Guest columnist Jonathan A. Wright: From Wrexit to JoeJoy

  • Snow covers the ground at the White House, Monday, Feb. 1. AP PHOTO/EVAN VUCCI

Published: 2/8/2021 4:38:20 PM

Let us talk for a moment about unity. I experience unity as aspirational, as finding commonality, some degree of shared values, and taking common action for a common good. Nothing about unity of purpose suggests unanimity of opinion or views. A minority does not get the last word. Inclusion is good, and a great gesture from President Biden and something the Republicans studiously chose not to practice for the last four years, using the nuclear option to pack the courts and carrying out harm all over America. Judges of inclusion they will never be.

The idea of unity is not, as Republicans want to contend, a way to say, “if you are not doing what we want, you are not being unifying.” If I say no, you fail. As if the minority with the loudest megaphone is in charge.

Republican leaders need to take stock of the carnage of the last four years and decide what they believe in. With all the talk about infrastructure improvements, they accomplished nothing when they had control of the House, the Senate and the Executive Branch. They were too busy tearing down health care access, ripping families apart, and blowing up decades of international alliances.

Let us not forget that the last three Democrats elected president have inherited Republican-led downturns and recessions, all well aligned with the timid inactions of Herbert Hoover that allowed the Great Depression to overtake all of America.

The Republican leadership has spent the last four years creating bundled lies, hollowing out government, politicizing and weaponizing all aspects of policy, refusing to lead based on facts, and sacrificing hundreds of thousands of lives because they neither know how nor care to govern. As it fades, I call it Wrexit. I wish it were over, but it is not.

As I contemplate the idea of no culpability for Donald Trump’s sedition because he is no longer in office, I am amazed. For example, if I blow up the place where I work, and I quit, am I no longer responsible? The statute of limitations is 11:59 a.m. Jan. 20? This seems a profoundly precarious stance for anyone who has taken a federal oath. It makes no difference that 45 Republican senators believe that this position will save their next election. That is not their job or their oath of office. A reminder to all: governing is not a matter of counting the emails. It is about making policy and fact-based decisions that do good.

When I look at the cabinet coming into office, the executive actions, and all the informative communications not on Twitter but in a sensible form of communication about facts and issues with real content, I heave a sigh of relief. I get choked up by stories of the good we are capable of everywhere when we put down the slogans and get to work. Let us embrace this common feeling that we can save our country, our families, and our planet. Call it unity if you like. I call it JoeJoy.

Jonathan A. Wright is a resident of Northampton.
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