Unity, Liberty, and the Peaceful Transfer of Power
On Wednesday, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States. My family and I earnestly pray for President Biden, his family, and our great country as we begin this next chapter of American history.
In many ways, Inauguration Day offered an opportunity to reflect on the majesty of our American system of government. Specifically, I thought about the remarkable nature of our peaceful transfer of power. Inauguration Day was peaceful. One president left, and another took office. For this, I am grateful, and I continue to marvel at the exceptionalism of America.
For our nation, the peaceful transfer of power is always successful because power is never vested in an individual. Instead, the United States vests power in the institutions enumerated in our Constitution. People come and go, but the strength of our Constitution endures.
In his inaugural address, President Biden issued a call to unity. He asked that Americans come together as one for the good of the nation. Let me be clear, I believe in unity, and I believe we must all find common ground with each other. However, the reality and glory of the United States is that we have a diversity of political views. People believe different things and live their lives in different ways. This should be celebrated.
Unfortunately, the President’s call to unity seems to ignore our natural diversity. Moreover, President Biden never discussed how this unity can be achieved in practical terms. How must we unify? What do we unite around? How do you ask two people who hold diametrically opposing beliefs to find unity? These are fundamental questions which went unanswered.
Sadly, President Biden chose not to address these questions and seemingly ignored his own call to unity. Just hours after he took office, President Biden signed dozens of executive orders that continued to stoke partisan frustrations. To be clear, Presidents of both parties always sign partisan executive orders on their first day in office. They typically do this to please their own political base. However, could these hyper-partisan executive orders be one example of why we struggle to find real unity?
If the President was genuinely interested in unity, then perhaps he could have turned his executive orders into legislation. Then the duly elected representatives and senators of the people could have voted on the merits of the ideas themselves. That was how our system was designed, and it gives all Americans a chance to weigh in. Regrettably, we did not see this olive branch extended. As such, I can only surmise that President Biden’s call to unity was instead a call to ‘get in line.’
When you elected me as your representative, you called on me to stand up for the principles that I campaigned on. I believe in limited government, decentralized power, low taxes, and the value of every human life; born and unborn.
To expect all people to agree on all things is a preposterous and dangerous goal. One of the reasons I am a conservative is because I recognize that the American people are diverse in their beliefs, and I rejoice in such diversity. Limited government allows individuals to live and believe as they choose. By contrast, the actions and directives of a centralized government often demand conformity. To this conformity, we must not yield.
President Biden will only divide this nation further if he seeks political conformity rather than unity. Frankly, we need to find practical ways we can unify without giving up on the principles we hold dear. Quite simply, I believe the best way we can begin to build true unity is to treat others as we would like to be treated.
We may still disagree on substantive issues, but I am committed to treating others as I would like to be treated.