LaBoyteaux–Dear President Elect Biden

Congratulations on your election as the 46th president of the United States.  For me at least, our national nightmare is ending.

The country remains deeply divided and you will need to make extraordinary efforts to bridge that divide.  You will need to engage and allow access and extra transparency to those who voted for Donald Trump.  You will need to inform, lead and encourage a national discussion about issues like climate change, energy and immigration.

Every president for the last 50 or more years has used more executive orders.  It is not a good way to govern.  Your most important job is to make our democratic system of government work as well as it can.  Sometimes you need to start with the deepest concerns from the opposite side of the aisle.

We need a secure boarder with Mexico and we should not admit large numbers of refugees from Central America by reason of asylum.  But we certainly need to end the cruelty and bunker mentality.  We need to do all we can through foreign policy to address economic conditions in these people’s home countries.  We need to recognize the contribution, especially to agriculture of guest workers and new immigrants to our country.

We need to produce somewhat more oil, gas and coal than the country consumes in order to maintain energy independence and keep consumer prices under control.  We need to do this as we simultaneously move our nation and world to clean and renewable energy sources.  Renewable energy is already an industry, we need to expand that industry as a huge generator of both energy and employment.  There will always be an oil industry.  Fracking is mostly good.  We don’t need to dominate the world oil market, we need to lead the world toward clean energy.

The Hyde amendment is the law of the land and it should apply as well to foreign aid.  However, gag rules are a first amendment issue, and conversation between a woman and her doctor cannot be prohibited.  Funding for cancer screening and contraception should not be prohibited because the same organization my provide abortion at a woman’s own expense.  Abortion is a woman’s choice and her responsibility.  The government does not pay for it.

De-funding the police is non-starter, but we certainly need to train police officers to de-escalate situations in which there is no immediate threat to themselves or the public.  Vandalism and looting cannot be tolerated.  Local control in times of civil unrest is essential.  Black lives matter because all lives matter.

Every young person who graduates high school in this country should attain at least an apprentice level in some trade, regardless of future career, each should have the experience and confidence of work with their own two hands.

I thought to remove most of my policy specific thoughts from this posting because President Elect Biden, through his statements and cabinet selections has shown a much broader perspective about America’s role in the world.  On rereading I’m leaving it as is, because I view policy one issue at a time and believe that is where we find the compassion and compromises to help unify the country.

On watching President Trump’s baseless attacks on the election these past two weeks, I conclude we did barely preserve our Democracy.



Leave a Reply