“Democracy Has Prevailed”- The 46th National Inauguration, Summarized


Photo Credit: CNBC

President Joe Biden takes the presidential oath beside his wife, Fist Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

Sydney Wold, Reporter

January 20th, 2021 marked a new beginning for the United States of America as the 46th President of the United States, Joseph R. Biden was sworn into office. The inauguration was met with little unrest, despite the heated discourse that has followed the Capitol Riots.

The six hour inauguration was live-streamed on news and social media platforms across the country by tens of millions. Deadline reports the peak viewership was around 40 million from six different networks. This surpassed Trump’s (38.3 million) numbers, however both were outnumbered by the 51 million Americans who watched Barack Obama’s inauguration.

During the ceremony, three musical acts performed. Lady Gaga sang the national anthem, Jennifer Lopez “This Land is Your Land,” and Garth Brooks “Amazing Grace.” All three performances were masterful, passionate and marked a moment of national unity; as TIME pointed out, each singer comes from “disparate backgrounds and different disciplines— [yet they] struck a note unlike any we’ve heard previously.” All three not only managed, but excelled in their efforts to create solidarity.

Amanda Gorman, 2017 National Youth Poet Laureate, was another artistic feature of the inauguration. Gorman’s inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb,” encourages union in a time where it is most needed. She addresses the past struggles of the United States and compares it to a hill that must be climbed “because being American is more than a pride we inherit, it’s the past we step into
and how we repair it.” Though she mentions the nation’s rocky history, Gorman foretells a new dawn all Americans have an opportunity to realize.

President Joe Biden’s inaugural address explored a similar theme. He looks back on the recent insurrection at the Capitol and the fragility of democracy before claiming national resilience. President Biden’s statement of victory isn’t tone deaf; he acknowledges the millions of Americans affected by COVID-19, the staggeringly high loss of jobs, and political extremism.

He makes his solution to this clear- unity. “Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: bringing America together…History, faith, and reason show the way, the way of unity.” He points out some may see his message as “a foolish fantasy,” but he insists that the union of Americans has won every battle faced thus far.

In the days following the election, President Biden has passed many executive orders. As reported by BBC, some of these orders include: incorporating undocumented immigrants into the census, pausing federal student loan payments, the expansion of food stamp programs, and the removal of Trump’s transgender military ban. In the coming days, Biden has laid out plans to address climate change, vaccinate 100 million Americans against COVID-19, and reverse more of Trump’s orders.

This most recent inauguration wasn’t solely focused on President Biden’s victory. Rather, it was a rallying call for Americans to rise above national woes and unify. The President not only campaigned on this message, but made it the theme of this ceremony: America United. Hopefully, this inauguration marks the beginning of a brighter era in American history.