Biden’s First Presidential Address
President-elect Joe Biden gave what he called a Thanksgiving address on Wednesday. In reality, it was a presidential address because Trump is no longer performing his duties as president. Biden stepped into that void and gave a speech that should have been given in the spring by Trump.
Instead of fantasy and wishful thinking, Biden gave us the hard truth about the pandemic. He told us exactly what it will take to beat the virus. He told us the unvarnished truth about the sacrifices that Americans will need to make until everyone is vaccinated.
And he spoke about it to us as a president should, encouraging unity rather than the divisiveness to which we have grown accustomed.
Something else that we haven’t heard for four years was empathy. Trump is incapable of feeling empathy for anyone. Biden positively radiates it. He has experienced considerable loss in his life and uses that loss as a way to reach out and embrace people, in this case the families that have lost loved ones to COVID-19.
Biden’s Thanksgiving address was the first step in the healing process that our nation so desperately needs. Healing won’t happen overnight. The toxic division that Trump sowed took four years to fully manifest. It will take a similar amount of time, maybe longer to reverse it.
But we need to start somewhere and Biden used his address to begin that healing. He didn’t wait until he was sworn in to office and officially begin his term as president. He took advantage of Trump’s absence from public life to commence what will be his biggest legacy, bringing the nation back together after Trump worked so hard to tear it apart.
And what was Trump doing while Biden began his work as president? Speaking by phone to a meeting in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, whining and complaining about non-existent fraudulent votes.
Every court case lost, every vote certification diminishes whatever stature Trump has left as president. He hides and broods in the White House, only showing himself in public to pardon turkeys and give one minute press conferences. He doesn’t want to show the world how small and insignificant he has become.
I honestly thought that Trump would fight harder to remain in power, not because he wants to be president with all of the work and responsibilities that it entails, but because he likes to be on top, the most important person in the room. And he hates losing.
Happily, Trump seems content with quietly fading away. Biden is a smart enough and experienced enough politician to take advantage of that and begin his presidency early.
I’m sure that we will be hearing more presidential addresses from him before his inauguration in January that will be filled with more unity and more healing.
It’s good to have a real president again.