With a raging pandemic, uncertain economic conditions, civil unrest and a divide among Americans deeper than it has ever been, the United States is facing many great challenges at once.
We have weathered challenging times before and have endured, but make no mistake, we are in a fragile place.
We are also at a crossroad of leadership. As the country transitions from one administration to another, it is a time to take a hard look at where we are and where we want to go as a nation.
Conditions will not improve unless we work together. While that seems almost impossible in the current political climate, now more than ever, Americans need a government that functions.
Getting a handle on the novel coronavirus is top of mind for the new administration in Washington. So far, in week one, survey respondents are giving President Joe Biden a high mark for his response. Granted, we are in the honeymoon phase of this administration, but with 51 percent of respondents answering favorably, it is a step in the right direction.
While Biden may be getting high marks on his own, the direction in which the country is headed is not. A poll conducted by NPR, PBS and Marist Jan. 11 through Jan. 13 finds that roughly 75 percent of adults say the country is headed in the wrong direction.
Members of Congress, like those they represent, have differing views about how government should work. While the approaches will undoubtedly be different, the overwhelming majority of citizens believe there is room for improvement. We urge them to listen to the public and to find ways to work together to meet the challenges we face together as a nation.
But as we ask our elected officials to do this, we also need to look at ourselves. Americans need to put aside differences and focus on immediate challenges in order to meet them head on.
Let’s, for a moment, forget party lines and platforms and be Americans. Americans helping their fellow Americans.