An editorial from The Journal
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., clearly represents his constituents of both political parties better than many other Democrats on the national stage embody the views of those who elected them.
Hard feelings were stirred among millions of Americans during the presidential election campaign. So harsh has been the reaction of some to the election of Donald Trump as president that rioting were reported in cities throughout the nation during the weekend.
U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., is minority leader in the Senate. He had an enormous opportunity a few days after the election, to restore calm to the national discourse.
Reid spit in the face of amity. He put his foot down on those who see the need to come together and move forward.
In a lengthy statement about the election of Trump, released Friday, Reid alleged voters’ decision had “emboldened the forces of hate and bigotry in America.” Claiming “innocent, law-abiding Americans are wracked with fear,” Reid insisted that “Vladimir Putin and ISIS are celebrating Donald Trump’s victory …”
Reid, who fortunately will be leaving the Senate soon, went on and on in that vein.
In contrast, Trump’s opponent for president, Hillary Clinton, had the grace — and yes, the patriotism — to congratulate the winner and call for reconciliation.
Manchin received national recognition for his reaction to Reid. It began by stating, simply: “Senator Harry Reid’s statement today attacking President-elect Trump is wrong!”
“It is an absolute embarrassment to the Senate as an institution, our Democratic party, and the nation. I want to be very clear, he does not speak for me,” Manchin added.
He went on to point out the obvious, that Reid’s words “needlessly feed the very divisiveness that is tearing this country apart. Now, more than ever, it is time for us all to come together as Americans.”
Perhaps the most distressing aspect of Manchin’s statement is that the rational, wise attitude it reflected was not adopted by more national leaders.
Still, good for the senator from West Virginia, for saying something that needed to be said — and, it hardly needs pointed out — represents the feeling of so many others in the Mountain State.