SPONSORED:

Trump's legacy is discord and division

Trump's legacy is discord and division
© UPI

The possibilities and problems facing President-elect Joe BidenJoe Biden 64 percent of Iowans say 'time for someone else' to hold Grassley's Senate seat: poll Philadelphia shooting leaves 2 dead, injures toddler Ron Johnson booed at Juneteenth celebration in Wisconsin MORE stood out in sharp relief in a brief 24-hour period last week. 

First, there was a dramatic display of democracy in action in Georgia that gave hope that America could finally move forward after four years of under President TrumpDonald TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care MORE and the soon-to-be former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP increasingly balks at calling Jan. 6 an insurrection Black lawmakers warn against complacency after Juneteenth victory Graham quips key to working with Trump: We both 'like him' MORE (R-Ky.). 

That hope was quickly dashed by an attempted coup of the U.S. Capitol building, which was a clear demonstration of the obstacles facing the Biden.

ADVERTISEMENT

The doubleheader Democratic victory last Tuesday night was as sweet as a Georgia peach. The right-wing assault on the U.S. Capitol the next day was as sour as a lemon dipped in vinegar.

The two wins in the Peachtree State will be a big boost to Biden’s efforts to move the nation forward.

The victories by Democrats Rev. Raphael WarnockRaphael WarnockDemocrats facing tough reelections back bipartisan infrastructure deal Democrats scramble to unify before election bill brawl Joe Manchin keeps Democrats guessing on sweeping election bill MORE and Jon OssoffJon OssoffStacey Abrams calls on young voters of color to support election reform bill MLB calls lawsuit over All-Star Game 'political theatrics' Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock MORE in the Georgia Senate runoffs will give the new president and Democrats control of both houses of Congress. 

Biden’s Senate majority comes with Democratic friends with benefits.

The incoming Majority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Five takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar MORE (D-N.Y.) has discretion over the consideration of legislation. So do the new committee chairs who also have the power to schedule hearings on important legislation or investigations into hot policy topics like right-wing extremism.

ADVERTISEMENT

For example, Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinOvernight Health Care: Takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision | COVID-19 cost 5.5 million years of American life | Biden administration investing billions in antiviral pills for COVID-19 COVID-19 long-haulers press Congress for paid family leave Joe Manchin keeps Democrats guessing on sweeping election bill MORE (D-Ill.), Biden's former Senate colleague, will preside over the Senate Judiciary Committee instead of Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCentrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Graham quips key to working with Trump: We both 'like him' Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle MORE (R-S.C.), a Trump ally. Control of the Senate should also make it easier for Biden to confirm cabinet and judicial nominees.

The bright light that shined in Georgia on Tuesday descended into darkness across the nation the next day, when the armed, attempted takeover of the Capitol took place. Unfortunately, the air will not automatically clear by the time Biden takes the oath of office next week.

The day that lived in infamy lasted the rest of the week.

The next day, a record number of  Americans — 4,000 — died of COVID-19. Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that 140,000 Americans lost their jobs last week, which is the first decline in jobs since the early stage of the pandemic in April. 

Trump’s legacy is discord and division. The tragic events at the Capitol are a stark reminder that Biden is set to inherit a deeply divided nation. This means he must focus on healing the scars inflicted by Trump and the grave wounds inflicted by the pandemic. 

Almost half of the voters supported Trump’s failed bid for re-election, despite his failure to fight COVID-19 and his success in subverting democratic norms.

The division is evident in Congress. Democrats only have a majority in the Senate because of Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThe U.S. and Mexico must revamp institutions supporting their joint efforts Harris signals a potential breakthrough in US-Mexico cooperation Watch live: Harris delivers remarks on vaccination efforts MORE’ constitutional power to break a tie vote in the Senate. The Democratic House majority is only about a dozen seats out of 435.

Both Georgia Republican Sens. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Herschel Walker skips Georgia's GOP convention Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock MORE and David PerdueDavid PerdueLoeffler meets with McConnell amid speculation of another Senate run Georgia agriculture commissioner launches Senate campaign against Warnock Georgia Republican secretary of state hits Loeffler as 'weak,' 'fake Trumper' MORE led the field on Nov. 3, but Trump went out of his way to create a climate that caused them to lose just two months later.

He instigated a fight within the GOP when he attacked Gov. Brian KempBrian KempNorth Carolina county reverses course, ends coke machine ban MLB All-Star game to stay in Denver, judge rules MLB calls lawsuit over All-Star Game 'political theatrics' MORE and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for their refusal to void Biden’s victory in the state. When Trump campaigned in Georgia before the runoff, he used his appearances to air his grievances about his own electoral fortunes as much as he did to bolster the candidates he was there to support. 

Trump addressed his supporters just before they set off for the Capitol and delayed the Senate’s election certification process of Biden’s presidential victory.  

In times of crisis, Americans go out of their way to choose a president who is completely different than the one they get rid of. In November, Americans chose a president who promised to bring people together and  to replace a divisive figure. 

Biden has a lot of leftovers on his crowded plate. He must address racial and economic inequality, inadequate and unaffordable health care and destructive effects of climate change. But progress in those vital areas will come only after the United States is whole again.

The new president may or not be a transactional president, but he will need to implement a much needed rest stop on the long and inevitable road to progress.

Brad Bannon is a Democratic pollster and CEO of Bannon Communications Research. He is the host of the podcast Deadline D.C. with @BradBannon and the Progressive Voices network.