Third Eye

Welcome Biden and best of luck!

Wednesday, January 20th, 2021 00:00 |
US President Joe Biden. Photo/AFP

Today, Joseph Robinette Biden Jnr formally takes over as the 46th President of the United States of America.

His swearing-in is a culmination of a series of events that followed the November 3 election, a hotly contested affair in which Biden triumphed over controversial President Donald Trump.

On December 14, the US Election College endorsed Biden’s victory, putting the final stamp of authority on the poll, in line with the American Constitution. 

The 78-year-old politician, who becomes the oldest president in American history, will be sworn in alongside his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, who has set history as the first woman and woman of colour to serve as US vice-president.

Today’s event in Washington could have passed as another change of guard at the White House, but Trump’s decision not to accept defeat nor recognise Biden’s victory set off a series of controversial events which have thrust the US democratic credentials at the table of world opinion.

Trump’s unprecedented obstinance and incitement of his ardent supporters, culminated in the shameful January 6 attack on the US Capitol, an event which informed the tense climate surrounding today’s ceremony. 

Indeed, in the past few weeks, the American capital has been ringed by thousands of security forces whose deployment has been compared to the US presence in Afganistan and elsewhere.

This means that the threat posed by white extremists is real and must be checked.

As we join the rest of the world in calling for a peaceful installation of the new leader of the world’s most powerful nation, we have to remind ourselves that Biden is taking over power at a most difficult time in American and global history.

From a devastating coronavirus pandemic which threatens to kill 500,000 Americans by next month to a racially divided country reeling from the Black Lives Matter upheaval, to a battered economy weighed down by massive job losses to effects of climate change, the job for the new president is well cut out.

However, with his 36 years experience in Senate and two terms as Barack Obama’s deputy during which he focused mainly on economic and foreign policy, Biden is up to the task to restore America’s lost glory and mend fences with world partners after trump’s misadventure.

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