By Dave Reichert
On Jan. 20, the 45th president of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, took the oath of office, swearing to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” to the best of his ability. I congratulate President Trump on his new role as our nation’s commander in chief, and I look forward to working with the Trump Administration on behalf of Washington’s Eighth Congressional District.
Many great Americans have taken this oath in the past, and with it, have taken on a great responsibility. One such individual is someone we all know by name.
On March 4, 1801, President Thomas Jefferson rose before spectators in what was then the U.S. Capitol’s Senate Chamber for what would be his first inaugural address as president and the first inauguration held in the nation’s new capital city, Washington, D.C. After what had been an openly contentious run against the incumbent and his former friend, John Adams, Jefferson knew he had a duty to remind the country of the unbreakable bond that tied Americans together.
In his address, Jefferson wrote, "Let us, then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things.” He continued, “Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists."
Party names may have changed, but 200 years have not diminished the relevancy of these words. The once young and fragile experiment that has become the United States of America – the world’s greatest force of good – is founded on the idea that despite our many differences, we are bound by our unique history and our shared values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
And while many of our common values are expressed through our nation’s early documents, our longstanding belief in the possibility for a brighter, more prosperous future for our families is also ingrained in our American DNA.
With this fresh start and new beginning, my hope is all Americans can come together to help build a country where everyone has a chance to learn, where our veterans are cared for and our neighborhoods are safe, and where we can all feel confident about our future and the future of our families. Together, we will work to reduce and simplify our tax system for hard-working Americans, give all Americans the healthcare coverage they deserve, and implement a strong trade agenda that creates jobs here at home and allows our businesses to compete and succeed on the world stage.
I am looking forward to continuing to work for you and with you. And, as always, it is an honor and a privilege to serve.
U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert’s congressional district includes Eatonville, Graham and other parts of south Pierce County.