Notes from Joe: On Gettysburg and Unity

Yesterday, I traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania — where, in the summer of 1863, Union and Confederate soldiers took up arms in one of the most consequential battles ever fought on American soil.

Three days of violence. Three days of carnage. And though the Civil War would go on for nearly two more years, the tide had turned. 

The Union would be saved. Slavery would be abolished. Government of the people, by the people, for the people would not perish from the earth. Freedom would be born anew.

The crises we face today are different, but the broad challenges are strikingly similar to those at the time of this historic battle.

Once again, we are a house divided. Once again, we are in a battle for the soul of the nation.

We’re dealing with four simultaneous crises: the worst pandemic in 100 years, an economic recession that has left millions out of work, the deep-rooted scourge of racial injustice, and the onrushing, existential threat of climate change.

It won’t be easy, but I know in my heart that we will get through this — that there will be brighter days ahead.

But first, we must see each other as fellow Americans, who don’t just live in red states and blue states, but who live in — and love — the United States of America. We must put country over partisan politics. 

When I say that, I’m accused of being naïve. I’m told those days are a thing of the past. I disagree. We can and must revive a spirit of bipartisanship in this country. 

I’m running as a proud Democrat. But I’ll be an American president. I’ll work with Democrats and Republicans. I’ll represent everyone, regardless of whether you vote for me or not. 

Together, we’ll send a clear message to all that there is no place for hate in America. We’ll address the challenges ahead of us with bold plans and decisive action.

During his second inaugural address, Lincoln said, “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.”

This is our nation’s moment. We must work to reunite America to bind up the nation’s wounds.

– Joe