The Inauguration of President Joe Biden


Zain Jaffar and Holden Bergam

The 2021 inauguration of President Joe Biden was unlike any other inauguration in the past several hundred years. Whether it be the high number of troops surrounding Capital Hall, or the void National Mall and streets of the Capital, January 20th, 2021 will be a day marked down in history.

Biden’s Inauguration was the third most popular inauguration, in terms of viewers, over the past 40 years. Only Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama’s inaugurations had more viewers than President Biden’s. The Nielsen Company has reported that around 33.8 million people over 17 news networks watched the inauguration last Wednesday (1/20). Statistically speaking, most people preferred to watch the inauguration through CNN, while the Fox News channel’s viewership dipped to 77% down from the broadcast of Trump’s Inauguration. 

Biden’s speech during his inauguration was a plea for unity in our country. Biden stated that he aspires to be everybody’s president, meaning that he will work for the welfare of the entire American people, as opposed to favoring and helping only the people who voted for him. Biden addressed the deadly Coronavirus, which, according to his speech, has “taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II,” and wreaked havoc on the American economy. The new president has also voiced his concerns for the environment, which is in dire straits. The decaying environment, coupled with the deadly Coronavirus and the growing trend of political extremism, has made the American president elect plea for one thing; Unity. 

Another major reason for why this Inauguration is like no other, is the fact that Kamala Harris was the first woman of color to be sworn in as Vice President of the United States. The only other African-American candidates to run for President or Vice President were Frederick Douglass in 1848,  and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, which means that Kamala Harris is not only the third person of color to be a candidate for the Executive Office but also the first woman to be sworn in as Vice President.

Because this inauguration ceremony was only days after a capitol protest that resounded all across the country, military forces and extra backup were called upon for this historic inauguration. 25,000 National Guard troops were deployed to Washington in advance of the Inauguration. This heavy military presence was not seen at the halls of Congress in the last 200 years. 

Inauguration Day featured Amanda Gorman, an inspiring poet who read aloud to executives present at the Inauguration and Americans across the country. She challenged Americans to unify during these troubling times, and “leave behind a country better than the one we were left.” Her poem was entitled “The Hill we Climb,” as it featured the country that isn’t broken, rather unfinished. “But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated,” Gorman said, to inspire Americans across the nation in these troubling times. 

As the inauguration has highlighted many of our new President’s aspirations for a new America, he has started to take action. President Biden has an ambitious plan for what to do in his first ten days of office. Among the major reforms he plans to make for our country, he has promised to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, repeal the Muslim ban enacted by former President Trump, and extend the hold on student loan payments and interests, along with a number of other things. Biden’s inauguration dawns a new era of American history. Whether it will be good or bad, only time shall tell.