Letter: Thomas McKenna, Lovettsville

Editor: Although a new president was sworn in on Jan. 20, Republicans and Democrats both seem unable to let go of Donald Trump. It’s time to move on, and politicians as well as everyday Americans have a role to play.

Republicans can begin by cutting Mr. Trump loose. Though there were a thousand points of political analysis that could have been made on Jan. 6, only one thing needed to be said: “This shouldn’t happen in the United States. What a nightmare.” Instead, the President failed to be a leader when America needed it most.

Mr. Trump didn’t call for violence, but his repeated conspiracies fueled a mob and his belated condemnation was sugar-coated in kind words for the worst among us. “We love you, you’re very special,” he said to rioters in a Twitter video message that afternoon. “But go home, and go home in peace.” There’s no criminal case against him, but he bears some moral responsibility for the storming of the Capitol.

74 million Americans voted for him, but he wouldn’t come close to those numbers if the election were held today. Despite the tweets, many Trump voters reluctantly pulled the lever either for more conservative policies and judges or out of fear of a left-wing takeover. But Mr. Trump’s insufficient response to the Capitol riots was too big of a pill for that reluctant group to swallow.

Mr. Trump is finished in American politics. A Jan. 15 Pew Research poll found that 68% of Americans don’t want him to “remain a major political figure in the future.” Republicans should stop parroting baseless claims about voter fraud sufficient to overturn the election and stop twisting themselves into pretzels to defend his recent comments. Vice President Pence showcased the “Trump record” without Mr. Trump during his VP debate performance, and it looked awfully good. Deregulation, conservative judges, and foreign policy victories. Continue the policy, drop Trump.

Similarly, Democrats need to move on too. Now that Mr. Trump is gone, impeachment only serves as another symbolic gesture, and the House of Representatives has fulfilled that purpose. Twice.

Senate Democrats hope to score political points by “removing” aformerpresident. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Jan. 13 that, “there will be an impeachment trial,” but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would not start the trial until the Senate reconvenes Jan. 19.

A post-presidency impeachment trial would set a dangerous precedent for future legislatures. Would any new Congress impeach the former President if he were of the opposing party? We should hope not. What better way to stall the business of government than a show trial?

Most of all, the Biden administration rode in on the “unity” horse, but Congressional Democrats want to ride the Trump horse until it dies. This is the president’s chance to stand up to Democrats at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. An endless impeachment trial would prevent the unity the Biden administration must bring to a divided nation.

And it’s time for Americans outside the beltway to move on, too. Incivility and divisive rhetoric didn’t begin with Donald Trump, and won’t end with him either. But their excesses should be compartmentalized in four tense years.

Let’s talk to our neighbors. It’s not a good thing that some Americans can’t understand why their neighbor would vote for “the other guy” and may even regard them as evil if they did. Most people aren’t evil, aren’t stupid, and don’t hate you. They probably just disagree. We may find out as much if we start more amicable conversations.

Our political climate has become increasingly heated in recent years, and the pot boiled over on Jan. 6. It’s about time Americans said, “cool it.”

Thomas McKenna, Lovettsville

6 thoughts on “Letter: Thomas McKenna, Lovettsville

  • 2021-01-19 at 11:11 am
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    A good and decent letter, which will fall on the deaf ears of the fringe at Harrison Street, Richmond, and Washington.

  • 2021-01-19 at 2:29 pm
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    Agree it’s past time for America to get back to business. Don’t agree with the author that Trump’s policies were great though I haven’t had to pay the sort of price that 400,000+ Americans have paid for his negligence of leadership. Let’s learn from where Trump’s fanning the flames of division and hate took us and vow to never again support a politician that’s willing to destroy our country as long as it benefits their ambitions.

  • 2021-01-19 at 3:09 pm
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    As I understand it, the only way to ensure Trump can’t hold office again is to impeach and indict first. Only then can a vote be held to ban him. Otherwise the cancer can just come back.

  • 2021-01-20 at 8:35 pm
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    Trump will be back in 4 years to restore America after Biden screws it up. Oh, and blaming the deaths of 400,000 Americans on Trump is laughable. While I can’t say I wish Biden had been President when COVID started, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that many more people would be dead because, as the product of a career in government without accomplishing anything, Biden would have been bogged down in government red tape and we would be nowhere near a vaccine. Then again, the media would likely have reported many of these supposed COVID deaths for what they really were: Cancer, flu, accidents, etc.

  • 2021-01-21 at 3:47 pm
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    Look, neither side wants to live in the same country as the other.

    On the Dem side, they want to get preferences for whatever “class” they can associate themselves with (race, gender, ethnicity, orientation, religion, etc.). They want the police to take money from those who work by force and give it to those who don’t. They want to force residents to pay for the killing of fetuses, both inside and outside the US. They want to teach kids that America was a mistake and that cops are killers. They rarely volunteer to serve to protect the US and want to allow unlimited illegal immigration (well, as long as it helps them get more votes). They want to ban the use of efficient fuels that make America energy independent. And they want to censor, even criminalize, speech that conflicts with any of these goals. Why would they want to live with those who oppose this?

    On the other side, they want everybody to be treated individually without respect to race, class, sex or religion. They want to use taxes for the common purpose (courts, defense, roads, etc.) but base the economy on capitalism so residents have both the incentive to work and the incentive to choose jobs efficiently. They oppose any government taking money from residents to kill fetuses. They want their kids to know that America has been the greatest force for good in the history of the world, defeating the Soviet Union, the Axis Powers in WWII and the Central Powers in WWI. They want kids to know America is the least racist and most free country (most free until recently) in the world. They want their kids to cherish the cops/military and to continue to serve. They want America to be energy independent to eliminate the need for so many foreign wars. They want their kids to know that America permits more legal immigration than any other country but must set limits on immigration to protect the interests of Americans. And most of all, they want to be able to speak freely to convince other Americans why they should follow these ideals. Why would they want to live with those who oppose freedom and love socialism?

    There is no common ground. Neither side would voluntarily live in a country run by the other. It’s time to seek amicable division. West Virginia separated from Virginia. Maine separated from Massachusetts. The UK exited the EU. It can be done.

  • 2021-01-24 at 8:39 am
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    That is a well written letter and I agree with all of his points. The idea that the goal of the confirmation of impeachment is so that trump can no longer hold office is a goal of disenfranchising the voters. If he runs and is again elected, then that is the will of the people. I honestly don’t see that happening since the January 6th riot in the Capitol turn many middle of the road republicans against him. I personally voted for him 2x but would not do so a third time.

    I wish the Biden administration success, the same way I wish every president success. If the President does well, then we as Americans do well. Just as it was with Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump, I will not agree with all of his decisions (within his first week he already halted deportations) but hopefully I will agree with many of them.

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