Trump's legacy is discord and division

Trump's legacy is discord and division

The possibilities and problems facing President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress Science denialism in the new administration Jill Biden to offer input on helping reunite separated immigrant families: report 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 TrumpFBI says California extremist may have targeted Newsom House Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress Facebook to dial back political content on platform MORE and the soon-to-be former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress Bringing America back from the brink Senate GOP slow walking Biden's pick to lead DHS 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.


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 WarnockDobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' Republicans plan voting overhauls after Biden's win Refreshing the tree of liberty MORE and Jon OssoffJon OssoffDobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' Republicans plan voting overhauls after Biden's win Refreshing the tree of liberty 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 SchumerFormer DHS heads blast Republicans for stalling Binden nominee Mayorkas How will an impeachment trial unite Americans? Humanist Report host criticizes 'conservative Democrats:' They 'hold more power' than progressives 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.


For example, Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinTrump censure faces tough odds in Senate On The Money: GOP digs in on defending Trump tax cuts | Democrats bullish on raising minimum wage | Financial sector braces for Biden's consumer bureau pick Sen. Patrick Leahy returns home after being hospitalized MORE (D-Ill.), Biden's former Senate colleague, will preside over the Senate Judiciary Committee instead of Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamBringing America back from the brink Progressive groups warn Congress against Section 230 changes Senators spar over validity of Trump impeachment trial 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 HarrisSenate Democrats reintroduce DC statehood bill Sen. Patrick Leahy returns home after being hospitalized What the shift in Senate control means for marijuana policy reform 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 LoefflerState-level Republicans wracked by division after Trump's loss Limbaugh falsely says Biden didn't win legitimately while reacting to inauguration Suburbs pose challenge for GOP in post-Trump era MORE and David PerdueDavid PerdueState-level Republicans wracked by division after Trump's loss Suburbs pose challenge for GOP in post-Trump era Democrats swear in three senators to gain majority 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 KempGeorgia state GOP lawmaker introduces bill requiring two copies of ID to vote absentee Trump establishes 'Office of the Former President' in Florida A better response to political violence in America 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.