Wednesday January 20, 2021 – By Graeme MacKay
Four years ago I reflected on a day in democracy that we just saw pass today, when the transfer of power from one U.S. President to another sets a new tone in the most powerful nation on the planet.
Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States yesterday.
While things were bad enough leading up to November 3, since the election day two and a half months ago, the nation has been led by a petulant toddler, feeding a myth that the vote tally was fraudulent and stolen from Republicans. The lies and vitriol that Donald Trump drummed up on an constant basis through Twitter and his other social media platforms worked up his most brainwashed cult members to storm the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
The United States, long a beacon and promoter of democracy, endured an insurrection by domestic terrorists hell-bent on imposing one party rule. Even now, with the dust still settling in the aftermath of that humiliating day in U.S. history, some Republicans, blind to the wretched legacy left by its leader, justify the act while continuing to spew the falsehood that Joe Biden’s Presidency is illegitimate.
Just to compound matters is a deadly global pandemic, with a virus that has killed more than 400,000 Americans, more deaths than any other country on the planet. Many of those deaths can be linked to a lack of a centralized federal effort to contain the infection.
The result is a patchwork of differing guidelines and range of safety restrictions throughout the States. Whereas, here in Canada, where for 10 months we’ve accepted wearing masks, working from home, not vacationing abroad, and avoiding holiday gatherings, Americans have clearly prioritized individual freedom over science, or, livelihoods over lives. The most significant marker contrasting the differing approaches to COVID-19 is the fact that the U.S.-Canada land border has remained closed to non-essential travel since March, 2020.
So much of the spread could have been avoided if Trump hadn’t equated the simple act of wearing a face mask to limit the potential inhalation and exhalation of virus as weakness.
President Biden, on his first day signed a series of executive orders reversing several of the Trump administration’s most contentious policies.
The monumental tasks ahead includes tackling a number of crises that the former President ignored or neglected to deal with during his 2 month long temper tantrum. The pandemic, unemployment and the economy, race divisions, and a cultural divide of identity politics that’s been growing increasing violent.
The final task will be the trickiest, in uniting his country in what he called in his address yesterday as an “uncivil war.” He’ll have to fend off earnest progressives in his own party while tackling the MAGA hat wearing zealots on the right. To do this while bringing the disgraceful former President to justice for his lies and undemocratic antics will rile up his most rabid base, however fractured it may be, and ensure the Senate rubber stamps Trump’s second impeachment. To ensure Trumpism and its ilk never occupy the Oval Office again, may be the most challenging Biden may face.
Time will tell, but I do look forward to drawing more domestic content instead of the distraction to the south, and I think the Biden tenure will put America on the right track.