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Here’s hoping Biden equal to challenge

Joe Biden faces many challenges as he embarks on his presidency today, after taking the oath of office at noon.

Not since Abraham Lincoln has a president faced a nation so deeply divided.

While the issues are different from those in the 1860s, the intense split could result in a kind of civil war — we are hoping without bloody battles and armies fighting — but one equally as rending and harmful to our republic.

Unbending factions skirmishing publicly to make their opponents appear loathsome will only cause resentment and harden positions, deepening the chasm already created.

Biden’s tone, words and actions can serve to begin the healing process or aggravate and inflame the wounds infecting our political discourse.

But it’s not all on the shoulders of Biden and his vice president, Kamala Harris.

Both sides of our national and political leadership need to tone down the inflammatory rhetoric that all too frequently has been tossed around like grenades to inflict as much damage as possible.

We don’t expect everyone to instantly hold hands and sing “Kumbaya.”

There remain differences based on political philosophies that deserve to be debated as leaders try to find a compromise.

While Biden navigates the rocky shoals of the stormy political climate, the new president faces a myriad of challenges.

Chief among them is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While the vaccines were developed rapidly during Donald Trump’s tenure, too many states — including Pennsylvania — have been bogged down trying to quickly administer the shots.

That must improve.

Controlling the coronavirus will provide an opening to focus attention on other pressing issues, namely restoring the economy.

Some businesses and jobs regrettably are gone forever, but we hope when conditions permit, new ones will be created, and they’ll flourish and bring prosperity.

The new administration faces challenges on many fronts, including national security, military commitments, foreign relations, adversarial nations, foreign and domestic terrorism, racial strife, crime, drug cartels and more.

Like all presidents, Biden will have a full plate, and while many won’t agree with everything he says or does, we wish him a successful and productive term in office.

Our nation does best when Americans work together, and we hope and pray Biden can be the leader who can make that happen.

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