President Biden calls for unity in inaugural address

Dr. Knecht comments on the Inauguration Day events

Dylan Ferguson, Staff Writer

Last Wednesday, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States. Throughout his speech, he established his view of the state of the country and what he hopes to build over the next four years. 

“This is democracy’s day, a day of history and hope,” the newly elected president said in his inaugural address. Biden repeatedly called attention to his recent win, which he believes should be attributed to the American people. He acknowledged that the “American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us, on we the people who seek a more perfect union.” 

Politics do not have to be a raging fire.”


President Biden made it evident that, no matter what happened during other presidencies, there is “much to build, and much to gain.” He addressed those in opposition to himself and stated,  “I will fight just as hard for those that did not support me as for those that did.” He encouraged everyone to hear his heart and acknowledge the beauty of democracy, which he defined as: “the right to dissent peaceably within the guardrails of our republic.”

In response to the fraught election season last fall and the attack on the U.S. Capitol Building by members of the far right, the president stated, “Disagreement must not lead to disunion.” 

President Biden reminded the country: “Politics do not have to be a raging fire,” no matter what you believe or value. “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue … if we open our hearts, if we show a little tolerance and humility.”

Dr. Knecht, a professor of political science at Westmont, has a positive outlook on the country’s future. 

In response to this inauguration’s unusual transfer of power, in which outgoing president Donald Trump did not attend his successor’s swearing-in, Knecht commented, I am happy the inauguration went as well as it did … I’m also disappointed that the U.S. had to take the security measures it did because of attempts to disrupt a peaceful transfer of power.”

I am happy the inauguration went as well as it did … I’m also disappointed that the U.S. had to take the security measures it did because of attempts to disrupt a peaceful transfer of power.”

— DR. TOM KNECHT, Professor of Political Science

“In this challenging time of American history, the most meaningful part of the inauguration for me was the hope and optimism expressed in the poem by Amanda Gorman, who reminds us that America is ‘a nation that isn’t broken but simply unfinished,’” Knecht commented.

Like the executive branch, there has been a transfer of power in the legislature, with Democrats holding 50 Senate seats and the tiebreaker. In Georgia’s runoff election on Jan. 5, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, both Democrats, were elected to replace incumbent Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, respectively. In addition, Alex Padilla, who had been California’s Secretary of State since 2015, was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to replace Vice President Kamala Harris’ old seat in the Senate.

Dr. Knecht was also asked about his thoughts on this appointment. “Governor Newsom had to make a difficult call on that appointment. There were calls to replace Kamala Harris with another Black woman –– now, there are no Black women serving in the U.S. Senate. Alex Padilla is California’s first Latino senator and is well-respected within the Democratic Party. I think he’ll serve California well.”   

Despite the recent transfer of power, President Biden has not wasted any time issuing executive actions. In his first three days, he has issued 30 executive orders. These orders focus on issues varying from the economy, the coronavirus, immigration and the economy.  

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