President-elect Joe Biden made a pitch to President Trump’s supporters in his victory speech on Saturday night.
“I understand the disappointment tonight,” Biden said. “But now let’s give each other a chance. It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, lower the temperature.”
Biden added: “And to make progress, we have to stop treating our opponents as our enemies. They are not our enemies. They’re Americans.”
The message of unity in the president-elect’s address was consistent with much of the rhetoric of his presidential campaign. It was also in line with how Biden comported himself during his many years in the Senate — he was a dealmaking moderate, not a rancorous partisan.
But some members of the party Biden is now set to lead for the next four years do not appear to be getting his memo, as they lob angry rhetoric at those who have worked with and for, and even those who simply support, Trump.
“You can’t heal or reform the GOP who are now an extremist party,” Wajahat Ali, a contributing writer for the New York Times, said. “They have to be broken, burned down and rebuilt. When Biden is in power treat them like the active threats to democracy they are. If those who committed crimes aren’t punished then they will be more emboldened.”