Joe Biden’s message of unity is important for our country in bringing Democrats and Republicans together. Both parties may not agree on everything, but we need to find common ground and approach differences with civility. As Biden said in a recent speech at Gettysburg, ‘We need to revive a spirit of bipartisanship in this country, a spirit of being able to work with one another.”
How do we stop a pandemic, end poverty, achieve social justice, and build peace if our leaders are not working together? We need a leader who can unite and get results for the American people, especially when they need it most. Joe Biden has a chance to restore the type of unity we need, and he has long worked across party lines.
In fact, when Senator Biden voted in favor of the START I nuclear arms treaty back in 1992, he was supporting an initiative that Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush had pursued. That landmark treaty got us off to a good start in reducing U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons and paved the way for follow up agreements that also generated bipartisan support. Those included the New START Treaty which President Obama, with Biden as VP, achieved further limiting nuclear arms with Russia.
Biden, as a senator, supported these nuclear peace initiatives with Russia put forward by Reagan, the first president Bush and later his son George W. Bush. Biden says that diplomacy “was how we managed a dangerous rivalry, kept it from spinning out of control, and prevented thermonuclear war. Republican and Democratic presidents alike have understood that nothing is more fundamental to our security.”
When President John F. Kennedy achieved the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty with the Soviet Union in 1963, he got the support of former president Dwight Eisenhower and members of his administration. The fact that they were in different parties made no difference.
When famine threatened to destroy the post-World War II reconstruction, President Harry Truman worked with former president Herbert Hoover to save hundreds of millions from starvation. Truman was a Democrat and Hoover was a Republican. That didn’t matter. What mattered was the task at hand. Would we see that type of bipartisanship today?
We need cooperation on so many social justice issues. And we cannot let any differences transform into hatred and disdain for opposite views.
Biden was an admirer of the bipartisan cooperation of George McGovern (D) and Bob Dole (R) in the Senate. Those two leaders may have been in opposite parties, but they found common ground which led to legislation feeding the hungry. Biden would try to bring that bipartisanship to Washington once again as president.
Biden says “I will govern as an American president. I will work with Democrats and Republicans and I will work as hard for those who don’t support me as for those who do. That’s the job of a president. It’s a duty of care for everyone.”
Our country needs unity as we fight the Coronavirus and a growing economic and hunger crisis. To have peace and unity in America and around the world requires a president who believes in those principles. Joe Biden is our best chance in this election.
William Lambers is the author of Ending World Hunger and The Road to Peace. His writings have been published by the USA Today, History News Network, Baltimore Sun and many other news outlets.