January 6, 2021 is a day that will live in infamy. Our Capitol Building was breached and five people were killed including one Capitol Hill police officer. More than 50 police officers were injured and at least 15 of those cops were hospitalized. In response, our government was able to arrest more than 80 people.
As a country, we must find a way to heal our divide. Exactly one week after the election, I wrote that President Trump should concede. On January 7, 2021, President Trump finally conceded.
In November, I also predicted that it was highly unlikely that his legal challenges would succeed. Instead of contesting the results, President Trump, and the Republican Party, should have focused more on the two Senate races in Georgia.
Last week, the Republican candidates narrowly lost both Senate races. Raphael Warnock won by 2 percent and Jon Ossoff only won by 1 percent. As a result, the Republicans have lost control of the United State Senate.
I still believe that most Democrats and Republicans do not want to live in such a divided country.
For my part, I want to use this column as a platform to finding solutions to bridge the political divide and heal this country.
Bipartisanship can never be one party getting everything they want and the other party getting nothing. We can and must do better than that.
In fact, I would not be alive today if not for two polar opposites working together. In my case, Herbert Hoover and Vladimir Lenin worked together to feed Russia during a horrible famine exactly 100 years ago.
From 1921 to 1923, a famine struck Soviet Russia. At 13-years-old, my grandfather was forced to watch his father killed in pogrom in October 1920.
His mother, my great-grandmother had six children to feed when the famine came a few months later. My family had little hope of surviving because they had just lost their breadwinner.
In the 1921-23 famine, 5 million people would eventually die. The number would have been twice as high if not for Herbert Hoover.
Hoover formed the American Relief Administration and fed over 10 million people in Russia daily. Hoover wanted to help the Russian people for humanitarian reasons. Lenin accepted his help because he didn’t have a choice.
As a child, my grandfather was very impressed by the decency of the American people. No amount of Soviet propaganda could ever change his views.
The gulf in political views between Herbert Hoover and Vladimir Lenin was far greater than anything that divides Democrats and Republicans today. If Hoover and Lenin can work together, so can Democrats and Republicans today.
If President Trump can make peace between Israel and four Arab countries, then President-elect Biden can surely find ways to heal the partisan divide.
If the incoming Biden administration is sincere about healing this country, they will prosecute all violent protesters from Washington to Portland despite their political affiliation. He will also respect freedom of speech from conservatives and prevent Twitter, Facebook, Google, Apple and other tech companies from using this crisis to ban conservatives speakers and censor conservative ideas.
For example, Google and Apple, as a response to the storming of the Capitol by extremists, removed Parler’s app from their app stores. Amazon also removed Paler from its cloud hosting service.
Obviously, conservatives will have to make their own app stores if conservative social media will ever work. If Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube and other liberal platforms will not tolerate other people’s opinions, we must build our own platforms.
I hope President-elect Biden will try to heal the divisions in this country. Shortly after the election, Biden told disappointed Trump supporters:
“And to those who voted for President Trump, I understand your disappointment tonight. I've lost a couple of elections myself. But now, let's give each other a chance. It's time to put away the harsh rhetoric. To lower the temperature. To see each other again. To listen to each other again. To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy. We are not enemies. We are Americans.”
How can we listen to each other again if conservatives don’t have freedom of speech? Any effort to heal the country will be hollow if the Biden administration doesn’t protect freedom of speech and independence of the judiciary to back it up.
Nobody in the United States should ever be fired from his/her job for being a conservative. If Joe Biden doesn’t see conservatives as his enemies, then he will fight for their freedom of speech.
Robert Zapesochny is a researcher and writer whose work focuses on foreign affairs, national security and presidential history. His work has appeared in a range of publications, including The American Spectator, the Washington Times, and The American Conservative. For several years Robert worked closely with Peter Hannaford, a senior aide to Ronald Reagan, as the primary researcher on four books and numerous columns. Robert has also worked on multiple presidential, national and statewide campaigns, including as a field office staffer for the Bush-Cheney campaign. Due to his own Russian-Jewish heritage, Robert has a keen interest in the history of U.S.-Soviet relations. In 2017 he was the co-organizer of an effort that erected commemorative statue of Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow. Robert graduated with a major in Political Science from the University at Buffalo, and received his Master's in Public Administration, with a focus in healthcare, from the State University of New York College at Brockport. When he's not writing, Robert works for a medical research company in Rochester, New York. Read Robert Zapesochny's Reports — More Here.
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