A new administration calls for higher expectations

President Biden and Vice-president Harris must work to heal the deep division that exists in the United States. (Photo credit WhiteHouse.gov)

By Jessie Beck, Editorial Assistant

The inauguration of the 46th President, Joseph R. Biden, on Jan. 20, represented much more to the people of the United States than the election of a new president. The arrival of this administration has ushered our country into a new era. With goals of unity, recovery, progress, and justice at the forefront of the minds of citizens and government leaders, there is hope for the future. 

If the noteworthiness of the events at and surrounding the inauguration are any indication of the changes to come, we can look forward to greater diversity, representation, and cooperation. Kamala Harris represents a few of “firsts” in this administration: first female vice president, first African-American vice president, and first South-Asian vice president. Dr. Jill Biden will be the first First Lady to continue holding a paying job outside of the White House. Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff is the first Jewish spouse of the president or vice president. Even beyond the presidency and vice presidency, there were additional “firsts” in the swearing-in of some congressional representatives.

Diversity and inclusion in the United States have taken a huge leap forward. For the last several years, controversial topics regarding race, sexuality, gender, and religion have been at the forefront of American politics and social justice issues. If we leave historically-marginalized groups out of the conversation we will never make any progress. We need new and bold ideas which require people who think differently. It is essential that our representatives in government truly represent the diversity of our country. 

The inauguration of this administration also means four years of healing. Over the last four years, our country became more divided than ever before under the leadership of a president who sowed hate and division into the fabric of our political conversations. While Trump will take his hateful speech, lies, and manipulation with him as he leaves office, the violence and extremism inspired by his leadership will prove dangerous to America if we don’t welcome the mending that our country needs.

While some staunch supporters of our last president may see President Biden in the same light, the reality is that the Biden presidency cannot even begin to impose the same danger and fears resulting from the Trump presidency. Painted by the other side as a radical leftist, Biden’s policies reveal his actual tendency towards the center. There is no doubt that it will take much longer than four years for the deep wounds of our country to heal. Still, this should give us hope for Biden’s ability to bridge the gap between the left and right and work towards greater progress and unity.

That being said, we must take the last four years as a lesson to never blindly worship a political figure; Americans need to hold Biden accountable for his campaign promises and condemn any inappropriate uses of power. If Americans can help to uphold our expectations of a good leader, this emerging era of American history will be restorative of trust in the government and faith in democracy. We can continue to ensure we elect leaders with integrity and the commitment to improving the lives of Americans.

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