Orderly transfer of power — 2020*

"Inauguration Day Sunrise," by Geoff Livingston. Creative Commons license.

Every four years, I like to post the official picture of the outgoing and incoming presidents meeting in the oval office. This is a special time for our nation and nearly a religious experience for me. As I wrote more than twelve years ago:

An amazing event is taking place: the orderly, peaceful transfer of power. From President George W. Bush to President-elect Barack Obama. From the Republican party to the Democratic party. Without guns or threat of violence. The political process works.

It’s times like this that I’m proud to be an American.

And yet, this transfer is different. Like many norms, the norms of transfer have been cast aside, but the fact of transfer hasn’t. I can’t post a picture of something that didn’t happen. But, democracy is still strong. America works.

We have a lot of work ahead of us. We need more than an America that works. We need an America that works for all Americans. To get there, we’re going to have to work together, unite together. As President Biden said earlier today:

My whole soul was in it 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.

Uniting to fight the foes we face: anger, resentment, hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness. With unity, we can do great things, important things. We can right wrongs. We can put people to work in good jobs. We can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus. We can reward, reward work and rebuild the middle class and make health care secure for all. We can deliver racial justice and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world.

President Biden, January 20, 2021

Count me in!

The inauguration

If you like, you can watch C-SPAN’s entire coverage of the inauguration. It’s nearly 9.5 hours! Or, watch the two videos I’ve embedded below. They’re my favorites.

Amanda Gorman, the first national youth poet laureate, read her poem, “The Hill We Climb.”

President Biden gave his inauguration address. I struggled to find sections to excerpt. It’s not that long; I recommend your listening to and/or reading the entire address.

Full text follows…