Unity was the theme of President Joe Biden’s inaugural speech. But unity, like respect and loyalty, cannot be achieved with demanding—or even pleading—words. It occurs after meaningful actions.
And nothing will bring unity faster than to solve problems important to most Americans.
Responses to a recent Gallup poll uncovered this list of top five problems to solve: coronavirus, the government and poor leadership, economic issues, racism, and election reform.
As the Unifier-in-Chief, Biden has issued plenty of executive orders to begin tackling problems.
Twelve have addressed the coronavirus. And because the economy was roaring before the virus arrived, it’s clear that any order dealing with COVID-19 will, at least indirectly, affect the economy.
One order focused on government and poor leadership. It’s the “Ethic Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel.” These individuals will be required to make an ethics pledge. Pledges are nice. It’s why children recite the Pledge of Allegiance in school, elected officials take an oath to defend the Constitution, and why we stand for the national anthem.
“Advancing Racial Equity and Support in Underserved Communities through the Federal Government,” will give increased support for racial issues. Rioting and protests broke out across the country for much of last year, sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis. It’s just one order that wholly speaks to racism, but it’s a start.
But of the top five problems that Americans have identified, Biden has given zero attention to election integrity. And, according to this poll, election reform scored as a higher concern than health care, immigration, the environment, education, crime, and several other categories.
State legislatures seem to concur. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports a flurry of activity since the election.
Alaska introduced a bill to require signature verification and establishes an election offense hotline. Arizona has pending legislation on creating a voting systems technology study committee, investigating voting irregularities, and using death records to help establish a more accurate voter database. Florida introduced a bill that prohibits use of voting systems and software that is made or designed in a foreign country. Indiana legislators correctly want voting systems that must store votes as whole numbers—one person, one vote—without the use of decimals or fractions. They are also working to establish a commission on election integrity. Kansas introduced a bill that prohibits backdating of postmarks on mail ballots. Kentucky has pending legislation requiring that no voting system be connected to the internet. New Jersey wants the Secretary of State to create a website for voters to report irregularities with mail ballots and establishes a commission to study voting by mail. They also introduced a bill requiring that half of any future, federal election funds go toward voting systems with paper records.
There are many more.
We’ve heard a lot from Biden about choosing hope over fear and facts over fiction.
The truth is that legislative activity at the state level and the Gallup poll show real concern that many have about election integrity. There’s also plenty of chatter in Congress about it.
Mr. President, issue an executive order (or at least a memorandum) that allows for a bipartisan investigation into 2020 election procedures. Do not be fearful of what you will find. You’ve been installed as the 46th president of the United States. Nothing will change that. Instead, be hopeful that investigation results and facts will help to unify our country. Then you will have a better chance to “build back better.”
A president, who truly wants to represent all the people, would address issues most important to the citizenry.
And that’s a fact.