Today was a great day in history. President Joe Biden and Madame Vice President Kamala Harris, the first woman of color to ever be selected for the position, were inaugurated into their presidential positions. Likewise, Donald Trump’s four-year reign of terror, lies, and hatred have come to an end.
I was able to watch most of the inauguration ceremony during my lunch this morning, and it was refreshing to hear what a true president sounds like again. There were no lies. No accusations without evidence. No Twitter tantrums. Instead, Biden offered a message of unity and hope to Americans, and he promised to work hard alongside congress and citizens to begin the long process of healing from a worsening pandemic and rebuilding the character of the United States back to what it was prior to Trump’s destruction and tarnished legacy.
In his speech, Biden stated, “Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies. Lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and a responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies.”
What we saw at the end of Trump’s presidency was a blatant attempt to stay in power through deception and lies–False claims of a rigged election, dozens of lawsuits thrown out for failure to produce evidence, and attempts at behind-the-scenes cheating to “find 11,780 votes,” just to name a few. Acts of injustice and authoritarianism that left voters wondering what he would try next just to stay in power and overturn the will of the people and an honest and fair election. As if that weren’t enough, his supporters followed his lead as he egged them on with more lies and mounted an insurrection at the Capitol in an effort to prevent the certification of the Electoral College votes.
As part of the inauguration ceremony, Amanda Gorman read a poem, and a piece of that poem summed up perfectly what I believe Biden’s goal will be over the next four years (and what we should all strive toward as a nation that proclaims “liberty and justice for all”):
“We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside”Amanda Gorman – Inaugural Poem
I am excited for the potential that the next four years holds for this country. I spent a good majority of the last four years wondering how we got to a place where enough people believed that Trump was a viable candidate for president. Well, he had his shot, and he missed the mark miserably. Instead of bringing the nation closer together, he only sought to drive it further apart.
Even more shocking was the fact that he had such a strong Christian backing. I don’t understand the support he received from Christians, and I probably never will. I left the church years ago, because, so often, what gets taught up at that pulpit on Sunday is vastly different than what gets taken out into the world when that service is over. To teach love, compassion, truth, and the need to strive to have a Christ-like character and then support Trump whose character was the exact opposite of everything that Christ was supposed to represent just baffles me. Don’t get my words all twisted…I don’t dislike Christians, but there are better candidates than Trump. And that doesn’t even mean we have to agree on that candidate…if you don’t like Biden, cool. He’s not for you. But it’s hard to refute the fact that Trump was not for Christ. Just saying.
Biden has promised to be a president for all–and I believe him. That doesn’t mean he’s perfect and without his flaws. And it doesn’t mean that he’s going to get it right every time. But listening to his speech today and everything he’s talked about leading up to this moment gives me hope that he will place more of an effort on unifying this nation and on rebuilding relations with the rest of the world than Trump ever tried to do in his four years in office.
It’s time to pick up the broken pieces and start rebuilding a better America than what Trump left behind.
“We must nurture and love, if life is to have any real meaning. But First we must find a way to survive against the things that prevent us from doing so.”
― Terry Brooks