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Now that Joe Biden has been successfully inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States, I think it is the job of the media to try to unify the country. This country has been so divided on issues and ideologies for years and it is only getting worse. I am seeing my own peers choosing sides and only associating themselves with people who think the way they do about politics.
This division is clearly dangerous with many Trump supporters and Biden supporters believing that a civil war is right around the corner. The sad part is that some Americans are actually looking forward to a civil war because they believe the other side is evil. We should not want to fight and kill our own fellow Americans no matter how different someone’s political views are from you.
The problem is with biased media outlets that only tell a story through one view and don’t invite the other way of thinking. People are only watching the news media that agrees with their personal beliefs the most. This needs to stop and I think it needs to start at the local level. The Bangor Daily News is not biased in its news but that doesn’t mean it’s promoting unity actively either. The news should be promoting unity and healing within our very own local communities. Most people are good people, even if they have totally different views on politics and the news needs to be constantly reminding its local viewers
A much-needed gift
Pearls Before Swine in the Saturday/Sunday color comics was both hilarious and poignant. I laughed til I cried.
Thank you to Stephen Pastis and the BDN for this much-needed, healing gift.
Senate impeachment on strong constitutional footing
In 1876, Secretary of War (now called Secretary of Defense) William Belknap was impeached for alleged corruption and put on trial in the Senate even though he had resigned. There is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits the Senate, which has sole authority over impeachment trials, from placing an impeached official on trial regardless of timing.
Think about it. If federal officials such as presidents, cabinet secretaries and judges could not be impeached and placed on trial, even if they had already left office for whatever reason, then that would be a terrible precedent because it would be allowing impeachable offenses to happen just as long as the bad behavior occurs near the end of the offender’s term of office or if the offender decides to resign after committing the offense(s). And where would that leave us? With little to no accountability or consequences for corrupt and impeachable behavior merely due to the timing of the offense(s). That’s unacceptable and dangerous, and surely was not the intention of our founders.
The ability to convict offenders for impeachable actions, coupled with preventing them from again holding office, even if they have already left office, is necessary to uphold public confidence in government and serve as a strong deterrent against corrupt and dangerous behavior by high-level federal officials.
Embrace teachable moments
As a fellow teacher in a district abutting Bangor, I have to share what a disappointing feeling I had when I read the Jan 18. BDN headline about Bangor High School not showing the inauguration for “fear of violence.” Not only did the school system and especially the students lose a teachable moment, it goes beyond that.
The Bangor school system either fears that the teachers are unqualified to teach controversial subjects or the administration lacks confidence in the stewards of education. What safer place can students debate controversial topics than in a classroom? The administration must have a very powerful grip on what it believes students should see and hear. For either reason, both scenarios are poor choices.
This greater Bangor community harbors our flagship University of Maine. We should embrace opportunities that are teachable moments, not stifle them.
Donald A. Joseph