Joe Biden won against Donald Trump, in the Presidential election that took place, recently. Just two weeks earlier a mob had broken into the Capitol seeking to block the ratification of the election results.
The transfer of power was not peaceful in the world’s oldest constitutional republic that occurred on Wednesday on the West Front of the US Capitol, as Joseph R. Biden Jr. was sworn in as the 46th President of the U.S. His deputy, Kamala Devi Harris, the first woman, African-American and Indian-American to hold the vice-presidency, was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor – the first Latina in the U.S. top court.
In his first remarks, Biden said, “Here we stand days after a riotous mob thought they could silence the will of the people. It will not happen, not today, not tomorrow, not ever.” He pledged to be honest with the country as it continues to confront difficulties, saying leaders had an obligation to “defend the truth and defeat the lies”.
Addressing the country for the first time as President, Biden delivered a message of unity and hope while laying out the enormous challenges faced by the country from a raging pandemic, deep political divisions and frayed race relations.“This is America’s day. This is Democracy’s day. The day of history and hope,” Biden said in his inaugural address.
“Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause – the cause of Democracy. The will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded,” Mr. Biden said, adding that democracy was precious and fragile but that it had prevailed.
He referred to the Capitol violence of January 6 and said attempts to overturn the elections will never be successful. Past presidents – Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and their spouses–were also present as was outgoing Vice President Mike Pence.
In his speech, he referred to the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic (more than 400,000 Americans have died), the job losses, racial justice, the climate crisis, white supremacy and domestic terrorism.
In his speech, Biden called for unity. “My whole soul is in this… bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation,” he said, asking every American to join him in the cause. Racism, nativism, fear and demonization have torn America apart, he said.
“We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature…Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path. Biden said. Lady Gaga sang the national anthem and Jennifer Lopez sang a patriotic song.
Trump, who had contested the election results and addressed the mob minutes before they attacked the Capitol weeks ago, refused to meet Biden at the White House and travel with him to the Inauguration as per tradition. However, he had, as per reports, left a personal note in the Oval Office for his successor as is the custom. While he wished the next administration “great luck and great success”
Biden is scheduled to review an honour guard, participate in a wreath laying at Arlington Cemetery with Obama and Bush before he gets to work on Wednesday afternoon.
India is eagerly awaiting how the Joe Bidel-led administration will help its geopolitical and economic interest as the country is working hard to be the centre of fourth industrial revolution led by digital technologies.