Editorial: Finally a good day for America

By Chris Johnson

Thursday January 21, 2021

(Chris Kleponis – CNP/Sipa USA)

Perhaps the greatest thing about the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States is that the 45th president wasn’t there after all.

The swearing-in of Joe Biden as president, and all of the ceremony’s speeches, had one message – saving America’s democracy.

Donald Trump’s mere presence during such an occasion would have been a glaring mockery of that message.

At the very site ransacked by Trump-incited violent extremists just two weeks ago, Biden declared democracy the winner.

A sea of flags replaced what would have been a sea of people at the National Mall in the shadow of the Capitol dome. There to watch a new president replace the country’s worst ever president.

“This is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope of renewal and resolve through a crucible for the ages,” Biden said during his inauguration address.

“America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge. Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy. The people, the will of the people, has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded.

“We’ve learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.”

While former presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton looked on, Biden labelled and condemned much of the violence for what it is – white supremacy.

“And now a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat,” he said.

“To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy – unity. Unity.”

Declaring that America needed to “end this uncivil war” that was hardening so many hearts, Biden promised to govern for all.

“To all those who supported our campaign, I’m humbled by the faith you’ve placed in us,” he said.

“To all those who did not support us, let me say this: Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent, peaceably, the guardrails of our republic, is perhaps this nation’s greatest strength.

“Yet hear me clearly: Disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you: I will be a president for all Americans. All Americans. And I promise you I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.”

The new president promised to confront the coronavirus pandemic challenge head-on, deal seriously with climate change, engage properly with the world once more, and pretty much undo all the damaging initiatives of his predecessor.

Moments before Biden took his oath of office, a clearly elated Kamala Harris took hers and was sworn in as America’s vice president.

She is the first woman, and the first woman of colour, to hold such high office. A great day on so many levels.

Trump missed a good show.

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