It’s Nice to Have Hope Again

Students in the journalism class reflected yesterday on the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

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Today Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States, filling American citizens with great hope and pride. 

With more than 400,000 Americans dead from Covid-19, the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and an ongoing, serious threat of far-right violence as exhibited in the attack on the Capitol, Biden has his work cut out for him. 

Within the past four years, in innumerable instances, former President Trump exhibited arrogance, ignorance and pure hatred. He will forever be judged for refusing to condemn white supremacists, for his disastrous response to the coronavirus, for separating migrant children from their families and more. 

Today, we are free from President Trump. 

Although he desperately denies losing the election, Donald Trump is no longer the President of the United States.

“Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path,” President Joe Biden said today. “Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war. And we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.” 

We can only hope he meets his goal of repairing our divisions. If there was one overarching message of Biden’s inaugural address, it’s that Americans should start thinking about how to get to a more beautiful spot in the future.

-Anonymous 

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We can only hope he meets his goal of repairing our divisions.”

Today is such a historic day. It’s amazing that we have a female vice president. 

Kamala Harris inspires me because being a woman can feel limiting, so watching her reach that achievement is amazing. I was really disappointed with the speech Trump gave, but I am not surprised. He did not congratulate Biden or Harris and just talked about himself, but that is what he always does. 

I have more hope for America than I have in these past four years. I am hopeful President Biden and Vice President Harris will make a big difference. I think under this presidency, the pandemic will get better because Biden takes it more seriously than Trump did. Overall, I am just excited for positive change to come. 

-Sarah Carrington

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Today is a special day in history because it is inauguration day in America. 

On this day we have our 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden, and our 49th Vice President, Kamala Harris, and she is also our first female vice president and the first vice president of Asian descent. This is a big step in American history.

Our previous president, Donald Trump, was not such a great president. Now we can focus on the future, and hopefully President Joe Biden and Madam Vice President Kamala Harris can help the U.S get back on track. I believe they will do that, even though we are going through a pandemic right now. I believe in the next four years, before 2024, Biden and Harris will do great things.

-Anonymous

I flashed back to 2016 when I was in Pakistan and Trump’s inauguration was airing on the BBC. I thought of my 10-year old self explaining to my 8-year old sister what was happening, and when I snapped out of my reverie, Vice President Harris was clapping and hugging Joe Biden.”

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In between online classes, my little sister and I watched the livestream of the inauguration. My mom and my dad came in and stood there while President Biden gave his speech. We watched him talk about unity, about “not leading by the example of our power, but by the power of our example.”  The camera panned over to Vice President Kamala Harris, her eyes crinkling above her mask as she slowly nodded her head. 

I flashed back to 2016 when I was in Pakistan and Trump’s inauguration was airing on the BBC. I thought of my 10-year old self explaining to my 8-year old sister what was happening, and when I snapped out of my reverie, Vice President Harris was clapping and hugging Joe Biden. We have come a long, long way, America, democracy, my family, and I. 

-Samah Khan

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This day that Trump leaves the White House is a relief to a whole lot of people. Immigrants do not have to fear getting sent back to their countries; Muslims do not have to fear practicing their religions; they can start to feel equal with the rest of the Americans. It’s not just a win for Joe Biden, It’s also a win for all the people who were dehumanized by his administration.

-Yasharth Pandey

It’s not just a win for Joe Biden, It’s also a win for all the people who were dehumanized by his administration.”

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Over the past four years America has been governed by a president who did not respect the rule of law. Many Americans feared dictatorship. Today is a very historical event, for a president has been impeached for the second time, and a new president has been sworn in, Joe Biden. For many, this brings a great sense of peace, ending the fear of dictatorship.  

-Channah Pearlmutter

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I feel like we needed the last four years. We needed America to wake up and see what was truly happening behind closed doors: the ignorance, intolerance, flagrant disrespect and utter stupidity of President Trump and his diehard supporters who rode his ship until it sank. The chaos of the past four years was needed to bring peace for the next four. I have high hopes for Harris and Biden to restore peace, reduce division and show the world a new and better America. 

-Carrington Peavy

I feel like we needed the last four years. We needed America to wake up and see what was truly happening behind closed doors: the ignorance, intolerance, flagrant disrespect and utter stupidity of President Trump and his diehard supporters who rode his ship until it sank.”

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Politically, these past four years have been some of the worst for America in decades. Trump has emboldened white supremacy and hatred with his rhetoric. He has also taken health care away from millions, separated migrant children from their families and caged them, supported and funded a genocidal regime in Saudi Arabia, reversed hard-won progress towards peace by walking out of the Iran Nuclear Deal, stripped dozens of environmental protections, and made life harder for working families all over this county. 

The real damage he has caused is often overshadowed by his name-calling and Tweets. This damage will not suddenly change as a new administration comes into office. Hundreds of millions of Americans will continue to struggle to make ends meet every day. Poverty and inequality are problems that have only been made worse by the destructive policies of the Trump Administration. 

Those calling for things to “go back to normal” are coming from a place of extreme privilege. Even before Trump, America’s political system was working for the rich and influential groups, not the working people of this county. While I am hopeful the incoming administration rises to these challenges, it is not as simple as putting a new person in office. It will require lots of work to bring justice to the vast bureaucracy in Washington D.C.. While a very dark chapter is closing in America, a new, brighter and more just chapter will only occur if we push our politicians to listen and act on our needs. 

-Jacob Pincus

There has been a nonstop roll of discrimination, fear and unnecessary Twitter beef from our former president, so it’s nice to have hope again, and to feel like you can breathe again. ”

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It’s truly the start of a new era, but Trump didn’t leave office without one last big surprise: pardoning Lil Wayne and Kodak Black. 

That was strange.

But from my perspective it is truly a relief to watch President Biden sworn into office. These past four years, as I’ve gotten more aware of what is going on in the world, it’s brought more and more stress into my life. 

And while politics are stressful no matter what, former President Trump truly did a number on all of us. Under his administration there have been hundreds of thousands of deaths due to his lack of responsibility, a lack of justice for Black and Brown communities, a surge of racism from the government directed at Muslims, rollbacks on LGBTQ+ rights, threats of war and so much more. 

There has been a nonstop roll of discrimination, fear and unnecessary Twitter beef from our former president, so it’s nice to have hope again, and to feel like you can breathe again. 

While I don’t believe President Biden is the answer to all our problems, he is a part of the solution. He can’t undo all the things Trump did, and he can’t take away all the trauma many citizens have gone through, but he has plans to help this country move forward. 

He’s already signed a mask mandate, ordered the U.S. to rejoin the WHO and the Paris Climate Agreement, plans to extend student loan deferments, the eviction moratorium and more. This is just a start, but it’s one amazing start.

Vice President Kamala Harris is a triple threat: the first Black, Asian and female vice president. It’s such an important thing not only for adults to see themselves represented in the government, but also for kids to see what they can become. She shattered the glass ceiling and paved the way for so many kids out there. 

As a young person of color, it can be hard to believe you can accomplish something if no one has ever done it before. It can either be your greatest encouragement or the very thing that’s holding you back. Knowing that a Black, Indian woman can make it to be the vice president of the United States shows that we can do anything.

-Alexis Ragsdale

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