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Minnich: Biden must forge path between extreme elements on both sides | COMMENTARY

President-elect Joe Biden shows classy restraint as he digs into the preparatory work of restoring order out of the debris of a dysfunctional administration. Trump will be slow going, but he’s going.

So, what’s next?

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As soon as the bullies are cleared from the hallways, there will be continuing repairs. The state of the government is akin to property vandalized by an evicted family bent on revenge for the insult of rejection.

To his credit, the incoming executive is behaving like a grownup who knows he is up to the job and does not have to strut and bluster. Others have expressed outrage about the lack of intelligence being shared by the current administration with the one coming in, but think about it for a minute: Biden is no rookie; he has more than a working knowledge of the world stage, players and issues and has a big advantage over his predecessor, who ignores and denigrate his intelligence people.

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Biden is methodically beginning to put things in place, whether the Trump gang helps or not. Biden is thinking about the country; Trump would love to ensnare the new President into petty squabbles that will only inflame the fans of the loser.

The worst thing about the petulance of the Trump denials and delays is the damage done to consistency and coordination of the government’s response to the pandemic crises.

Another roadblock to effective damage control will be in the U. S. Senate, where Mitch McConnell continues his traditional trashing of the best interests of all Americans for those of partisan Republicans. No matter what happens with the run-off votes for the two Senate seats in Georgia, the GOP will carry the smudge of dishonor for its refusal to acknowledge Biden’s victory in a reasonable and timely way.

Conservatives and moderates believe the Jeffersonian idea that the best government is that which governs least, which is to say big government should leave people alone to the extent possible. But that is a different thing than trying to justify government’s abandonment of action needed to rescue people, small businesses, state and local governments and the innocent victims of a pandemic and economic disaster.

Biden’s challenge, despite his skills and experience in political negotiations, will be to make a path between extreme elements both Right and Left. On the Right are new congress members who were elected by people who believe that some elected officials and show-biz celebrities are part of a cult of child-abusing cannibals. I kid you not.

On the left are those who play to fringe elements who alarm most of us with irresponsible slogans like Defund the Police. Defund, no; reform and reinvest in mitigating other causes of discord, yes.

Reasonable minds and words can at least replace the inflammatory and divisive bombast of the past four years from the White House. Leadership will replace agitation, encouragement will supplant defamation, and people will work out thoughtful alternatives to crushing a political enemy.

Job One is to ensure that federal and state governments work together to control the spread of a plague; good news about vaccines are fine, but it will have to be administered. Cooperation, not vindictive transactional politics, will be delivered.

Job Two is to ensure that whatever improvements need to be made to health care are done for the public good, and not motivated by destroying the legacies of previous leaders. We will build on advancing on the works of others, not focus on destroying any semblance of the past.

Trump and his supporters are not going away, but the focus can be redirected at the positive and sincere efforts of all those who are working to serve not just a party or a clan or a “side” but the best interests of a well-run nation.

Dean Minnich, who retired from a career in journalism and served two terms as a county commissioner, writes from Westminster. His column runs Thursdays. Readers may address comments to dminnichwestm@gmail.com.

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