The 20th January 2021 marks a new, progressive dawn for the US as Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President, alongside Kamala Harris as the first woman and person of colour to take on the Vice Presidency.
In his inaugural speech, the former Vice President and Senator Biden called for unity in a divided America as he praised “Democracy has prevailed,” following a peaceful transition of power in the US Capitol earlier today.
At the sombre Lincoln Memorial ceremony, Biden highlighted how honouring the grief and healing of the nation would be at the forefront of the administration’s values
Within hours of being appointed as President, Biden already plans to put through a raft of executive measures reversing years of hard line conservatism from former President Donald Trump.
On the top of Biden’s agenda will be tackling the destructive Coronavirus pandemic as cases continue to rise, amassing a death toll of 400,000. On Tuesday evening before the inauguration ceremony took place, special tributes were paid to those victims of the Covid-19 pandemic as Biden stressed that “to heal we must remember”.
At the sombre Lincoln Memorial ceremony, Biden highlighted how honouring the grief and healing of the nation would be at the forefront of the administration’s values over the next year.
Whilst the pandemic will be Biden’s most pressing concern, reinstating the Paris Climate agreement, reforming the criminal justice system and addressing the country’s huge wealth gap are also said to be some of his top concerns.
The day itself, however, has allowed many to breath a sigh of relief, with the smoothness of the ceremony in vast contrast to the scenes of pro-Trump looters storming the Capitol building and threatening the very foundations of democracy just two weeks ago.
Amongst its attendees were former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton alongside their respective former First Ladies, whilst Donald Trump was notably absent from the ceremony as he jetted off on Air Force One to his Mar-a-Lago resort.
As Donald Trump slid away from the political arena with the anthem YMCA marking his departure, many have seen his absence from the ceremony as indicative of the current ruptured nature of American politics. “We will be back,” he vowed to his supporters, as he farewell speech drew on the efforts of his staff over the last four years, failing to include one mention of the new Biden-led administration.
The socially distanced inauguration crowd was also entertained by musical performances from Lady Gaga and J-Lo, as the United States’ first-ever youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, made history as the youngest woman to speak at the inauguration.
As Kamala Harris became appointed as the first woman to take office as Vice President, young women across the world looked on with a sense of genuine ambition at what can be achieved in a free democracy as she also made history as the first woman of Black and Asian descent to take on this position.
Supported by a large blended family, comprised of different ethnicities as well as step children, Harris has been seen as embodying a new, progressive America which many of the US Electorate have sought after.
She isn’t without opposition however, with many arguing that the former Senator could have been tougher on criminal justice and ensuring there is no racial bias.
In taking his oath of office, Biden promised that “unity is the path forward”. “We must meet this moment as the United States of America. If we do that, I guarantee you we will not fail”, he added.
many are breathing a sigh of relief tonight as they remain optimistic for what’s to come in this new Biden presidency
When so much of Biden’s goals seem filled with a genuine desire for unity, offering a cooperative hand out to the opposing political side, the unprecedented security operation in Washington DC, with thousands of national guardsmen deployed on every street corner to ensure the peaceful transition of power, serves as a damaging reminder to American citizens of the huge divisions they still have to overcome.
Whilst America goes through a slow process of healing, repairing years of social and political divisions, the issues that the country face in terms of polarisation are far from over. Yet, many are breathing a sigh of relief tonight as they remain optimistic for what’s to come in this new Biden presidency.
For more content including uni news, reviews, entertainment, lifestyle, features and so much more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like our Facebook page for more articles and information on how to get involved.