tone towards the rest of the nation?

Somehow, I doubt it.

The left-leaning press has every motivation to keep hammering away at the Untethered Orange Id, even if he quietly retires to his Mar-A-Lago compound (and that “quiet” is pretty much assured, with him banned from Twitter and Facebook, and with Parler getting nuked by Big Tech), but people don’t have to follow suit.

While Pelosi and Schumer have every incentive to keep screaming about him, because they can use his name to play their power games, Biden could be true to his word about unity, and tell them to desist.

We were told that Trump had to be impeached immediately after the Capitol riot, in order to get him out of office before he could do something outrageous. If that was the imperative, why did Pelosi choose not to forward the Articles to the Senate? A cynic might conclude she wanted to delay so that Trump’s name could be kept in the news for many months after he was gone, and a cynic might be right. So, the impeachment was political theater, not “good of the nation” urgency, and that corrupts it rather substantially.

We will be told that they need to complete the impeachment trial so that Trump can be debarred from holding political office ever again, but that, too, reeks of political theater. He’s 74, he’s not exactly a fitness king, and he’s just departed office in a cloud of pettiness and ignominy. While I expect he’ll find ways to continue preaching to his loyalists, he’s not going to rise from the ashes and reclaim the mantle of the GOP in four years. Time tends to soften up those staunch loyalties, especially if they are not hardened by opposition prodding.

A week ago, I opined that he should be impeached and removed. The removal part obviously didn’t happen, and today I believe that the nation would be better off if Trump was simply relegated to the history books. The impeachment is on record, he’ll never erase that, but there’s no purpose to a trial other than partisan gamesmanship, so if Biden is indeed about “unity,” he should urge his party’s Congressional leaders to “move on.”

I know many of you want your pound of flesh. Indeed, I see “never forget!” posts on my social media, as if Trump were Pearl Harbor, 9/11, or The Maine in Havana Harbor (though most have forgotten The Maine). Indeed, people want punishment meted – not just to Trump, but to the 63 million people who voted for him. But what good, at this point, will that do? Will it warn those 63 million not to “do it again?” Or will it just perpetuate the partisan divide and ugly state of discourse? Do you really want to club your fellow citizens into some state of resentful submission?

I also know that many of you resent this election, resent how you and Trump were treated these past four years, and dread the onslaught of leftist governance. I know that there are many loyalists who embraced Trump and Trumpism to the end.

While Trump departed with an Arnold-esque “We will be back in some form” message, it’d be better for all, lovers and haters alike, if we ignored him from here on out. He did incredible harm to any potential legacy with his words and actions post-election, and elevating him as standard-bearer in the next election cycle is virtually demanding a thumping at the polls. Likewise, continuing to gnaw on his carcass, out of vengeful spite, doesn’t serve the public good.

Yesterday, the nation got a fresh start. We could all “move on” as well, and that includes both Trump supporters and Trump detesters. Whatever you think of the past four years, they are now the past, and if we are to find any comity, starting with a “forget about Orange Man” attitude isn’t the worst idea in the world. You might find that your counterparts at the other end of the spectrum might not be such hideous people, after all. And, in “moving on,” we will disempower the agitators in the press and in the public sphere who benefit from flogging his name endlessly. Pay no attention to them, either, and they’ll eventually stop.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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