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In Washington, a new day, a new course

President Joe Biden is hugged by first lady Dr. Jill Biden as their adult children Ashley and Hunter, and Vice President Kamala Harris and former vice president Mike Pence, look on after he was sworn into office as the 46th president of the United States on Jan. 20 at the US Capitol in Washington.Kevin Dietsch/Associated Press

We’ve emerged, not unscathed, but hopeful

Hallelujah! Who would have thought it would be possible to hold your breath for four years.

We’ve emerged, if not unscathed, at least somewhat intact, and maybe even a little hopeful. It was far from certain we would get to this day.

Let’s make the most of the opportunity to start over again.

Michael Knosp


On a peaceful Inauguration Day, insurrection and hate gave way to inspiration and hope.

Paul Lauenstein


Put these words on a cap

Just four words to my letter:

Make America safe again.

Howie Newman


Nixon’s no longer the one

Re “At very least, things won’t be run by tweet anymore” (Page A1, Jan. 20): Donald Trump made me nostalgic for the days when Richard Nixon’s statement “I’m not a crook” epitomized presidential dreadfulness.


Here’s one thing Trump has made perfectly clear:

Nixon was hardly this country’s nadir.

Let us rejoice now that “Trexit” is here.

Felicia Nimue Ackerman


Wake him when it’s over

When he closed the book on Watergate, President Gerald Ford declared, “My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.”

Now that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have assumed power, it would appear that a new one is about to begin.

Michael J. DiStefano

Jamestown, R.I.

GOP now has an opportunity to break from Trump

Republican senators soon to vote on impeachment need to envision and think ahead to the opportunities for their party without Donald Trump. I am not a Republican, but I know that fears of change prevent any group from building a new message and coalition.

New leaders will emerge who can inspire the GOP base with a conservative yet positive agenda. Refusing to break up the cult of personality around one deeply flawed and destructive man will only lead the party further astray.

Trump had no discernible policy positions in the election, which is part of why he lost. The country and the Republicans can do better.


David Giber


About that White House inventory . . .

Considering how honest Donald Trump is, it’s very important to do something now that he has left the White House: Count the spoons.

T. Lee Myers


We’re at a turning point where rancor imperils us

We should not delude ourselves into believing that the 2020 election has improved divisions among us. The leadership of our federal government may have changed, but the substance of our divisions has not.

Our nation was born out of revolution, and, in a way, we resurrect a sense of revolution every time we vote. We can be grateful for the foresight of our Founders, who created a set of laws governing our Republic that is elastic enough to accommodate divergent points of view.

Certainly the recent national elections tested the limits of that elasticity. Our traditional expectation of elections is that they should serve as a starting point for achieving common ground and not serve merely as a victory of one group over another. Not so this time.

Why? Because the group that lost does not go away. The defeated still cling to beliefs that divide us. And that does nothing to eliminate hurt feelings; rather, it accentuates them.

What concerns us is the outright rancor we witnessed in the election. That rancor will continue to foment until we address it, not suppress it. If we do not respect the actions of our elected officials now, we may never respect them again.

While our Founders provided for the testing of our laws, they did not foresee rancor such that the Constitution could not survive. We are at that point. We must stop hurling insults at one another; we must forget that we are Democrats or Republicans, recall George Washington’s warnings of the dangers of political parties, and support the Constitution.


Robert and Regina Provencher


The lesson of ‘never again,’ revisited

For people who understand the true intent of the Nazis, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent comparison of the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill with Kristallnacht is mistaken. It is true that the riot on Capitol Hill was an assault on our democracy carried out by individuals whose actions were despicable and who lacked respect for law and order. Comparing the riot with Kristallnacht, however, diminishes the Holocaust. If only thunderous voices, like the ones we heard speaking against what happened on Capitol Hill, cried out during Kristallnacht, the Holocaust would not have happened.

Deborah L. Coltin