Biden, new U.S. president in turbulent times
The president called for unity to heal old wrongs and made clear the “leadership” of that country for world “democracy”
By Juana Carrasco Martin| email@example.com
Published: Thursday 21 January 2021 | 12:10:53 am
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
They say that the color purple stood out at the inauguration of the 46th president of the United States, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. The purple achieved with the mixture of red and blue -which distinguishes the Republican and Democratic parties-, symbolized in this case the search for a national unity so necessary for a good internal climate in the country. The US has supposedly reached the limit of division and chaos by the one who is already characterized as the worst leader in history, Donald Trump, who in order not to lose his egomaniacal habit said as a farewell: “I will come back somehow”.
It is a show, a spectacle of “democracy,” the presidential and vice presidential swearing-in ceremony. As such – this time without the usual crowds due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but replaced by 200,000 flags from the bars and stars located from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol – they heard popular entertainment industry figures such as Lady Gaga, performing the National Anthem in the area outside the Capitol, to Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks.
In the midst of this staging to glorify the great nation, the ceremony was opened by Senator Amy Koblucher, who gave way to Missouri Republican Roy Blunt, both of whom insisted on conciliation after the events of January 6. Their status as the top members of the Senate Rules Committee gave them that task.
Sonia Sotomayor, -the first Latina Supreme Court justice-, then swore in the first African-American, Asian, American and woman to become Vice President of the United States, the then Senator Kamala Harris, as an emblematic example of the possibilities of the American dream.
The Vice President said in her pledge that she will preserve and protect the Constitution against all enemies, domestic and foreign. This is an undeniable allusion to the events of January 6, when violent pro-Trump fanatics stormed the Capitol, a matter under investigation that is likely to leave many loose ends when it is concluded.
Trump faces impeachment in the Senate, now 50/50 Democratic controlled, for inciting the white supremacist mutineers who forced their way into Congress. The former did not attend the ceremony, but traveled to his residence and golf course in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.
Joseph Biden was sworn in before Supreme Court Justice John Roberts: “I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States,” he said, with his hand on the Bible, “and to the best of my ability I will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, so help me God.”
Hugs and kisses despite the pandemic, behind the transparent fence, which is known to be armored.
The almost widespread rejection of extremists and the presence of 25,000 National Guards members, in addition to the Metropolitan Police and Security Services, were more than enough to stop the demonstrations of those who are still declaring fraud in the elections of November 3rd. Nevertheless, Washington D.C., taken militarily, gave an unprecedented image for a presidential inauguration and suggested the climate that underlies the apparent tranquility of the first day of the Biden administration.
On the other hand, the new president does not have a single member of his future government team confirmed by the Senate, a disadvantage that he also owes to the stubborn Trump and the obstacles Trump put in the way of a peaceful and normal transition.
Even now, the Senate, which began confirmation hearings for Cabinet members and other key positions requiring such certification the day before, will also be busy impeaching Trump.
The Presidential Address
For 21 minutes the new president spoke to the American peole and the world, which is why he represents the empire. One word prevailed in his call, as often as it was pronounced: unity or union. The nation needs it, and it needs it very much in the face of the challenges that have arisen in four Trumpist years, the last of which was marked by the unusual event of the pandemic and its economic consequences, and by the bloody wound of racism, the extremism of white supremacists and police brutality.
Biden also repeated another term over and over again, intrinsic to the mask behind which all kinds of social inequalities are hidden: democracy.
“This, America’s day. This is the day of democracy,” he said from the very beginning of the speech. “Democracy has prevailed,” he emphasized.
He placed the coronavirus pandemic, which has already taken the lives of 400,000 Americans, and white supremacy on the same plane of challenges or challenges to his government. He assured listeners that he would “confront and defeat” a promise he had already made during his campaign but that it remains to be seen whether he can fulfill it in the four years ahead.
An optimistic and daring vision of the future, although he also recognized in that linear discourse that the forces that divide American society are deep, real and not new: racism, fear, demonization.
The objective is always the same, even if the instruments to implement it are different from those of its predecessor. But it is the confession of faith of the so-called “exceptionality” as a nation: to rebuild the economy so that the United States will once again be the force for good in the world. “Egg dogs, even if they burn your nose,” my grandmother would say. [“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, wl]
I wonder if this statement is just for internal consumption, because the United States should put it into practice in its view of the world. We can see each other not as adversaries, but as neighbors, treat each other with respect, stop the yelling, calm the anger that is a constant struggle, that the nation is not a state of chaos, that unity is the path to follow… At this moment and in this place we are going to begin again to see each other differently, to see each other, to listen to each other, to show mutual respect… Each disagreement does not have to be a cause for an all-out war.
Without mentioning him by name, the absent former president was subtly named to speak of security, freedom, respect, honor and truth as goals and to banish the lies that seek power and profit, and he gave his word not to think of power, but of the common good.
Internal and external repercussions
“Together, we must revive our economy, reassert our leadership and competitiveness in the long term, and restore good governance as we chart a course out of these crises. And we are fundamentally optimistic that we can do just that if we work in partnership,” wrote U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue and President Suzanne Clark.
However, they added: “At the same time, the Chamber strongly warns against a return to excessive regulation or anti-competitive taxation.”
Stocks opened with gains on the first day of Joe Biden’s presidency: the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened with a gain of about 100 points on Wednesday; the S&P 500 Index opened with a gain of 0.6 percent; and the Nasdaq rose 1.4 percent thanks to a 14 percent increase in Netflix stock.
The Hill reported that Biden’s inaugural speech won immediate praise from some Republican Party senators, from whom the new administration will need the support to get its legislative agenda through Congress.
Among those legislators are Senators Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine); and Senators Mitt Romney (Utah) and Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania), the latter of whom said he is “praying” for Biden.
French President Emmanuel Macron congratulated Biden and Harris, and welcomed them to the Paris Climate Agreement.
Interestingly, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, did not attend Biden’s inauguration because he said earlier that he would be working on resolving Senate objections to a quick confirmation of those chosen by the new president to lead that community.
Meanwhile, Frank Sinatra’s My Way was being heard at Andrews Base as former President Trump was leaving for Florida on Air Force One .
Joseph R. Biden – the second Catholic president of the United States – definitely takes office in turbulent times.