Japan Institute for National Fundamentals

Speaking out

Tadae Takubo

【#758】Call for Unity Rings Hollow

Tadae Takubo / 2021.01.26 (Tue)

January 25, 2021


When I read the full text of U.S. President Joe Biden’s inaugural address, I was somewhat bored because he repeated all too often the explanation of “democracy” and the call for “unity.” I am afraid the more he emphasizes the two keywords, the more he might upset 74 million voters who voted for former President Donald Trump, incite undemocratic actions, and bring confrontation back. The United States is making a step forward while being laden with the most serious division since the Civil War.

Biden overlooking leftist violence

Following is a key part of the address indicating his determination to defeat political extremism:

“A rise in political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat. To overcome these challenges – to restore the soul and to secure the future of America – requires more than words. It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy: Unity. Unity.”

The new president must have had in mind the January 6 incident in which thousands of Trump supporters participating in a rally near the White House stormed into the Capitol, resulting in five deaths.

However, we must remember a large number of violent protests against racial discrimination and the past slavery last spring and summer throughout the U.S. A Columbus statue was beheaded in Boston and a statue of a Confederate general was pulled down in Washington, D.C.

On January 20 when Biden delivered the inauguration address, leftists rallied in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. In Portland, they smashed the windows of the Democratic Party headquarters, carrying a sign reading “we don’t want Biden—we want revenge.” In Seattle, an American flag was burned, and windows were shattered at a federal courthouse, a Starbucks store, and other facilities. Rioters identified themselves as anarchists or members of Antifa, a radical leftist group.

Political extremism and white supremacy should be criticized. But Biden in the inaugural address carelessly or intentionally failed to mention leftist violence. He lacks fairness, one of the basic principles of democracy.

SDF should be upgraded to national army to strengthen Japan-U.S. relations

“Let us start afresh. All of us. Let us listen to one another,” said President Biden. The remark represents the foundation of democracy repeatedly advocated by the General Headquarters of the Allied Powers that occupied Japan after World War II. The current division in U.S. public opinion is almost unprecedentedly large but has not necessarily been created by former President Trump. The division has emerged amid a relative decline of the U.S. while leftist and rightist groups refuse to listen to each other. This situation allowed extremist groups to become rampant.

The Biden inaugural address mentioned repairing U.S. alliances. During the past four years under the Trump administration, however, Japan-U.S. relations remained good. Rather, Japan may have to repair its alliance with the United States. Japan’s Self-Defense Forces have increasingly been engaged in police and fire services, indicating that the SDF could become a disaster rescue team. The time has come for Japan to give the SDF the honor of being the national army to achieve the best Japan-U.S. relations.

Tadae Takubo is Vice President of Japan Institute for National Fundamentals and a professor emeritus at Kyorin University.