Not only has President Joe Biden failed to fulfill his promise to unite a broken nation, his rhetoric is now actively contributing to our divide. The president must watch his tone. He's starting to sound like the man he replaced.
In an angry, rambling rant in Georgia last week, Biden suggested those Americans who oppose the Democratic drive to strip states of their constitutional right to run their own elections are racists and segregationists.
His speech not only distorted the facts about Georgia's voter integrity law, it compared it to Jim Crow-era policies, and likened its supporters to Confederates who want to tear down our democracy.
It was delivered in the same confrontational cadence as the president's address commemorating the anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The Atlanta speech has been widely criticized for both its content and its tone. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said of his old friend and colleague, "I did not recognize the man at the podium," adding that Biden's remarks were incoherent.
Another former Senate colleague, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, conceded, "Perhaps the president went a little too far in his rhetoric," before defending the sentiment of his remarks. For that mild rebuke, Durbin has drawn the ire of fellow Democrats, including Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina.
How's that for unifying the country?
Biden's remarks fit into his administration's view of its opponents. Last year his Justice Department agreed to investigate some parents who protested COVID mandates, after a national school board group likened them to domestic terrorists.
Post Donald Trump, the nation needed a period of calm and healing. Biden promised to bring that. Instead, he's committed himself to passing the most contentious policies with the barest of Democratic majorities in Congress.
His promise of being the president for all Americans now leaves out the roughly half of voters who disagree with the radical transformation Democrats are trying to force on the nation.
Instead of recognizing the country's sharp differences and working toward bipartisan compromise, Biden, in classic Trump fashion, is demonizing his opponents with defamatory labels and outright lies.
Fact-checkers noted a number of false claims made by Biden about Georgia's voting law. And yet the president continues to repeat them.
Distortion is no way to build trust in what Democrats are attempting to do with their federal voting bill.
A year into his presidency, Biden sounds more like Trump than he does the unifier he promised America.
He should mind his tone, and when he speaks, he should speak to all of America with respect.
Had voters wanted bluster and hateful rhetoric, they would have kept the other guy.
The Detroit News