After almost two and half months since the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, police in D.C. have finally begun to dismantle the chain-link and metal barricades that had turned the cathedral of democracy around the globe into a standing prison more reminiscent of a dictatorship. My only question is this: why has it taken so long?
President Biden was inaugurated two months ago and the threats that were posed prior to Jan. 20, 2021 are no longer present. The barricades have been a stain on the nation’s capital and finally they are going away, and I, for one, am ecstatic. The presence of the fencing looked and felt as if we were in a Third World country like Venezuela, something you wouldn’t come to expect in the country that represents the highest examples of democratic governance. Yet, our nation’s capital found itself at a complete standstill, unrecognizable to many, blocking public access to one of our most sacred monuments, the United States capitol.
Members of Congress cited the violence Jan. 6 as the catalyst for their stringent guardrails, but I couldn’t help but feel that we were cowering to the worst aspect of the human condition, fear. One thing we must never do is live in fear and kowtow to its whims. We are a nation of various political views, experiences and beliefs, but violence can never be justified, and we must not tolerate political frustration turning into physical anger that’s not who we are nor is it who we can ever become.
For the overwhelming majority of supporters on both sides of the aisle; political violence is never the answer. Our nation was founded on the ideals of freedom and liberty, and the way that we fight back against what we believe and perceive to be an affront to those ideals is by exercising our precious right to vote. Our founding fathers created a system where every two years, we the people have the ability to reelect current members of Congress or elect a brand-new Congress.
Every day I pray for our country. I pray for the success of its leaders, both Democrat and Republican. Thus far, President Biden has not lived up to the words that he campaigned on. He was supposed to be a champion of bipartisanship that brough both sides of the aisle to the legislative process. He ran with the message that he would restore the soul of America by promising to be able to bring both Republicans and Democrats together, hearkening to the old days of Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill. Unfortunately, thus far, it has been quite the opposite. Almost every single one of his nominees and almost every major piece of legislation passed so far has been passed in a split Congress if not by executive order.
If the president truly wanted to unite the country, he would nominate moderate Democrats, but instead he’s focused solely on appealing to a small progressive base that is not representative of the entire country. Most Americans are centrist, they’re either center left or center right, they’re centrist nevertheless, yet the President only seems focused only on a minuscule but loud faction within his party and as a result he is undermining his entire presidency and campaign promise of uniting America.
Biden campaigned on transparency, but so far, he has yet to hold a single press conference and at the time of this writing the press have not been allowed to visit detention centers at the southern border. We should be up in arms at this: do we live in communist China where we cannot report freely and fairly? We are now facing a major immigration crisis at the border that the White House was initially quick to downplay. Furthermore, they’ve continuously hid the president from the press making it impossible for the press to directly ask the president what’s going on. Allow me to reiterate that he hasn’t had one major press conference since taking office. Why is that? Perhaps more importantly, this blatant lack of transparency begs the question, what’s wrong with the president of the United States? Is he sick, is something wrong with him? I simply have to ask, why are they hiding the president? The American people need to hear from him directly and not his woefully underwhelming press secretary.
Hopefully with the Capitol grounds opening, a return to normalcy in covering our government will also return. I’m just happy to be able to visit my friends on Capitol Hill. The United States still remains a great country and we must continue to represent the highest ideals of the human condition. For as long as I have been alive, the rest of the world looks west at the that shining city on a hill known as these United States and we must ensure that they continue to do so.
Armstrong Williams (@ARightSide) is the owner and manager of Howard Stirk Holdings I & II Broadcast Television Stations and the 2016 Multicultural Media Broadcast Owner of the Year. He is the author of “Reawakening Virtues.”