OPINION: An open letter to the President-elect Joe Biden

Correspondent Coley Birchfield pens an open letter to the President-elect Joe Biden. (Andrew Harnik/AP)Correspondent Coley Birchfield pens an open letter to the President-elect Joe Biden. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

Dear Joe,

Congratulations on becoming the 46th president-elect of the United States of America. Your months of debating, organizing and fundraising resulted in you receiving the most votes of any presidential nominee in American history. It is uncertain that any other nominee could have motivated and united the entire Democratic Party as you have. 

In February, media organizations were predicting your team to drop out of the Democratic primary by late March. 

In direct contrast, you gained momentum. South Carolina’s Jim Clybrun’s endorsement jump-started the overwhelming victory that you saw on Super Tuesday, including my home state of Alabama.

However, I say all of this to ensure you that your mission is just beginning. I would compare your situation to a quarterback: winning the starting position means that you must perform well on the field. The White House and the nation is your field. 

After decades of partisan division, we need you to unite us and improve our way of life. We need you to be a president that all of America is proud of. 

It is not a secret that the last four years have flooded our minds with racial division, a disease outbreak, broken foreign policy and a diminishing climate. The Trump administration introduced important policies, but their rhetoric and conspiracies crippled our Democracy. The very Democracy that our founding fathers fought and died in order to create. 

Albert Camus, a Frenchman who received a Nobel Prize for literature in 1957, once said, “Democracy is not the law of the majority but the protection of the minority.”

That perfectly states the rhetoric that the Office of the President should spread in the next four years. It is your job to speak on the behalf of those portions of the population that are unvalued, underappreciated, underfunded and/or unmotivated. 

The late John F. Kennedy told us to ask ourselves, “What you can do for your country?” 

The answer: love and care for the person next to you. The American public must understand that a random stranger on the sidewalk holds just as much potential and value as a millionaire. By instituting public programs, funding education and caring for the poor, that answer becomes possible. 

You will be attempting all of those things listed while also blocking out the opposition that you will face. 

Although Donald Trump will no longer hold office after Jan. 20, he will still own a Twitter account and his MAGA followers. You will be swarmed with lies, criticism and conspiracies for the entirety of your service. However, you can not cripple to this. We need a person in the oval office who will rebuke false claims and not embrace them. A president who will protect the legitimacy of our media networks and social platforms. This is important because without trust in our news platforms, we cannot have trust in what our government is doing. 

Joe, you have overcome great loss during your life. Often to the point where it had to be near impossible to get out of bed in the morning. However, this is a brief period of celebration. A reflection of how every day of your 77 years led to this moment. 

Watching your speech on Saturday night was heartwarming for my family and I. Seeing you on stage celebrating with your family shows just how much of a family man you are. And I know everyone you lost would be so proud of you. 

I want to challenge you to transform our government’s ideals. It must be a priority to eliminate partisan bias within the courts and Congress. This takes the help of Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Stacey Abrams, Nancy Pelosi and many more. The entire Democractic Party must be willing to listen and understand the Republican point of view. It is highly unlikely for there to be a compromise on their part, but it is possible to make the Democratic platform more representative for all of America. 

Your hope in the 2022 midterms and 2024 general election relies on the ability to grow your coalition. But, if anyone is able to understand and listen to other’s vision, it is you. 

I know that you are a proud practicing Catholic and God plays a big role in your life. So, I will give you one of my favorite verses in the Bible: Revelation 22:21. It actually happens to be the very last verse of the Bible. 

It reads, “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.” 

It sounds simple until you look into that last word: Amen. When translated into “Southern terms” it means “let it be.ā€ 

The last word that God left us with in the Bible is let it be. So whenever you face opposition or challenges remember that God always takes care of his children.

I anticipate what your administration has planned for the next four years. Whatever the result, I could not have given my vote to a better candidate or a better man.

ā€” Coley Birchfield

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