SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS. The fall of Trump, the rise of Biden LA Daily News

SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS. The fall of Trump, the rise of Biden Featured

JAN. 20, 2021. The world was riveted to their TV sets for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Earlier that morning, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania were seen sneaking out of the White House for the very last time. Marine One helicopter flew them to the Joint Base Andrews for departure formalities, consequently breaking the 150-year-old tradition of outgoing presidents playing host to the incoming tenants of the White House — the residence of every US president since John Adams in 1800.

Days before, Trump hinted to the Pentagon his desire for a big send-off, appropriate for “the greatest American President of all time” (his words). But at Andrews Air Force Base, only his family and a handful of supporters appeared. He had his 21-gun salute honors but no adulating MAGA — Making America Great Again — hordes he was accustomed to. No Air Force jet fly-by, no trooping of the colors and the grand farewell speech was scrapped, just an off-the-cuff remark of how great his administration was. The last sight of the man was on board Air Force One for his last flight out as the President of the USA, or Potus, and commander-in-chief of the most powerful country in the world to his home at Mar-a-Lago in Florida where his own neighbors objected to his residency. By noontime, upon Joe Biden’s oath-taking before the chief justice, Trump reverted to Mr. Donald J. Trump, ordinary American citizen. Hence, the ignominious exit of a president in disgrace. This undiscerning and unread president “went far beyond the pride that goes before a fall.” Hubris was his ruin.

No frills send-off

Future historians will note that the top echelon of his government led by Vice President Mike Pence, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and the obnoxious Sen. Ted Cruz, among others chose to decline his invitation to his valediction. Instead, they graced the inaugural at the Capitol Building — which only two weeks before saw its debasement by the Trumpists MAGA, Proud Boys, Militia and the white supremacists.

It will be recalled that these sycophants were the very same powerful Republicans who after Trump’s defeat at the polls enabled him to weave an “alternative world of facts” of massive election fraud purportedly stealing the election from him. Such are the vagaries of politics when iniquitous politicians calculatingly drop the old for the new. Cruel but pragmatic, a surreal drama unfolds choreographing the transition of power as it can only happen in America. Absent such smooth and bloodless transfer of power, then the alternative would have been a spectacle of tanks and armored vehicles in the streets — just like in many Latin American, African and Third World countries. But this is America. This is not supposed to happen, although how close it was in that attempt at the US Capitol on January 6. As an American cynic profoundly declared with a hint of America’s arrogance that disfigured the concept of democracy that has been peddled for generations to countries abroad, “We do this to other countries, not to ours!”

A study in contrast

The split TV screen followed Air Force One climbing from the tarmac as if reluctant to carry the heavy burden of a failed president within. Right then the new regime practically began — even when the new president’s power was still to be constitutionally consummated at noon. President-elect Biden’s class act was to allow the sight of Air Force One to fade into the horizon before the split-screen reverted to full panorama following solely the motorcade towards the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, thereby writing a painful finis to an unrestricted free media exposure for what was once the cynosure of reality TV.

It is only apt that President Joe Biden started his inaugural day with a Catholic Mass. Only the second US Catholic president, after the assassinated John F. Kennedy, he had much to thank the Lord for. The most important perhaps was that the American version of democracy survived the four years of the unworthy 45th president, his tenure blighted by his numerous prevarications culminating in that unprecedented treasonable presidential act inciting his base — an unthinking mob — to attempt to destroy the American temple of its political ideals and values — the Capitol.

The inaugural speech

Expanding the democratic space was the recurring theme of President Biden’s address, setting the tone for his government. And to think that the word “democracy” does not even appear anywhere in the US Constitution, whose ideals are simply encapsulated into the opening lines, “We the people.”

Biden will need to burrow deeper into his faith to draw strength from, to confront America’s problems — foremost of which are to arrest the spread of a pandemic that has killed 410,000 Americans surpassing American battle deaths of World War 2 and reinvigorate the economy.

And most of all, he needs to heal and lead a polarized people by inviting them to invest in his vision for America and the world articulated in this inaugural address.

Biden has inherited a country torn by a rise of racism and white supremacy thought to be long dormant but resurrected by a political charlatan concocting his own recipe blended in a dangerously volatile social cauldron of populist political extremism and domestic terrorism. This is Trump’s legacy. To fashion his own, Biden must destroy Trump’s. Finding himself at his twilight years of public service, he faces a dauntless and humbling task that will severely test a lifelong experience in the service of a flawed government.

In the international arena, his predecessor’s cry for MAGA has instead dangerously driven a wedge into postwar alliances and institutions. Thus, Biden is set to repair the damage, signaling that America can be trusted again to abide by its agreements — for one, rejoining the Paris Climate accord and the World Health Organization.

Refreshingly new beginning

His personal appeal was no less poignant. “This is a great nation. We are good people. Let’s begin to listen to one another again. Hear one another, see one another, show respect to one another. We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural vs urban, conservative vs liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. If we show a little tolerance and humility, and if we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes.”

And reaching out. “To all those who did not support us, let me say this: Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America.

“We have never, ever, ever, ever failed in America when we’ve acted together.”

As a portent of things to come and his intention to usher in a new dynamic regime harmonizing action with his words, he set out to reverse the dangerous failed policies of his predecessor. He did not opt for mere symbolisms. He signed 17 executive orders hours after taking his presidential oath. Thus, begins the dismantling of Trump’s perverted legacy and the shaping of Biden’s own.

 

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