Can President Joe Biden mend a torn America?

Joe Biden wants to unite Americans, but that won’t be easy when disgust at Trump’s actions matches disbelief at liberal attempts to censor opponents via Silicon Valley. Can there be any return to real liberal values and a sense of normality?

BY THOMAS FRANK

It is the ‘duty’ of American citizens, President Joe Biden announced in his inaugural address last week, to ‘defend the truth and to defeat the lies’. Much of Biden’s speech was an unremarkable stringing-together of patriotic platitudes, but this call for a great truth crusade stood out for its audacity. America is, after all, the homeland of the public relations industry, of televangelism, of Madison Avenue, of PT Barnum. Our leading scholars worship at the shrine of post-structuralism; our brightest college graduates go on to work for the CIA; our best newspapers dynamite the barrier between reporting and opinion; our greatest political practitioners are consultants who ‘spin’ the facts this way or that.

 

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“There is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it.”

Amanda Gorman at the Inauguration of President Biden 1/20/21

“The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman

Mr. President, Dr. Biden, Madam Vice President, Mr. Emhoff, Americans and the world, when day comes we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade? The loss we carry asea we must wade. We’ve braved the belly of the beast. We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace. In the norms and notions of what just is isn’t always justice. And yet, the dawn is ours before we knew it. Somehow we do it. Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished. We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one.


And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect. We are striving to forge our union with purpose. To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters, and conditions of man. And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another. We seek harm to none and harmony for all. Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true. That even as we grieved, we grew. That even as we hurt, we hoped. That even as we tired, we tried that will forever be tied together victorious. Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division.


Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree and no one shall make them afraid. If we’re to live up to her own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we’ve made. That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb if only we dare. It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past we step into and how we repair it. We’ve seen a forest that would shatter our nation rather than share it. Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy. This effort very nearly succeeded.


But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated. In this truth, in this faith we trust for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us. This is the era of just redemption. We feared it at its inception. We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour, but within it, we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves so while once we asked, how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe? Now we assert, how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?


We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be a country that is bruised, but whole, benevolent, but bold, fierce, and free. We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation. Our blunders become their burdens. But one thing is certain, if we merge mercy with might and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.


So let us leave behind a country better than one we were left with. Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one. We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the West. We will rise from the wind-swept Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution. We will rise from the Lake Rim cities of the Midwestern states. We will rise from the sun-baked South. We will rebuild, reconcile and recover in every known nook of our nation, in every corner called our country our people diverse and beautiful will emerge battered and beautiful. When day comes, we step out of the shade aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.

Kamala Harris knows things no vice president has ever known

Men in power might sympathize with women’s issues, but Kamala Harris knows them by heart.

By Monica Hesse | Washington Post

In the week before the country potentially elects its first female vice president, I’ve been trying to write a sweeping essay about progress and trailblazers and glass-breakers and what it all means. But what I keep thinking about is this: At some point in Kamala Harris’s life, someone has instructed her to carry her keys like a weapon when she walks to her car. Someone has said, Get them out of your purse even before you leave the grocery store. Arrange them between your fingers, and if someone attacks you, aim for the face

How do I know this? Because this is Woman 101. It’s the first page of the instruction manual teaching us how we’ll need to navigate the world. I have never met a woman who hasn’t heard this piece of advice. And I doubt that in 232 years of male leadership there’s ever been a sitting president or vice president who has.

I keep thinking about how, at some point in Kamala Harris’s life, she has painstakingly reviewed her office wardrobe with the understanding that the difference between “slut” and “feminazi” is a few inches of worsted-wool hemline. At some point, she has approached a stranger in a public bathroom because the Tampax machine is broken again, and she has said, I’m so sorry, but do you have — and then she didn’t have to finish the question because women in bathrooms know that there is only one end to that question.

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World Leaders Ready Themselves for a Biden Presidency

After a drawn-out vote count, many global leaders were quick to respond to Joe Biden’s election victory, with most sending congratulations and vowing to work with him.

Leaders from around the world continued to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on Sunday, though several officials have remained silent.

In Europe, where many hope Mr. Biden will reverse some of the decisions of the Trump administration, leaders in Germany, France and Italy as well as the secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization applauded Mr. Biden’s win.  [ . . . ]

Continue at WALL STREET JOURNAL: World Leaders Ready Themselves for a Biden Presidency – WSJ

Church bells in Paris, Fireworks in London, as Biden win celebrated abroad

 

In countries across the globe, people reported fireworks and cheering after President-elect Joe Biden was named the winner of the 2020 election on Saturday. 

Locals in the United Kingdom, where many had leftover fireworks from Guy Fawkes Night this week, reported fireworks going off in London. There were videos of fireworks in Edinburgh, Scotland, and reports of celebrations in Germany.

NBC, CNN, ABC and The Associated Press all called the race for Biden shortly before 11:30 a.m. EST Saturday.

Though cities are celebrating, President Trump has not accepted the race call.

Trump issued a statement minutes after numerous news outlets declared Biden the winner of the presidential race claiming that networks were helping the former vice president “falsely” pose as the winner and promising to fight the results in court.

Source: Fireworks in London, Edinburgh as Biden win celebrated abroad | TheHill