Whether Trump is convicted, subjected to the 25th Amendment, or resigns before January 20, it will definitely not remove the sordid stain he was permitted to place on American democracy.
It’s a major challenge to the incoming Biden-Harris administration to remove this stain — an effort that could absorb the next four years.
President-elect Joe Biden has often promised he would be the leader to unite the country after the last tumultuous four years. And, based on the arguments from Republican members of the House on the impeachment hearing, if they are to be believed, they want unity as well.
The razor-thin Democratic majority in the U.S. House and Senate might give rise to more compromise on the part of both parties—another factor that should bode well for some form of healing, providing both parties have an interest in doing so.
However, with the impeachment of the president, this unity may be derailed.
In addition, Biden will have the gargantuan task of tackling an out-of-control pandemic, which comes with vaccinating 300 million Americans. As if his to-do list wasn’t long enough, he will also have to figure out how to stabilize the fragile economy and extend help to the millions of Americans who are going hungry, homeless and bankrupt.
Fortunately, Biden is expected to return the White House to some semblance of normalcy, compared to the reality TV star style which attracted endless drama and nonstop media coverage.
As we reflect on the darkness of the past week and ponder the future of this democracy, let’s not lose sight that there is a bright side. There is optimism that the attempted insurrection on January 6 could serve America in a positive manner similar to how communities react with newfound unity to natural disasters. Such unity could resuscitate the lost art of partisanship in the U.S. Congress, giving Biden-Harris a stronger footing on which to implement national policies. It could also, most hopefully, repair the, albeit shaky, bridges that once existed between the races. And, it could also rebuild tolerance for opposing political views and membership in competing political parties.
It would be naïve to think critical national problems will quickly dissipate. But with the existence of national leaders committed to repairing the yawning gaps in our society, there’s reason to really hope this country is awakening from its four-year nightmare.