January 20, 2021 by Debi Humphrey
I am watching the Inauguration of Joe Biden, the 46th President of the United States. I am so proud to be an American. It sure is nice to be able to say that again! I no longer have to be embarrassed of the leader of our country.
I have always been proud to be an American. But during the past four years, it was always tinged by feelings of shame and incredulity about the man who was supposed to be our leader.
I don’t want to dwell on the past, though. Today I have true feelings of hope and pride about my country and where we are headed.
Kamala Harris just took her oath – the same oath the president takes. A very thick glass ceiling broken. I have never been so proud to be an American woman.
I wrote to this point while the ceremony proceeded. Then I paused to take it all in. And now it’s done! Joseph Biden is the 46th President of the United States. I feel like a 20-ton weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
After the ceremony, Kamala Harris and Mike Pence met on the steps of the Capitol and greeted each other, and shared a laugh. A totally appropriate and happy sound. To my ears, it was a repudiation of Donald Trump’s four years of hate. Biden and Trump should have also been on those steps, greeting each other in celebration of the peaceful transfer of power. But Trump, in his essential lack of grace, chose to break with tradition like the small man he has always shown himself to be.
Because of his actions, I am actually glad that he was not there to add the stain of his dishonor to this celebration of triumph and hope.
Biden and Harris, and indeed all Americans, face a difficult time ahead. But I remain optimistic that our new leaders and the American people will rise to the challenge and work together, learning once again to really listen to each other, and honoring everyone’s right to peaceful dissent. For that is the heart of American democracy. Respect for each other and the right to voice different views. The willingness to be honest with each other while simultaneously honoring our collective humanity.
I am not naive. I know it won’t be easy; we have a pandemic and a host of other problems. But just for today, I’m going to enjoy the feeling that everything is going to be OK. Today, I am filled with hope.