Letter: I voted for Biden, but here's why I think he should pardon Trump

The Detroit News

It is doubtful that President-elect Joe Biden will adopt a conciliatory tone reminiscent of Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address in 1865. And that is unfortunate because the United States is in the midst of an ideological civil war.

It's not as acute as the civil war with which Lincoln was saddled. That civil war tallied an innumerable body count and the largest number of casualties of any military conflict in U.S. history. But today's conflict is real and has done a great deal of damage to our republic, culminating in the attempted overthrow of the government on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol.

The legal pursuit of Donald Trump does not serve America, O'Neill writes.

My recommendation is that Biden should pardon President Donald Trump in the face of the latter's impeachment and potential litigation on a national level. My fellow Biden voters look at me with disgust at the suggestion. But how does this punitive pursuit of Trump serve our interest? It doesn't. 

In an attempt at reconciliation with the confederate states (who were on the verge of collapse), Lincoln proclaimed in his second inaugural address that his objective was "with malice toward none with charity for all with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right." Biden should adopt a similar aim. 

My hope for Biden to pardon Trump is probably wishful thinking. Defeating Trump at the polls appears not enough for the Democrats. Trump's legitimacy the past four years is viewed with as much contempt as that of his supporters for Biden's legitimacy. And it is no exaggeration to say Trump's presidency has been divisive (to say the least).

My hope for Biden pardoning Trump is perhaps just as wishful as my hope that a pardon of Trump would appease the intense right-wing animosity toward the impending Biden presidency. On the other hand, such a magnanimous gesture might take Trump supporters by surprise in a productive way. It would be effective for Biden to signal to Trump supporters that they are not the enemy.

It's time for the polarities of our country to reconcile. Biden should pardon Trump. The election is over. It's now time for the war to be over.

John O'Neill, Allen Park