Not deferential enough: Biden hits the right notes

Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2021 in Opinion

Not deferential enough: Biden hits the right notes

by Gina Hamilton

President Joseph R. Biden. It feels so good to finally say that. As I watched him take his oath of office, and listened to his inaugural speech, I'm not ashamed to say that there were tears of relief and, yes, even joy, coming from my eyes.

I did not realize, until today, even though I've been writing about it for four long years, how absolutely horrifying, how dysfunctional, the last presidential term has been. It didn't hurt that today was a clean, crisp day, a new fresh breeze blowing across the District, and that the sun was shining brightly and reassuringly.

Hope sprung from the banners snapping briskly across the Mall, just as last night, the lights at sunset, representing those who died in the pandemic, represented sorrow, but also a sense that something was going to be done. The adults were going to be in attendance from now on. Things would surely get better.

It was as if a long, dark night was finally ending, the sun would soon be coming up, and we could all breathe again.

Biden spoke of unity, yes, but also of truth. He spoke of finding common ground, yes, but for the common good, not for capitulation for the sake of peace.  How long he will wait for Republicans to reach back across the aisle isn't known, but it won't be forever. He doesn't need to wait long. He has the people he needs in the positions he needs them to be in in Congress.

He will spend time at Arlington National Cemetery today, then go home. Home, to the White House so recently vacated by the former occupant, a man who knew nothing of truth, or unity, or loyalty, or even basic decency.

Joe Biden is a decent man. He understands the threats he faces clearly. "Folks, this is a time of testing. We face an attack on our democracy and on truth, a raging virus, growing inequity, the sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis, America's role in the world. Any one of these will be enough to challenge us in profound ways. But the fact is, we face them all at once, presenting this nation with one of the gravest responsibilities we've had. Now we're going to be tested. Are we going to step up? All of us? It’s time for boldness, for there is so much to do. And this is certain, I promise you, we will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era."

Yes. This is the challenge of a century. But Americans of good will shall step up and face the challenges, and work together to see them through.

I will step up. Will you?

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