In This Moment

Published: September 8, 2020

By Jim Lichtman
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Photo: Diaa Bekheat

With the country facing multiple crises and Washington churning with dysfunction, is it any wonder Congress sits at a dismal 77 percent disapproval rating?

However, there is one thing Republicans and Democrats can do to rescue their reputations and reclaim their commitment to duty well before the election.

At a joint press conference, the leadership of both Houses could stand shoulder-to-shoulder and make the following announcement –

“In the face of an unprecedented medical crisis that has deeply affected all Americans, we stand behind the following message:

“We will work together with the CDC on the creation of a specific plan to combat the virus and – relying on science – expedite an effective vaccine that will be distributed to all Americans as quickly as possible.

“Together, we will work to see that the information and recommendations of the CDC, and other agencies, will receive the financial aid and messaging support from this Congress.

“We will work on legislation to see that all Americans and states receive the financial and medical aid necessary to cope with this crisis.

“We will ensure that the U.S. Postal Service receives the additional funding necessary to provide vital services. The upcoming election will not be delayed, mail-in ballots will be accepted and counted to ensure that the will of all voters is honored.

“We have scheduled meetings between joint leadership and intelligence agencies and, based on their analysis, we will oversee and implement a plan to defeat the cyber-attacks that are attempting to undermine the upcoming election. We will have similar meetings with all social media organizations with the same purpose in mind.

“Not all members of Congress agree with our decision. However, in this moment, the majority of both Houses pledge to work together on these issues and more.

“This country was founded on the ideals of liberty, equality, and justice for all. While we haven’t always succeeded in living up to those ideals, in this moment, we will work together to see that this democracy succeeds for all. Working together to solve the vital issues before us, we will step into the daylight of commonality to reclaim the trust and confidence of the American people whom we serve.”

In one unequivocal message of accord, the American people would witness this nation’s leaders replace grudges and recriminations with courage and commitment.

In this moment, all are redeemed.

Naively optimistic?

Perhaps. But at such a critical time, the country could use a good shock of optimism and commitment to duty, right now.

In such an ambitious moment, Americans would see their leaders live out the aspirational ideal of the founders when they pledged “to form a more perfect union,” and together, all of us can begin to move forward on a path of reason and hope.


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