The United States has said goodbye to the era of Donald Trump and has started a new journey with the arrival in the White House of Joe Biden. The Democrat became president this Wednesday in front of the same Capitol that was stormed just two weeks ago and has called for the “unity” of the citizens at a particularly turbulent moment in history. In an exciting but unusual ceremony, marred by the pandemic and heavy security measures, Biden has praised the victory of democracy and called on the people to “start over.” It has been a speech of catharsis in a day for history. Kamala Harris is as of today the first woman to hold the vice presidency of the most powerful country in the world.
Joseph Robinette Biden (Scranton, Pennsylvania, age 78) was sworn in to the office he has always dreamed of around noon with his hand on the same Bible with which he was sworn in as a senator half a century ago. He is now the 46th president of the United States, the second Catholic in history (after John Fitzgerald Kennedy), the oldest in office, the one who seemed defeated a year ago. He is also the man who has managed to unite the Democrats against Trump and the one who must get the nation out of very low hours.
“We have a lot to do in this winter of danger and possibility. Much to repair, much to restore, much to heal and build. And much to gain ”, said the new president in a speech lasting about 25 minutes, which set the tone for the serious moment the country is experiencing. Biden has tiptoed through policies, plans and programs, he has not mentioned Trump and has focused his message on values, on the recovery of an American spirit that he defines as unity, struggle, respect. “We have learned that democracy is a precious and fragile asset, but democracy has won. This is the day of America, it is the day of democracy ”, he stressed.
The United States is a country founded in rebellion against the monarchy, but with presidential rites typical of royalty and the day of the inauguration of office is one of the most affirmative milestones, a grandiloquent ceremony, with an air of triumph and optimism. This year has passed obscured by the pandemic, which has claimed 400,000 lives, and by the political upheaval, which forced the city to close and crystallized with the absence of the outgoing president. Instead of the hundreds of thousands of citizens who used to follow the act from the National Mall, the great green boulevard dawned with a sea of flags in memory of those who died and around 25,000 soldiers of the National Guard protecting the streets.
Biden, whom millions of Americans instigated by Trump accuse of having stolen the elections, has insisted on the urgency of “the truth.” “There is truth and there are lies, lies that are told in search of power and profit,” he stressed. This insistence and the general idea of the speech, that of leaving behind a time of war and trauma, has transmitted a certain air of hope in this country in mourning, but above all it has recalled the words of Gerald R. Ford when he assumed the presidency in 1974, following the resignation of Richard Nixon by the Watergate case: “I think the truth is the glue that holds together not only a government, but civilization itself.” said Ford, in addition to his famous: “Countrymen, our national nightmare is over.”
With the end of the Trump term, the United States sends a message to the world, also traversed in recent years by the rise of populist movements that are beginning to wear out. With the attack on Congress only two weeks ago, incited by the president himself and his infundies, it also sends the signal that the tear remains. Breaking a more than century-old tradition, Trump avoided accompanying his successor and left the city early, still proud as president, to fly one last time in the presidential Air Force One plane and land in his Florida refuge.
It turned out, however, a day of hope for at least more than half of this country, weary from four years of tension, and for the rest of the world, traditional allies of the United States to whom the vice president of the Obama era has promised the return of the great power after the nationalist turn promoted by its republican predecessor. The new government inherits a country in a recession that it had not seen in 70 years and with debt levels at the height of World War II.
Four hard years have passed in the life of this country, limits have been explored, the seams of institutions and democracy put to the test. Citizens have seen their president fraternize with the world’s worst dictators, throw packages of toilet paper at hurricane victims, or talk about the “good people” among those neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville in 2017. With the pandemic, Trump’s fall into hell began. He castled in denial first and extravagance later. By losing the elections, he launched the final pulse on the system, tried to reverse the results based on lies. More than half of Republican voters still believe them. Now Trump is already in Florida and Biden is in the White House. America begins the hard road to reconciliation.
Subscribe here to newsletter about elections in the United States