President Biden called for an end to our “uncivil war” and pleaded for greater unity in his first inaugural address delivered around noon on January 20, 2021.
He specifically mentioned racial justice, climate change, white supremacy and COVID-19 as four of the areas he will be focused on during his presidency.
“To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity, unity,” President Biden stated.
The hope of unity was an often-repeated theme throughout the president’s speech, with Biden saying that his “whole soul” is in the project of unifying America.
“On this January day, my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause,” he said.
“With unity, we can do great things, important things… I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real, but I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we’re all created equal and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonization have long torn us apart. The battle is perennial and victory is never assured.”
President Biden added, “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts.”
Despite unity being the main theme of President Biden’s address, the president has several extremely divisive executive orders planned for Day One of his administration.
President Biden is expected to reinstate President Obama’s transgender bathroom rule for schools, requiring public schools to allow students to use the bathroom of their choice in accordance with their gender identity or risk losing federal funding.
He is also expected to rejoin the Paris Climate Accords, which President Obama initially joined, though President Trump then rescinded in 2017.
Within the first few days of his administration, President Biden is also expected to rescind the Mexico City Policy which prohibits taxpayer dollars from flowing to organizations that promote or refer for abortions overseas.
Some on the right have already noted the disparity between President Biden’s rhetoric on unity and his planned executive orders.
“President Joe Biden promised the American people he will be a president who unifies us… Our system of government is, in fact, a roadmap for working through disagreement and giving voice to all Americans.
“That’s why I am disappointed in the unprecedented scope and nature of today’s upcoming executive actions. Executive actions short circuit the democratic process by cutting out Congress and leaving no room for debate or dissent,” Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James said in a statement.
The Daily Citizen will bring you a roundup of the other actions President Biden is expected to take later today. He is expected to sign 17 executive orders.
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Photo from POOL/REUTERS