• Virginia Tolles

'Twas the Day after the Inauguration

The first-known photograph of the White House (Library of Congress, public domain)

Well, we made it through Inauguration Day. The ruffians stayed away, and Mr. Biden was sworn into office as president of these United States of America. Now, the real work begins.

The media has made it quite clear that Mr. Biden intends to reverse a number of actions taken by his predecessor. Some need to be reversed; namely, those relating to climate change and preservation of natural resources. Others, however, are more complicated issues.

Consider Mr. Biden’s plan to grant citizenship to all illegal aliens. It is understandable that he wants to do so, since many have had children while living here, and those children are natural-born citizens. But what about the people who enter the country illegally after a certain date? Will we arrest them and send them home or grant them citizenship? If we tear down that wall, to borrow from Mr. Reagan’s instructions to Mr. Gorbachev regarding the Berlin Wall, will we be inviting future aliens to enter our country without regard for our immigration laws? What a headache! I’m glad I’m not the president!

Actually, all of a nation’s problems are headaches. Here are just a few issues that concern me:

* We need to improve our educational system to ensure that our citizens know enough about constitutional law not to rise up in arms when their candidate doesn’t win an election. They need to learn that another election will follow in only four years. Yes, only. They will need all of those four years to find the right candidate, raise the funds to sponsor him or her, make his or her name known from coast to coast, and make him or her both responsible on the issues and attractive at the polls. There’s really no time for fighting over an election that’s already over.

* While we are improving our educational system, we need to ensure that a healthy balance is restored between the arts (both fine arts and liberal arts) and the sciences (both math and science). Technology has its place, of course, but it never should be deemed more important than human beings. It is our arts that temper the sciences - and vice versa. So, let’s bring back liberal arts education. It’s essential to maintaining a healthy society.

* We need to take a fresh look at how our military does business. Can you believe we’ve been at war in the Middle East for about thirty years – and longer than that if we consider earlier skirmishes. Why has it dragged out for so long? One reason goes to the conflict between traditional warfare and guerilla warfare. When the enemy camps out in caves, it’s not very effective to drop bombs. They have the ultimate bomb shelters. We need to learn how to fight a guerilla war and obtain the proper tools for fighting one.

* At the same time, we need to decide just how far we need to stretch the meaning of those words in the Preamble to the Constitution: “provide for the common defense.” There is a pretty good chance the Founding Fathers were referring to the defense of our own shores, not going off to fight distant wars – unless we are asked by our allies to come and assist, that is. Our European allies asked us to help them fight World War II. To my knowledge, no one asked us to fight in the Middle East. If I’m wrong, please correct me.

See? None of these issues is simple. They’re all headaches. Now, let us offer a prayer that Our Heavenly Father will help our new and returning elected and appointed officials resolve these issues with wisdom, patience, and understanding. This is not the time for bi-partisan squabbling. This is the time for working together to find and implement the solutions for which our nation has been thirsting for entirely too long.

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