- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden invoked the spirit of President Lincoln on Tuesday as he called for the nation to overcome deeply entrenched divisions.

The former vice president attempted to blend party lines together as he delivered his hopeful plea for unity in the country from the graveyard of Gettysburg, where thousands died in the pivotal Civil War battle.

“On this sacred ground Abraham Lincoln reimagined America itself,” Mr. Biden said. “He believed in the rescue, redemption, and rededication of the Union … Today, once again, we are a house divided. But that my friends can no longer be.”

“We’re engaged once again in a battle for the soul of the nation,” he continued. “The forces of darkness. The forces of division. The forces of yesterday are pulling us apart, who is down, and holding us back.”

President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address in November 1863, just months after the Union defeated the Confederacy on that same battlefield, reminding the nation of the founder’s intention of creating an enduring country dedicated to equality and freedom.

Mr. Biden lamented the rise of “total unrelenting partisan warfare” that he argued was creating a pervasive issue of tribalism and vowed to bring back an atmosphere of bipartisanship if elected.

But he warned there was “something darker” and “something more dangerous” that went beyond the voting booth.

He denounced what he saw as a false choice pushed by many between racial justice and supporting law enforcement. He also explicitly denounced white supremacist groups, saying Americans should want police to do their jobs and not “vigilantes.”

Mr. Biden, who worked alongside the first Black American president, Barack Obama, said the U.S. needs to look into the roots of systemic racism honestly while ensuring the streets are safe for families and businesses.

“The country has been riled by incidents of excessive police force, heartbreaking cases of racial injustice, and lives needlessly and senselessly lost. By peaceful protesters giving voice to calls for justice. By examples of violence and looting and burning that cannot be tolerated,” he said.

Regarding the coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the nation for months, Mr. Biden said it is time for the entire country to put politics to the side and follow the advice of medical experts.

“Wearing a mask is not a political statement. It’s a scientific recommendation. Social distancing isn’t a political statement. It’s a scientific recommendation,” he said. “We’re gonna have a national strategy that puts politics aside and saves lives.”

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