The 46th U.S. President’s inauguration took place on January 20th at the White House as usual, but the process is not usual at all and it will be remembered forever. First, the 45th U.S. President refused to attend the inauguration ceremony as a symbolic protest to a “fraudulent” election where the contest was very close and the ballot counting was problematic in his view. Second, the still rampant COVID-19 epidemic has prevented a large crowd to attend so the inauguration ceremony was simplified with much less spectators and fanfare. COVID-19 was also partially responsible for the unusual 2020 Presidential election where a large number of votes was by mail causing late arrival, counting delay and verification issue as well as deviation from the usual voting booth management and ballot counting procedure typically supervised by adequate personnel. Third, President Trump”s contest to the election result and several legal actions launched in the courts charging inappropriate election and vote-count procedure have boiled the Trump supporters to engage a protest rally on January 6th at the Capitol that unfortunately resulted in a violent protest, storming into the Capitol building, where the electoral votes were officially being confirmed. Fourth, although the cause of such a protest turning into a ‘riot’ like event was still under active investigation, the House under the Speaker Pelosi”s leadership was too eager and quick to characterize the protest as an insurrection promoted by Trump. Hence, the House passed the second impeachment against Trump on January 13th. Under the above circumstances, the 46th U.S. President inauguration was conducted in an unusual manner. The American public exhibited confused emotions, but it will be remembered as a black mark on the history of American democracy as expressed by many foreign press, despite of the fair speech by President Biden and a beautiful poem by young inauguration poet, Amanda Gorman, all calling for national unity and togetherness.
Trump may not be considered as a favored U.S. President by everyone, even among Republican party members, but he won the 2016 election fair and square. He won as a dark horse by his slogans, “America First” and ‘Make America Great Again’. There were nothing wrong with these slogans, however, they were ‘labelled’ towards ‘White Supremacy’ and ‘racial discrimination’ by Democratic Party and some of the mass media. The indifference of Trump’s core right-wing supporters, particularly his close staff, to ‘political correctness’ was largely to blame; especially when they were making policy statements and conducting domestic and foreign affairs. The 'political correctness' is closely related to the voter population. The demographic population of the U.S. is changing as revealed by the recent 2020 census. Two major shifts are related to the above political perception. According to the census and its data on 2016 and projection to 2060, the U.S. is facing two issues: an aging issue and a shift of racial distribution. At 2060, the estimated above 65 population will be 94.7 million, a 92.3% increase from 2016 figure. The white population (61.3% in 2016) will be below 50% by 2044 and at 44.3% by 2060, no longer a majority in the U.S. population. The aging issue is a general concern in economy in terms of national productivity and social security. Whereas the decreasing of white race population is both an economic and political issue. As a dominating middle class in the U.S., the white population has experienced buying power reduction in the past decades. With population going below 50%, it also signifies a further loss of political power in the U.S. democracy. Therefore, there is reason for Americans to be angry seeking remedy and counting on politicians to have solutions. Trump's attempt of directing the anger to foreign country may not be correct, but his attempt of making Ameriva great again with America first philosophy did resonate with many Americans.
Democratic Party correctly recognizes the trend of population change and played the identity politics to woe voters. However, neither party has demonstrated the capability of dealing with the staggering even declining U.S. economy and the widening of wealth gap in the U.S. The two parties are playing more rhetoric (blaming foreign country and each other) than cooperating in fixing the competitiveness issue of the U.S. on the world stage through domestic policies. The phrase coined by Thomas Friedman, ‘one party democracy’, seems to describe American politics today very well: each party is totally denying the value of the other party, trying to dominate the media to sway voters, and creating ‘hate’ and dividing the nation. Hence comparing to a one-party totalitarian government, the one party democracy cannot get things done but bickering. The 2020 election is clearly a manifestation of the 'one party democracy' politics. Trump lost in 2020 election for a second term bid but he had 75 million votes supported him. Biden won by a small margin and clearly inherited with a divided nation. Yes, calling for unity is essential, but the actions and deeds are far more important than empty words, worse hypocrisy.
First, Biden should stop the impeachment immediately and mend the division in the country. The Democrat-controlled House plotted the first impeachment against Trump before he even took office, sowing a seed of hatred. The two charges, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress were highly political. It failed in the Republican-dominated Senate but the entire process wasted so much of the government’s time and energy and took the eyes of all officials including all legislators off the devastating COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the U.S. is the number one nation impacted by COVID-19 with 400,000 deaths. Naturally, citizens are angry and hate crimes soar. The second impeachment was so hastily passed in the House with a charge of insurrection without waiting for the FBI investigation to complete. Such a charge is essentially charging all Trump supporters, demonstrating exactly the ‘one Party Democracy’ phenomenon. If Biden means what he says about unity and focusing on solving our problems: pandemic, economy, infrastructure, revitalizing the nation. He should lead the Congress away from making hatred and build a collaborative Congress with his Administration.
As citizens, we pray and hope that the 2020 inauguration will bring us unity and togetherness and make America great again!