On Wednesday, Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States with a call for Unity. He vowed to bridge the deep divides and defeated domestic extremism two weeks after a mob attack tried to unwrap his election victory. On 6th January, a frigid but sunny day at the very Capitol building, Biden took the oath of office moments after Kamala Harris, who became America’s first women vice president, turning page on Donald Trump’s tumultuous four years.
While speaking about the US Capitol two weeks after it was stormed by an armed mob supporting Trump, Biden declared: “This is America’s day, this is democracy’s day. A day of history and hope.”
“Democracy is precious, democracy is fragile and at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed,” Biden said before a National Mall which was virtually empty due to the ultra-tight security and a raging COVID-19 pandemic which he vowed to confront immediately.
In the 21 minutes, speech Biden sketched out the challenges ahead. He said, “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts if we show a little tolerance and humility and we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes. Together we shall write an American story of hope, not fear, of unity, not division, of light, not darkness. A story of decency and dignity, love and healings and goodness.”
But as the US confronts the deadly coronavirus and deep political divisions, Biden warned that to overcome its challenges will need “so much more than words, it will require the most elusive of all things in a democracy, unity.”
The 46th President also said, “Today on this January day, my whole soul is in this: bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation, and I ask every American to join me in this cause. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge and unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America.”
“We need all our strength to… persevere through this dark winter. We’re entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus,” Biden exclaimed, calling on Americans to “finally face this pandemic as one nation.”
Biden also spoke on the steps of the Capitol, which two weeks ago saw scenes of violence unprecedented in modern history as rioters egged on by Trump stormed the building, leaving five people dead and shaking US democracy to its core.
He said, “Here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could … drive us from this sacred ground.” It did not happen, it will never happen, not today, not tomorrow, not ever, not ever.” The United States faces “a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism, that we must confront, and we will defeat.”