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OSU panel discusses problems facing America amid presidential transition

'A healthy anger says, 'Look, change is possible -- for both of us.'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- President Joe Biden was officially sworn into office on Wednesday. He takes over a fragile nation, whose wounds are still healing from a riot at the U.S. Capitol just two weeks before and deep divisions that date back much farther.

In an effort to discuss the pressing issues surrounding our nation, Oregon State University opened the floor to several experts Thursday evening, in an online panel titled: “Divided States of America: Sedition, the Inauguration, and the Unfolding Crisis in American Democracy.”

Inauguration Day is sometimes viewed as a non-news event, but this time it met with uncertainty. The ceremony went smoothly, but this presidential transition has been anything but. In fact, many wondered if the 46th President would be met with peace, or with violence.

Sylvester Johnson, the founding director of the Virginia Tech Center for Humanities, noted this was the first time, in a long time, people had to ask those questions.

"If you had asked just about anyone a few years ago if that situation would prevail, people may have just laughed,” Johnson said.

Nevertheless, the next administration takes over as we turn the page on a new chapter in our nation's history.

Still, Christopher McKnight Nichols, an associate professor at Oregon State University, said we cannot ignore the problems of our past.

While President Biden did address some of those issues in his inauguration speech, McKnight Nichols said he did not lay out a clear path forward.

"Papering over that suggests a real problem in what a call for unity might entail, because it couldn't actually bring people together without some, say, truth and reconciliation commissions,” McKnight Nichols said. “Impeachment alone won't solve these problems. In fact, it's probably the tip of the iceberg."

So then, how do we successfully achieve change?

Joseph Orosco, a philosophy professor at OSU, said the emotion we might need at this moment is anger – but as he explained, there's a difference between healthy anger and unhealthy anger.

"Unhealthy anger says, 'You can't change and I can't change, if you are still here, so drop dead,'” Orosco said. “But a healthy anger says, 'Look, change is possible -- for both of us.'"

Only time will tell if change is in store.

Central Oregon / Top Stories
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Max Goldwasser

Max Goldwasser is a reporter and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Max here.



    1. Yes, that is what we want. After 4 years of daily hate and disrespect from President Trump and his supporters.

      We must do it for America to survive. That includes all of us.

      1. What about antifa and BLM hate and violence? What about when the capital was breached during the kavanaugh hearings? While Trump was in office most leftists cried and whined like children. They are consumed by hate. The hypocrisy is strong with democrats and that’s a fact.

  1. First get the money out of politics so politicians are not so driven to stay in power because of the money and perks. That is a problem in elections and in lobbing, as well as future job offers promised. When our elected officials are true civil servants then the voters will stop being whipped up by such disingenuous and manipulative means. How to do this is a very hard question but one that needs an answer.

    1. Better tracking of the money and info for the public to see who’s paying whom? Yeah. But you’ll never get money out of politics. Money follows power. Close loopholes and high-priced lawyers will find new ones.

      1. Boy I wish I could argue that point, but I can hope. I know I have driven myself nuts over the years to figure out ways to get the money out of politics, saying all of that the effort needs to be made Lord knows that lots of effort has been put in to getting money in to politics!

      2. Reporters like you lie and protect politicians who enrich themselves. Say like a current president who sold access through his crackhead son to Ukrainians and Chinese companies. If you took five minutes and listened to “the smartest guy” Joe Biden knows he admits, ON RECORDINGS, he worked for a Chinese spy and passed his tribute to “the big guy. ”
        Have you listened to the recording or seen the pictures? Are you allowed to?

  2. You can leg hump your idiot sleazebag traitor all you want. If these insurrectionist America hating bastards get 10-20 years for sedation, their leader (and yours) should get 20 to 40. Treasonous Trump smeared poo all over America’s reputation around the world. WE just got OUR country back from the brink due to the racist, dishonorable human scum that has defiled what America stands for for the last four years.

      1. Until the last voice of opposition is silenced (unified) then the hate and lunacy will continue.. Even then the lefties can’t quench their self-loathing. The murder of over 3,000 babies per day (US only per W.H.O) by the party of so called “progressive” has thoroughly corrupted their souls.

  3. The biggest problem ??? Ya’ll been lied to by a corrupt media whose journalistic integrity died years ago- those currently at the helm are too weak-old-and afraid to stand up for their convictions. Four years of political propaganda has produced an Administration with Joe Biden at the helm- he promised to mandate nation-wide mask wearing- but now you all realize he doesn’t have that authority- and upon his first EO to mandate masks at Federal locations- he went right out and violated his own EO by not wearing a mask at the Lincoln Memorial ! Biden has promised to kill oil and gas- first step- reverse President Trump’s KeystoneXL Pipeline projects- Isis just today is back and bombing (they know weakness when they see it) The US is once again funding the WHO- to the tune of 100’s of billions of dollars- the same WHO that helped China cover-up the virus scandal- who told you to not wear a mask- who assured you that China had control of the virus ! The biggest problem Amerikans now face- is Joe Biden ! Your taxes will rise- social security will be cut- gasoline will sky-rocket-all this new talk about a mandatory minimum wage will kill small businesses ! Amerika went down this corrupt and failed road before it was called the “Obama” Presidency… Now brace yerselves for act two !

    1. I completely agree! America’s enemy’s are ecstatic that Biden is in office. He will put America last where Trump did the opposite. And then to shake hands, take pictures and thank the national guardsmen for their service then kick them out to sleep in a cold parking garage. Thankfully Trump offered his DC hotel for them to stay in. That’s a true leader.

        1. XL pipeline cancelled. Killed 10s of thousands of jobs and enriched Warren Buffet’s rail company. $15 minimum wage. CBO says will eliminate 100s of thousands of jobs. Importing 100s of thousands of unskilled illegal aliens. Lower wages.

          Learn to code.

          1. How many accounts does BGHWUHAN have?!?!
            Does each one have a different personality? They all seem to have the same talking points. I picture BGHWUHAN dressing up in drag, logging in as palm and agreeing with himself. Then he puts on his best clown suit, logs in as joe-bidens-sphincter and rants on. I have to admit, well played schizo!
            The plot thickens.

  4. I think the young students who will be graduating soon will get the rude awakening of a deteriorating Democrat economy after all of the Trump policies are sidelined and jobs leave America. The thousands of lost high paying jobs by Biden ending the Keystone Pipeline are just the tip of the iceberg. The $15 nationwide minimum wage will be the end of even more jobs. Hang on it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

      1. The solution is simple, and examples are in every other wealthy country: universal healthcare, so employers don’t pay high premiums, and can then pay their employees a move livable wage. It’s simple economy; put more money in the pockets of more people, with the comfort of knowing a medical emergency won’t bankrupt them, and they spend money, growing our economy.

        1. You have no idea what you are babbling about ! A “wealthy” nation like Japan will charge up to around $400/month for universal health care- and you will then pay about 30% of the co-payment. I would prefer to take my chances- not pay squat- stay off the dope- booze- bags of cheetohs and pocket $5000 a year for ten years and put that money down on property or a house payment…. Like many do ! Millions of Americans learned during the Obama/Biden years of disarray– if you force this onto your company- they will cut yer hours- create Obama style McJobs with no full time benefits- tank the economy- and nobody will participate in the scam. Why are you promoting this failed program again ? It won’t work !

        2. Haha this comment proves that you lefties know nothing about economics. You are a fool if you think businesses and every American won’t be paying out the wazoo in taxes for a universal healthcare.

        3. IT’S free. And Biden promised ALL illegal aliens will get FREE healthcare while Obamacare jacks up prices for responsible people who buy their own. Biden. Our savior. The greatest lightworker since Dear Reader Obama.

  5. The Universities are the root and the fertilizer of the problem.
    Systemically indoctrinating young people in a cult like manner to despise the free exchange of ideas.

    1. LOL! Education is “indoctrination”? It’s almost like learning about the world and exposing one’s self to new ideas grants a broader view of how things are, and how they could be better for all, right?
      I know I’m not alone here, but wanting to shelter young people from information and learning is the cult-like thing you’re talking about.

  6. Joe Biden, in his first day in office, killed off thousands upon thousands of jobs and violated a contract with Canada. And he’s just getting started. It’s awesome having a demonic pedophile in the Oval Office. The Light of Truth will shine down on their lies and deceitfulness. I like the statue of the communist Caesar Chavez on the table behind Biden’s desk. Should begin to tell you all something. Or are you uneducable?

    1. You are one soggy Qcumber. You must be feeling a lot of feelings since finding out that “Q” has been lying all this time.
      It reminds me of a bumper sticker I’d see from time to time over the last four years: “**** your feelings”

  7. I leave for a little while and what happened?? Facebook, Twitter, Google, and the rest of liberal lying media owned by the above mentioned, have taken over the Whitehouse. That’s really unfortunate, except for China,and the left liberals who swear that Biden is the messiah,and his first day in office, just like his followers, I want it my way so I will use my pen to get my way, exactly the way the left is. This is the reason some young men took some ships and sailed away from the leftist ways in order to live a life of true freedom. The unfortunate news of course is there will be no tea party this time.
    Like I said months ago, you deserve all of the 4 years your about to get, too bad it affects the rest of the normal people who live here.

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