Our democracy has prevailed. Joseph R. Biden was inagurated as the 46th president of the United States without incident on January 20.
The feared protests did not materialize and mar America’s transfer of power; it was peaceful.
The new president’s inaguaral address was short but pointed: paraphrasing Abraham Lincoln’s remarks of 1863, he said “My whole soul is in this.” He called for unity and said that not every disagreement is a call for fiery battle. Regardless of how Americans voted in the election, Joseph Biden is president of the country now.
The nation has turned the page to a new administration. It faces huge challenges few new presidents have had to confront. There will be, no doubt, immediate sniping at the new president for his policies and decisions. President Biden deserves the opportunity to demonstrate to the citizens of the United States that he has the best interests of America and its people at heart.
The Biden administration will deal with the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the messy rollout of the coronavirus vaccines, an economy reeling from months of business closures and inequality. The president has a daunting burden, which can be lightened if Congress works to be part of solutions.
Biden’s call for national unity can seem like platitude but it is what is needed. He said, “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts.”
He added that he will fight for all Americans including those who did not vote for him. There is always a percentage of people who don’t accept a president as ‘their’ leader—that’s part of democracy. Yet every new president should be given the benefit of the doubt.
Americans have the ultimate power in the nation. They have made their voices heard when they do not support policies and decisions made by a president. If Biden overreaches and tries to push through initiatives that people believe are wrong, they will speak out.
The new president is a decent man whose experience and background will serve him well. He has enjoyed triumphs and and endured tragedies; his finest trait is that of empathy; he can relate to his fellow Americans in a way few presidents have.
Joseph Biden’s’‘whole soul is in this.’ For the challenges America faces that may just be enough to be what we need.