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OPINION

Editorial: Now is the time to unite and not further divide? Sorry, that won’t cut it

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

    Whenever the United States elects a new president, supporters of the new president generally break into two camps: Pitching their tents in one camp are those who want the new president and the new administration to make a concerted effort to make the previous president and the previous administration politically and possibly even legally responsible and accountable for mistakes, wrongdoing or other malfeasance that occurred during their time in power. Collecting kindling for a bonfire in the other camp are those who instead want to look ahead, not back. They want to move on from whatever negativity or nastiness transpired during the previous president’s time in the White House and basically wipe the slate clean by focusing on the agenda the new president and administration want to advance.

    Choosing the latter seems like the best way to go, does it not? Moving forward with the goal of doing good things for the nation and putting the past in the rear-view mirror...who wouldn’t want that?

    It’s why incoming presidents love to talk about their “first 100 days” in office after inauguration and all of the bold, ambitious things they hope to accomplish during that time. Who wants to spend that time, and likely much longer, holding congressional hearings and rehashing all of the bad things that most people probably want to forget?

    President Donald Trump’s four years in the White House and the havoc that he and his administration wreaked and continue to wreak throw all of that “let’s just move on” stuff out the window.

    Over the four years, many cabinet members or members of the White House staff have either resigned or been fired by Trump. With each successor installed by Trump, actual experience and intelligence have given way as the required qualifications to loyalty to Trump, no matter the situation, no matter the cost. Given whom he’s surrounded himself with, it’s no surprise that things veered even further off the rails as Trump’s time in office slogged on.

    And laws have been broken. Lies have been told daily. The constitution has been violated. Some of the misdeeds occurred early on and have been ongoing, like Trump personally profiting as president off the U.S. Government’s dime. But what we have witnessed as a nation leading up to and since the Nov. 3 election has taken it all to a new level, and then another new level, and then another new level. Only in a Trump world could the obvious criminal act of a losing president calling the Georgia secretary of state and being recorded as he tells him he needs to recalculate his state’s vote tally in order to give him the win be thrust from the news cycle only a couple days later by Trump inciting a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.

    Along with Trump himself, U.S. senators and representatives played a central role in what transpired at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The U.S. Constitution clearly states that if you are involved in inciting such acts, you can no longer hold federal office. You don’t, you cannot, simply ignore that for the sake of “moving on.”

    So, while it’s tempting to simply move on and try one’s best to never think about Trump again, it’s not fair to the United States of America to simply let him and his enablers and coddlers get away with what they’ve done, and continue to do. To simply conclude that we need to unite now and that continuing to dredge up these matters will only further divide us as a nation is a naive cop-out.

    Furthermore, if no one suffers any significant consequences for their misdeeds, history has shown that they will only intensify their efforts next time around.

Mike Christopherson, Crookston Times managing editor