The day I read about Rep. Jim Baird’s defense of his recent political actions (Journal Review, Jan. 15), I drafted a response excoriating him for supporting the Texas attorney general’s suit to overturn election results and for voting in the House against accepting the electoral votes of Arizona and Pennsylvania, against the recommendation that Vice President Pence invoke the 25th Amendment, and against the Impeachment Article for incitement to insurrection.
My draft was written in the heat of the moment, and its language was harsh. I decided to let it sit a while. Now, after President Biden’s inauguration, I have scrapped that earlier letter. I adopt a different approach, inspired by President Biden’s inaugural call for unity: “Let’s start afresh … Hear one another. See one another. Show respect to one another … Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war.” And inspired also by Amanda Gorman’s brilliant inaugural poem: “We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover, / In every known nook of our nation …” Ms. Gorman articulated the results of heeding the lie of the stolen election: “We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it, / Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy”. But she ended with an optimistic promise: “For there is always light, / If only we’re brave enough to see it, / If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
I do not therefore attack Rep. Baird. Rather, I plead with him in these words. “Please put aside partisanship. Please look at our hurting country and do all you can to help it heal. I don’t ask you to give up your deepest political convictions, but please open yourself to cooperation where possible, compromise when necessary, and always self-examination and intellectual humility.”