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Inauguration as it’s happening: Biden officially sworn in

6 mins read

“I’ll defend our democracy, I’ll defend America.”

Joe Biden has just officially been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States of America.

The new president took his oath of office just moments ago.

Face coverings and social distancing were observed throughout, however to many across the globe in lockdown, it certainly looked busy, with many hugging and celebrating.

In his inaugural address, Biden said:

“Together we shall write an American story, of hope not fear, of unity not division, of light not darkness. A story of decency and dignity. Of love and healing. Greatness and goodness.

“May this be the story that guides us, the story that inspires us, and the story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history, that we met the moment. Democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch, but thrive.”

Mr Biden went on to conclude with, “May God bless America, and may God bless our troops.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence was seen at the inauguration; Mr Trump was demonstrably absent as expected.

Although not the inauguration Mr Biden would ideally desired, many Americans can breathe a sigh of relief across the country that the ceremony took place without incident in light of the Capitol Hill riots just two weeks ago.

An increase in security and vetting of national guards was necessary after militant pro-Trump supporters stormed the building leading to fatalities.

Joeseph Biden is now officially the President of the United States, inheriting a nation divided, and the problems of the Trump administration that accompany.

Joe Biden’s inaugural address walked a tight rope, attempting to balance his words to address the entire nation, speaking directly to Trump supporters without mentioning the former president’s name.

Optimistic though Mr Biden may be, the notion of a unified America seems very far into the future. “A new dawn”, a “new era”: these are optimistic words for someone inheriting a nation so polarised and divided that it is difficult to imagine where to begin a dialogue to tackle such monumental issues.

Mr Biden may think unity is the means to the end of conflict, but unity will be an uphill battle to achieve in this climate. He is aware of these issues but an inspiring and uplifting inaugural address was the order of the day naturally.

Today there is hope that the circus of Trump’s presidency can begin to fade and erode from the American psyche, but that stain will take time and effort to disappear in an America inhabited by so many who would willingly welcome Trump back into office today.

President Biden and Vice President Harris have a long road ahead of them to govern effectively in a nation turned upside down by the Trump era in an age of fake news, abuse of power, and a complete lack of respect for the institution and responsibility of presidency.

Biden may be a return to the status quo regarding the behaviour and role of the president, but one contemplates how difficult it will be undoing the damage done to the perception of the presidency, both within the nation and internationally.

America has returned to having a leader with political aptitude- that is to say, a leader who knows how to present information and policy with a big smile and the right words. Trump’s bluster was beyond unprofessional, but he was so bad at being a politician that he was painfully transparent, with none of the bells and whistles or smile and charm to successfully conceal his intent.

Mr Trump often spoke to “his” people, glorifying in a nation divided and stoking conflict between groups in his term, often with mind bogglingly stupid lies and comments.

However, to Trump supporters, his speeches and ludicrous comments were, amongst other things, indicative of a real person speaking their dangerous mind- Biden’s over-used metaphors about dark and light and curated speeches likely seem fake and contrived comparatively to the literal stream of consciousness that used to pour from Mr Trump’s mouth.

A big factor in his popularity was his unprofessional and uncurated approach, refreshing to some in a world where most politicians have a slick answer to everything and are trained in the art.

Mr Biden is a true politician attempting to govern a nation previously overseen by a businessman. Only time will tell if his style is able to influence those radicalised by Trump, or if his more militant supporters have permenently disengaged from the type of politics Mr Biden delivers.

Feature Image Credit: Getty Images

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