Experts discuss a post-Trump America and healing a divided nation

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, ABC News contributors Tara Setmayer, LZ Granderson and Leah Wright-Rigueur reflect on the challenges President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will face.
6:54 | 01/19/21

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Transcript for Experts discuss a post-Trump America and healing a divided nation
Dr. Martin Luther king, jr.'s life-long struggle for civil rights taking new meaning in America tonight as the nation confronts a dark past and complicated future. I spoke with ABC news contributors earlier tonight thank you all for joining us elz let's start with you, I spoke to trump supporter who denounced the violence at the capitol but said it is now time for the country to move on. What about Republicans not ready to move on. What will it take? I'm not quite sure what moving on actually means, if it means let's forget January 6th then I don't want to move on because that's not going to help the country move forward and heal. We've been down this road where we've tried to placate to racism in hopes of unifying the country only to find out when you placate to racism you only make the country worse. So I don't know what it's going to take for us to move on to get the Republicans on board to have a peaceful transition of power and help Joe Biden and kamala Harris get this coronavirus under control but I am cure yow-zaious as curious what the definition of moving on means to Republicans as well. By the video we seen by the new Yorker, with what impact will it have an already-fractured Republican party. He think it forces them to have to face the fact that Donald Trump incited this, there's no running away from it, there's tangible video evidence being repeatedly shown as if they forgot there was a violent insurrection that cost lives just a few weeks ago. It's an escape. What-aboutism, trying to blame everyone else, the American people, I this I, have had enough. Er it's very jarring to watch the videos. I encourage people to watch the video from the new Yorker and pro-publica. People need to see what happened and there needs accountability. Can't begin to heal without repentance and accountability and then we can talk about unification. Black voters have been a enormous force especially in key swing states where it counted the most do you think black political engagement is here to stay. Absolutely. Black political engagement has been there forever, they've been well-informed but different thing about 2020 despite Geri mandering and all of these road blocks in front of black voters to prevent them from voting, black voters have become essentially untethered or at least have escaped the choke holds on them by white voters across the country for the last several decades, last several generations, really. So we're beginning to see black voters have the ability to realize their political power that they've always had. Or that they've had all along. . Today is martin Luther king, Jr. Day in the beginning of a historic week in this country. You said there are two Americans, do you think the biden-harris administration can unite them? Or are we hoping for too much? We definitely are hoping for too much if we think two people can overcome centuries of division. You can't legislate harmony. You can try to legislate or punish those who try to disrupt it in a violent fashion but at the end of the day you have to work towards changing hearts and mines if you want to talk about unifying the country again. I do believe that they do see that but I think it's ridiculous if we believe that now that we have, you know, democratic senate, a democratic house, and obviously a democratic president that now things are automatically going to be better, no, it's going to take interpersonal reaction to one another, at groeshtry store, in our churches, at the mall. That's how this country will get better. It's up to us. Leah, in the spirit of today, celebrating the hope that Dr. King his dream inspired and the darkness the civil rights era exposed we saw darkness at the capitol two weeks ago, this Wednesday where's the dream stand? I think one of the things to keep in mind is that when Dr. King was alive he was a deeply unpopular figure amongst the majority of the country. In fact the radical king that we rarely talk about was actually murdered for his views and view point which I think exposes the great lengths that power, particularly racial power and hierarchyal power, the great lengths that that power will go to in order to keep it, in order to prevent progress. And I think we're in one of those moments right now. We've seen increasing political advancement, particularly for black and brown people an indigenous populations in this country. So as we move into this moment and are here on martin Luther king, Jr. Day and moving into this inauguration and the next political administration, presidential administration, I think we should be very cognizant of the fact that progress always comes with backlash and those things are intertwined. So we haven't got that far with Dr. King's dream. We still have so much more to go. Tara, final thought for you about this week. What we saw two weeks ago and what you hope to see this coming Wednesday. You know, I just think that it is a collective, national sigh of relief on Wednesday. The country is ready to have adult leadership, competent leadership, and tackle the problems and the searched Earth that Donald Trump has left in his failed wake of his presidency. As we celebrate Dr. King today and look at the historic nature of what is happening this week with vice president to be kamala Harris and the choice that Republicans face as well since they'll be in the minority party, how will they move how will they react in this it reminds me of martin Luther king who said the ultimate measure of a man is not in moment of comfort and convenience, it's in a time of challenge and controversy. And we're in that time right now. And I think a lot of people, the Republican side, need to decide which side they're standing on in this time. Tara, do I hear optimism in your view of what this week could be? 100%. I mean, the point we're at now it can't go any further down. It can only go up. All right. Thanks again to all of you for your time. We'll see you down the road.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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