Mueller report: The rhetoric of rage and division continues

We live at a very divisive time in America. The Mueller report was finally released to Attorney General Barr without a recommendation for further indictments and the White House breathed a sigh of relief. However, the attacks against Trump immediately continued. 

I really hoped this would be a signal for national healing to begin, but I was wrong. Democrat anger and outrage has boiled over on several cable news stations this week. Fist-thumping Democrats in Congress, such as House Judiciary Chairman Jerry NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerREAD: White House letter refusing to participate in impeachment hearings White House tells Democrats it won't cooperate in impeachment hearings Democrat says he expects to oppose articles of impeachment against Trump MORE (D-N.Y.),  also threaten to bring the Mueller report to the Supreme Court if the full contents aren’t released to them and the public.

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The rhetoric of rage and division continues. As a physician I can tell you that fear and hatred lead to an outpouring of stress hormones which causes health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, as well as anxiety and depression.

The entire Trump presidency has been shrouded in special counsel Mueller’s report and now that it is over, it is time to heal the public psyche. Debate is one thing, but the constant climate of threat, name calling and back and forth accusations is unhealthy.

The president responds to perceived attacks against him on twitter. His David versus Goliath flame throwing approach — whether you agree or disagree with it — provides an important human window that we don’t usually get to see in our top official, hidden as a president usually is behind walls of operatives.

We need to return to a more civil discourse. Conservatives may find their core strength in business choices and liberals in social initiatives, but surely we can accept each other despite these differences. We look to our leaders, especially our president, to set an example that we can all live by.

Remember how badly we all felt after 9/11 — amplified by all the non-stop media coverage — it felt as though each of us had been personally attacked. This fear punctured the national psyche and led to a series of health scares, beginning with anthrax.

Remember how proud and strong we all felt when President Bush stood up on that car hood at the World Trade Center site and vowed to stand up for all of us? The national psyche needed that from our top leader; it was a moment of national healing.

President Obama was a highly qualified committed leader who also encountered a lot of divisiveness. Placing blame on the prior administration or on the opposition party as he did when he was president was not the best way to heal America, any more than it is right now. 

Similarly now, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization House Judiciary Committee formally receives impeachment report Artist behind gold toilet offered to Trump sells banana duct-taped to a wall for 0,000 MORE would be wise to consider a more conciliatory approach. But whether we love him or hate him or admit that we don’t really know him, it is time we give our highest elected official a fair chance.

We are a country at peace and we need to act like it.


Marc Siegel, M.D., is a professor of medicine and medical director of Doctor Radio at NYU Langone Health. He is a Fox News medical correspondent