To: President-Elect Joe Biden
From: Bernard S. Gluckstern, Chairman, The Fund For An Equitable America
Subject: A Presidential Commission To Enhance Our National Unity
Date: November 9th, 2020
My heartiest congratulations on the unprecedented magnitude of your victory in a truly existential struggle to capture the presidency of our nation and by so doing rescue the soul of this republic from the malevolent and ultimately lethal clutches of your predecessor.
The challenges which await your attention are numerous, complex, and of the utmost severity, none more of course then the imperative requirement to immediately implement a national initiative to address the mitigation of the scourge of Covid-19, with all its public health ramifications and the attendant misery of an economic character that has been inflicted on our populace as the result of Donald Trump’s incompetence and indifference to the devastation and death which the uncontained trajectory of this pandemic has wrought.
So too must you act swiftly to repair the substantive damage of which he was the architect to the crucial relationships of our traditional alliances which are languishing in a state of erosion and decomposition, to restore the security and efficacy to the international order which our stewardship has provided for more than three-quarters of a century, from which all democracies who comprise these institutional entities benefit so significantly.
However, beyond the immediacy and critical nature of the preceding agenda items on which you must focus your political acumen and energies during the initial months of your presidential tenure, does their loom the tragic reality of a nation that is immersed in a state of mutual enmity, bitterness, and acrimony, that has attained a rancor and volatility that has not been in evidence since the extraordinary contentiousness that was extant in this polity immediately prior to the commencement of the Civil War.
Though it is my hope and presumption that we are not at this moment in a circumstance in which the civil unrest and escalating tensions that are simmering in various segments of our citizenry, will erupt in extensive violent outbursts or armed conflict, the possibilities and prospects that these events will become a reality in our imminent future cannot be dismissed.
That you have continuously conveyed your interest to govern as our nation’s chief executive in the service of all who reside among us irrespective of their political preferences or allegiances, whether they cast their ballots to enhance your prospects or that of your opponents , and I repose complete trust in your sincerity and your commitment to this principle, as well as your exhortations that we must as a nation renew our secular covenant as an imperative necessity to reinvigorate the fundamental precept of “E Pluribus Unum”, “Out of many, One” , the toxicity and and unrestrained disgust with which so many of our fellow Americans view those who embrace values or priorities with which they are in such intense disagreement , and as a result categorize these individuals as enemies to be defeated and obliterated, demands a response that transcends the rhetoric of reconciliation and the promises of your administration’s intent to govern in a manner in which the interests of all are considered.
What I am proposing Mr. President-Elect is that you devote a portion of the transition period as it unfolds between the termination of Donald Trump’s presidency and the initiation of your term of office to create a Presidential CommissionTo Enhance National Unity, that will be unveiled at the inception of your tneure as the 46th president of the United States.
The commission should be structured in the bi-partisan manner in which identical undertakings were composed,. Its membership should include those who represent every constituency of our nation, former members of Congress, rural and urban residents from all ethnic groups, corporate and nonprofit officials , members of the LGBTQ universe, retired military personnel, educators and public health practitioners, and so many others whose voices have been ignored or whose concerns have been previously rejected or dismissed.
The primary focus of the meetings, discussions, and hearings which occur beneath the aegis of this body should address a host of concerns ; to identify those factors and variables that those who comprise these groups assert are responsible for the enmity and discord that currently exists in our nation; as well as the recommendations these individuals are advocating that from are required in terms of policy or program initiatives , judicial actions, or other efforts from other segments of our society that would diminish the contemporary fratricide we are witnessing.
So too should you proffer the commitment of your administration to all who engage in this activity and every resident of this polity, that at the culmination of this process you will provide both a comprehensive report to the American people which these proceedings have unearthed and identified, and most importantly as the result of the content that has been illuminated you shall present to the nation a substantive and fully rendered structure of recommendations , proposals, etc. that subject to the approval of a majority of our populace you will devote the entirety of the resources of your administration to implement.
Whether the deployment is accomplished via executive order, legislative proposals, in concert with any or all relevant political officials within the federalist system, i.e. Governors, Mayors, county officials, regional bodies, as the instrumentalities to fully implement these recommendations, you will not shrink from the challenges inherent in this approach to succeed in this most audacious endeavor.
Moreover, certain aspects of these initiatives may require the participation of various associations, or segments of the nonprofit and philanthropic communities, the media both print and electronic, as well as the behemoths that comprise the social media realm. Whatever efforts are necessary to achieve the desired result are what should dictate the tactical and strategic exertions that animate this endeavor.
The document that appears on the commission’s website should contain three elements; a summary of the principal findings regarding sources of disunity, and a compendium of the primary grievances enunciated,; and those substantive recommendations advocated by various participants to remediate these cultural circumstances ; as well as any other significant perspectives or analyses that provide an augmented comprehension of these forces and influences and their prospective amelioration.
However, beyond the preceding content the most critical document that should be displayed at the epicenter of the published content, is the actual plan which the Commission is submitting for formal consideration by the American electorate, e.g. “The Strategic Initiative To Enhance National Unity,” which shall delineate that which the Commission is advocating, the costs of these agenda items, and the political and chronological aspects of this protocol’s adoption, and all other relevant considerations.
In concert with the publication of these materials public service announcements should be reiterated on all media outlets that encourage our citizens to review the information contained therein and most importantly to provide their responses to this prospective undertaking by indicating their approval, disapproval, or particular concerns or requests for revisions or alterations of various portions that have been promulgated.
The final editing process should incorporate those revisions which a majority of respondents have requested and when resubmitted to the nation this strategic paradigm must obtain the support of a majority of those citizens who participated in this process to permit the administration to commence those activities its implementation presupposes.
Though a citizens involvement in this process will not require them to reveal their identity, our hope is that they would provide ( on an optional basis) their state of residence and their party affiliation. This information will be relevant when engaging with congressional representatives to demonstrate that among the majority of those respondents who support this proposal there are constituents from both parties who reside in the states they represent.
That this undertaking will be arduous, acrimonious, and frequently unpleasant and strain to the utmost our collective patience and forbearance, is certain to be the reality. However, it shall also serve the crucial purpose of providing a catharsis, and will ultimately enable us in postures of empathy and compassion to appreciate the importance of those tenets and normative presumptions to which those in other portions of our society cling so tenaciously, to provide both coherence to their lives and to so centrally shape their persona l identities.
What we shall derive from these dialogues and interactions will be the expansion of our individual capacities to both comprehend and appreciate the validity of competing interpretations of social and political reality, and as a result reduce our antipathies and concomitant derogation of the ideologies they embrace and the secular or religious protocols that animate their lives and their beliefs.
One final observation, President-Elect Biden, the joy with which I have greeted the result of this election as it relates to your imminent ascension to the presidency cannot be overstated. You will restore our nation to an uninterrupted state of truth, tranquility, and rationality, of which we have been so grievously deprived by your predecessor. I wish you enormous success in your efforts to restore our democracy.