Opinion | How Joe Biden Can ‘Heal the Nation’

Opinion | How Joe Biden Can ‘Heal the Nation’

Dec. 1, 2020 6:41 pm ET

Editor’s note: This week’s Future View discusses how Joe Biden could try to fulfill his pledge to “heal the nation.” Next week we’ll ask, “How should higher education change, given the experience of the pandemic?” Students should click here to submit opinions of fewer than 250 words before Dec. 8. The best responses will be published that night.

Don’t Get Even

Healing the nation likely requires a diplomatic and moderate approach. In 1974, when President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, it was a wise decision to allow the country to move forward rather than stew in toxic partisanship. Similarly, Mr. Biden should quickly move to dissuade congressional Democrats from investigating President Trump after he leaves office. No healing can begin if the side in power is focused on settling scores.

Next, Mr. Biden shouldn’t seek to undo all the policies of the previous administration or force through polarizing legislation like the Green New Deal on a slim margin of votes. This would only strain an already fractured nation. Legislation to repair the nation’s infrastructure or help small businesses hit by the pandemic would offer a bipartisan route to normalcy in Washington.

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