It is no doubt that the inauguration and swearing in ceremony of the 46th President of the United States of America Joe Biden and his Vice-President Kamala Harris on Wednesday 20 January 2021 has been the most watched and talked about all over the world.
The ceremony took place in the capital, Washington DC, at the Capitol Hill where there were different official delegates such as the previous Presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton were all present with their wives plus other artists like Lady Gaga who sang the national anthem and Jeniffer Lopez who performed as well.
In the evening, other great names in American music, such as Bruce Springsteen, Demi Lovato, John Legend and Katy Perry, participated in a show hosted by Tom Hanks that concluded with grandiose fireworks.
Now, some say that with Donald Trump out of the White House and no longer in power, The United States of America has gotten its decency back and that Joe Biden is the breath of fresh air that the US has been waiting for to come and save them. But is this entirely true? It depends who you are asking… not forgetting that there are over 74 million electors who voted and are still supporting Trump!
Trump’s rush pardons before he left office
Before Trump left the White House, in the few hours remaining of his power as the 45th President of the United States of America, he pardoned Lil Wayne, Kodak Black, Steve Bannon, and 140 others in a last-minute clemency blitz before Joe Biden was sworn in.
The outgoing president granted clemency to his former aide and both rappers in a flurry of last-minute decisions just before 1am on Wednesday hours before Biden’s inauguration in Washington DC.
Lil Wayne, 38 whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr and Kodak Black, 23 aka Bill Kahan Kapri who were prosecuted on federal weapons offenses both got the green light on Trump’s lengthy list.
Bannon was booked onboard a superyacht last August for allegedly illegally funneling $1million in donations from the “We Build The Wall” fund in 2018, which he pleaded not guilty to. He used this money to allegedly pay a salary to one campaign official and personal expenses for himself.
The list did include unfamiliar names of regular people who have spent years languishing in prison, as well as politically connected friends and allies like those Trump has pardoned in the past. Trump also pardoned Death Row Records co-founder Michael ‘Harry-O’ Harris after Snoop Dogg’s campaign to free drug kingpin. The 60-year-old was jailed more than 30 years ago following his cocaine trafficking and attempted murder convictions and originally set to be released form jail in October 2028.
The grace of Biden’s remarks on Wednesday afternoon heralded a return to a more unifying, more together image and, by the same token, an image of decency and respect, after four years of invective and provocation on the part of a president who had no filter according to him.
Two weeks after the deadly assault on Capitol Hill in Washington, Biden, who campaigned on the theme of unity, renewed his plea at his inauguration ceremony. His speech was punctuated with words such as respect, tolerance, listening, hope and healing.
The swearing-in of his chosen number two made a symbolic demonstration of the new direction he intends to take the country: California’s now ex-senator Kamala Harris became the first woman, the first Black woman and the first person of Asian origin to assume the American Vice Presidency.
Shortly after his arrival in the White House, President Biden signed 17 decrees and proclamations, covering issues ranging from immigration to climate change to racial justice and government integrity.
Some of the decrees and proclamations signed
The first signed Order in Council makes it mandatory to wear a mask in federal buildings and for federal agents.
Many of the decrees erase some of Donald Trump’s flagship measures, which had erased much of the legacy of his predecessor, Barack Obama, with a stroke of a pen.
One commits, for example, to the return of the United States to the Paris Climate Agreement; another puts an end to the withdrawal of the United States from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Another revokes the authorization of the U.S.-Canada Keystone XL pipeline project, which Canada expressed its disappointment.
It is normal that in the first 100 days of being in office, the president is expected to do a lot of things and also concretise the promises that they made to the electors who voted for them. It is therefore safe today that it is still too early to put any title or name to the new presidency, the euphoria is still very present. The return to American decency advocated by Joe Biden and welcomed by many Americans is an asset.
But will it be effective in dealing with the political challenges facing its presidency?
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