On the 20th of January 2021, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States of America, alongside his running-mate, the now Vice President, Kamala Harris. What is so iconic about today’s inauguration is that it marks the end of the Trump Administration as well as the possibility of healing the divided soul of the United States.
Over the past four years, the US has seen an increase in racism, hate attacks, Islamophobia and overall human rights abuses against minorities. The Trump Presidency was stained by the images of children in cages at detention centres, mass protests, the horrific video of police killing George Floyd, the COVID 19 pandemic, alongside so many other events.
These events over the past four years have seriously divided the US, particularly along party lines. This divide became extremely evident in the 2020 election. The 2020 election had the largest turnout of any US presidential election. More than 159 million people voted. More people voted for Joe Biden than any other candidate in history. But, more people voted for Trump than ever before as well. The world has seen how divided the US is particularly with the recent events of right-wing extremist groups storming the Capitol.
However, Biden and Harris both realize how divided and damaged their nation is after the past four years. This is why they made their main message for their term in office unity.
Biden and Harris decided not to have the public attend the inauguration but rather watch it online, due to the pandemic. To further bring people together, Biden and Harris brought music into the ceremony. Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez performed at the live inauguration. They are both advocates for minority communities. The Biden-Harris Administration also created a week of online musical festivities which are meant to target different cultural groups across the US.
In his presidential inauguration speech, Joe Biden declared that “democracy has prevailed”. He made the dedicated promise to the American people that he and Harris will be the change that is needed to “preserve the soul of America”.