I have talked about my sense of hope for this year throughout the last couple of weeks. Some of that hope was rocked in the last two weeks after the riot and attack on the Capitol, but a new beginning that started at 12:00 pm on January 20, 2021 in which Joseph R. Biden, Jr. was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States is something else to hope for. I was glued to my TV most of the day watching everything from the now former President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump leaving for Florida to the Bidens going into the White House. One presidential era ends, the next presidential era begins.
Donald Trump’s exit and celebration at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland was classic Trump style. He had prepared a speech that he would deliver to those that came to see him, but of course he went off script. I was hoping to see some vulnerability when he said that it was an honor and a privilege to serve as the President; in fact, this was one of the few things that I believe from him. However, he quickly had to get his jabs into the new administration, warning that if our taxes increase, he told you so. He also warned that he would be back in some way shape or form, the movement he helped to lead wasn’t over, and to “have a nice life”. It seemed like he was giving a middle finger to Washington to a certain point. I do hope he was lying about the “movement” just starting and that we would see him again in some shape or form. Several songs played before and after President Trump’s arrival to Joint Base Andrews, which were “Billie Jean”, “Gloria”, and “YMCA”. These songs had a rather…feminine touch and seemed ironic for an administration and a man that holds on to and promotes masculine tendencies to a fault.
Any inauguration is usually a celebratory moment for everyone in the United States, no matter what political ideologies you hold dear. I was happy to see many Republicans in attendance at the ceremony (well, as many as could be there considering the pandemic), including former Vice President Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell, and Kevin McCarthy. Their presence made me think that this could be at least a step in the right direction towards the start of a resurrection of bipartisanship in our government. Maybe most Republicans are trying to get the stank of Trumpism off from them. I did think it was slightly odd to see Ted Cruz at the inauguration, though. Did he suddenly recognize Joe Biden as the president, considering there’s nothing else that could have been done to deny the fact that President Biden was elected? His presence seemed a little self-serving in my opinion.
The performances were good by Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks. I’m a fan of Lady Gaga; I love her music and think she is one of the best singers in the music business (just listen to her a capella performances; they are phenomenal to say the least). She did a great rendition of the national anthem, but I did not like her outfit at all. It looked like something out of The Hunger Games, which seemed a little tone deaf considering what happened at the Capitol two weeks ago and the fact that the society of Panem of The Hunger Games started after an attack on the Capitol. It could have just been the pin that made the outfit look like this; if she didn’t have the pin, I might have thought differently. I love that Garth Brooks has performed at several inaugurations from both sides of the aisle. He did a great job singing “Amazing Grace”. I thought it was sweet that he hugged each of the former presidents, but it was a little cringeworthy considering that we are in the middle of a health crisis and he didn’t have a mask on.
I could sense the excitement that Kamala Harris had upon being sworn in as Vice President. Jill Biden was excited to see her husband sworn in as the President of the United States, but I also noticed that she was crying once he had finished taking the oath of office, which was sweet. It was nice to see the first couple showing love for one another for a change.
Amanda Gorman was a fascinating poet and someone that I think we should all watch out for in the future. Her poem was so inspirational, and it was not only because of her words. The way in which she moved her hands to enunciate every word and line in her poem kept me continually watching and listening. I thought that she was just reading a poem that someone else wrote, but the fact that she is as young as she is and created this work of art is so admirable.
I thought the speech that Joe Biden gave after his oath of office was great but did seem to contradict some of his calls for unity. I understand that he said that he will fight for all Americans, those that didn’t vote for him should give him a chance, and that if you disagree with him, so be it. However, there were several lines that sounded like a swipe at the previous administration and potentially his supporters. Some of them included the fact that some will use truth and lies for power and profit, which of course alluded to the lies that President Trump continued to espouse after he lost the election and the potential that President Trump was profiting off of his time in the White House. He also said that we should reject the culture where facts are manipulated and even manufactured, which I thought was also a swipe at the Trump Administration and the media outlets that support him. I agree with President Biden that we need not let “disagreements lead to disunion”, that we should reject white supremacy, and that opportunity, security and the truth are pivotal to democracy (I’m paraphrasing). I think it’s important to note though that the mentioning of the truth and lies and manipulation of acts may not have been necessary to extend that olive branch to the other side. We know there are people that still think he wasn’t legitimately elected and that’s who he should have tried the hardest to reach out to.
There was one moment after the ceremonies with which President Biden exclaimed that if anyone shows any kind of disrespect to their cohorts, they will be fired on the spot. The motivation of the action is understandable; he is the decency candidate and one that will work to reunite this country. However, it seemed like it was a little too brash. Putting a sense of fear into the staff doesn’t seem like the best way to do it.
I may not completely agree with what this administration does throughout its term, but I can tell that President Biden is not in this job for himself and the power, but instead to help and hopefully heal America. Today is the first full day on the job and we will see if he will achieve and complete the promises he pledged to his voters as well as work on uniting the country. I wish the Biden Administration luck and hope for prosperity for this nation in the coming years.