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What unity could look like in the next four years under Biden’s administration
Unity is often defined as the condition of harmony. Coming off a tense election cycle that saw both sides of the political spectrum arguing with one another, one must ask, how can we unify our country and bring it back to a state of harmony? In order to do that, we must look past the ideas that divide us and focus on what really matters. Fortunately, President Joe Biden’s inaugural address did just that.
While addressing the nation, Biden focused on the idea of unity and how he wants to unify a wounded country in his presidential term.
“Politics need not be a raging fire destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war. A nation that actually values one’s character over one’s race. We all strive to have our own unique opportunities and to find success in our careers. And, we must reject a culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.”
Taking Biden’s words to heart, it is important to prioritize the importance of bringing together different viewpoints. We have to look at the things that divide us and realize that there is a bigger picture which is that a political view shouldn’t become a personality trait.
“The unity that I believe he has expressed in his first couple weeks in office is not that everyone agrees on everything but we have to reset the system a bit to provide an environment where differing opinions can be productively expressed,” said Christopher Leland, chair of the department of communication studies at Azusa Pacific. “Our U.S. system is built on the need for checks and balances but also the desire for us to come from a variety of stances and opinions and yet have the ability to be heard so that decision-makers have the necessary information and context in which to make wise and fruitful policy decisions.”
Politics have slowly become a driving force for division, especially with the rise of various social media platforms such as TikTok. Although these platforms have enabled many individuals to voice their opinions, their algorithms have also contributed to the creation of echo chambers that help promote polarization.
So how do we build unity? A step towards that would be to set aside feelings of animosity. Taking time out of your day so that you’re not consumed by the world can help deepen in-person relationships, which is exactly what poet laureate Amanda Gorman called for in her inaugural poem:
“We must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another.”
Her voice can be a cry for the youth to recognize that in a unified country, individuals must strive towards seeing and treating each other as equals. Gorman’s poem continues:
“Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn’t broken,
but simply unfinished.”
Another part to have to unity is recognizing that the citizens of the United States are all striving to work together to create a better country. Though unfinished, I believe that the United States is a nation that grants many liberties that other countries could never provide.
Probably the greatest used figure of unity and peace is Martin Luther King Jr, whose words transcended state borders and social classes. To this day, he is a symbol of the concept of unity and his life’s work is a testament to the fact that this unity can be achieved.
“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other,” King once said.
In the pursuit of harmony, two sides of a coin must come together. We must learn to focus on what unifies us and not what divides us by looking past each other’s opinions. The future of a nation born from the desire to attain freedom is in the hands of the next generation. So put the phone down from time to time, and focus on what really matters in life that is right in front of you.