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America’s best days could still be ahead if we work together. Let us hope and pray that happens.

January 20, 2021
Op-Eds

America’s best days could still be ahead if we work together. Let us hope and pray that happens.
Columbia Daily Tribune
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
January 20, 2021
https://www.columbiatribune.com/story/opinion/columns/guest/2021/01/20/vicki-hartzler-americas-best-days-could-still-ahead-if-we-work-together-let-us-hope-and-pray-happens/4213463001/

The inauguration of Joe Biden as America’s 46th president comes during a time of great civil unrest and anxiety over the state of our union. I know all our hearts have been broken over the trying events of the past few weeks and months in our nation. Whether it has been the pandemic, the riots tearing apart our cities and our U.S. Capitol, or the contentious election, we have been through a lot. While differing opinions and the competition of ideas has been the tradition of our great Republic, there is a desperate need to recapture civility, respectful discourse, and simple decency.

Although I have been a supporter of President Trump’s policies, my disappointment in his personal conduct and lack of decorum is no secret. This, coupled with his behavior following the election, will, in many ways, define his presidency. This is unfortunate. The Trump Administration oversaw America’s economic resurgence while also negotiating freer and fairer trade deals, rebuilding our military, and ushering in a new era of increased peace in the Middle East with the Abraham Accords. These accomplishments will benefit America for decades to come. Despite a global pandemic, our economy has persevered and the president proved his critics wrong by delivering a COVID-19 vaccine before he left office. The Capitol riots and last week’s impeachment vote have further complicated what will certainly be a heavily debated legacy that President Trump leaves behind.

These riots have also skewed how the role of Congress is viewed in the certifying of the presidential election. Although the media didn’t criticize Democrats when they objected to elector votes after the 2000, 2004, and 2016 elections, my votes last week against certification in Arizona and Pennsylvania have been depicted as an effort to reverse the presidential election and silence the voice of millions who voted for Joe Biden. As I have stated before, this is not accurate. My objections are based on concerns that these states violated their own state election laws setting a terrible precedent and degrading confidence in the election system. My votes were not about Donald Trump or Joe Biden; they were based on the need to ensure election integrity moving forward.

Last week’s vote to impeach the president with less than a week remaining in his term simply intensified the anger that is ripping our nation apart. Speaker Pelosi’s actions were self-serving, focusing on a political vendetta instead of helping to usher in the arrival of a new president. I think it is clear the events of the past few weeks provide enough blame to go around on all sides, and I believe the inauguration of President Biden offers a reset opportunity for our government and the way we do business on both sides of the aisle.

It is no surprise that President Biden and I have different views on many issues, and I share the concern of many of Missouri Fourth’s constituents that a far left-wing Congress will pressure the president to adopt measures harmful to American prosperity. President Trump won with over 65 percent of the vote in my district, so many of my constituents agree. However, President Biden has vowed to represent all Americans and work across the aisle with Republicans. I look forward to that and will hold him to that promise while working to find common ground with him where I can.

I am hopeful that in the days and months ahead we recapture the civility and decorum which once had a place in American politics. The American people expect it and deserve it. America’s best days could still be ahead if we work together. Let us hope and pray that happens.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler, a Republican, represents Missouri's 4th Congressional District.