As we watched today’s Inauguration of President Joe Biden, it’s difficult to shake the horrific events that transpired just two weeks ago. The events of January 6, 2021 will be forever seared into our collective memories as an historically distressing event in American history. The visuals of an angry mob storming our nation’s Capitol and criminals carrying Confederate flags in the seat of our democracy are horrific images no one will forget.
Most of the media coverage seems content on laying all the blame on Donald Trump as the “Inciter-In-Chief.” Make no mistake, while the President can rightfully be blamed for having fanned the flames leading to this unprecedented insurrection, the passions galvanizing the mob had more to do with their loss of faith in our democratic institutions to deliver on the premise of free and fair elections. Trump was a symptom – not the underlying disease.
For far too long, our nation has been experiencing a growing loss of faith in government. We need to be clear that there is absolutely no justification for burning cities, rioting, violence or storming the Capitol. We are better than this as a nation and we cannot fix problems within our democracy or capitalist systems by devolving into violence and conflict.
Here in New York, you can certainly understand why distrust and anger is palpable. For more than a decade, we have watched helplessly as well over a million people have fled the State. On top of that frustration, taxes and regulations have climbed to unheard of levels, crippling our economy.
The last 9 months, the last four years, and ultimately the last decade have built anger, fear, and blame into political currency and weapons with which to bludgeon those with whom we disagree in New York. But for all these same reasons, unity is needed now more than ever. We’re all experiencing unprecedented stress – we need to unite to lift each other up, not tear each other down. As Americans, it is our duty to question our leaders – that’s patriotic and important. However, we must seek common ground and unity because pointing fingers and attacking one another accomplishes nothing. We need unity and solutions, not someone to blame.
In President Biden’s inaugural address, he said “to overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy – unity.”
As we enter this new year and a new era, let’s commit to seeking common ground and working in unity to address the challenges we know we’re struggling with in New York. Let’s stop with progressive and conservative extremes, labelling everyone based on their party loyalty, and placing red R’s and blue D’s on the shirts of anyone who disagrees with us.
As one people, we can and must work together in a unified fashion to demand real change and a total break from the status quo.
Let’s build a logical and practical COVID response.
Let’s focus on creating jobs and driving investment.
Let’s insist on public accountability and reform our government, with an eye toward open, fair, and ethical governing.
Let’s accept that none of these issues are owned by Republicans or Democrats – they are issues that affect all of us.
In the weeks and months to come, you will be hearing much more from the Upstate Jobs Party on how to do just that – how we will seek to unify our leaders and develop common sense, nonpartisan solutions. We need to address the underlying forces leading to decline in New York State’s population and quality of life. We need to have a more transparent, fair and effective State Government. We need to work together to bring New York back.
Make 2021 the year that you join UJP to make the future of our state and nation more important than party labels!