The United States presidential election of 2020 will easily go down as one of the most controversial in America’s history. President Donald Trump faced off against a worthy opponent Joe Biden. The election held on 3rd November 2020 garnered so much interest both within and outside the United States. This was expected as the United States is the “Poster Child” of democracy across the globe. However, the events trailing the elections question the status of the United States as the beacon of democracy.
What started as a verbal face-off on social media soon escalated to a major physical confrontation. However, the climax of it was the invasion of the US Capitol building on January 6th, 2021. Five people lost their lives. More than 140 were injured with the destruction of properties worth over 30 million dollars. Before we go further into our discussion and analyze the significance of July 4th, here is a brief history of democracy in the United States.
Brief History of America’s Independence
On July 4th, 1776, America was liberated from the colonial rule of Great Britain. This was set in motion following the Revolutionary War that started in April 1775. The 13 American Colonies as they were previously called came together to declare independence from Britain. The Continental Congress which served as the government of the colonies appointed a 5 man committee to draft a statement in support of the agitation for independence.
On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Independence and the statement which came to be known as the Declaration of Independence was formally adopted 2 days later on the 4th of July. Therefore, July 4th became the official date of American Independence.
Joe Biden’s Election and the Significance of July 4th
Many people will argue that President Joe Biden won the elections based on his promise to unite America. Also, ex-president Donal Trump’s rhetorics were to blame for this division. Trump was known to openly make racist remarks including calling COVID-19 “Chinese virus”. This racial tagging of the virus eventually fueled attacks on Asian Americans. In terms of racial unity, America was at its lowest point under Donald Trump.
Fuelled by violent rhetorics and false claims, mobs stormed into the US Capitol in a daring attempt to disrupt the electoral process. The attack received global condemnation. With the elections over, there came the huge task of uniting America along racial lines.
Another challenge before Biden was the soaring racial prejudice especially towards the black community in America. The death of George Floyd on 25th May 2020 and Daunte Wright on April 11, 2021, sparked outrage within the black community. While the police were quick to respond to the ensuing protest in Minessota, the attackers of the US Capitol were barely resisted leading many to accuse the police of having “double standards”.
The 4th of July celebration is significant now more than ever. This will be President Joe Biden’s first independence celebration as the president of the United States. It will help to remind the people of their hard-earned freedom and how it was won through unity. Also, it presents the perfect opportunity to access Biden’s effort at keeping his campaign promises.
President Joe Biden’s Efforts at Uniting America
“Democracy has prevailed”, these were the words of Joe Biden as he addressed a politically divided nation during his inaugural speech. He spoke at length about the unity of America and made reference to the signing of the Emancipation proclamation. In retrospect, President Joe Biden said,
“Today 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”.
Racially and Sexually Diverse Presidential Cabinet
Accordingly, the president has been outspoken especially concerning the challenges facing the black community in America. This is a pressing issue considering the frequency of the attacks against blacks and other minority ethnic groups. The president has condemned these killings and even called for an investigation into the death of Daunte Wright.
President Joe Biden had made his stance clear from the very beginning. He said his cabinet will be the “most representative of the American people… in history”—and the public is holding him accountable. So, far it seems the president is keeping to his word as his cabinet nominees are truly from diverse ethnicity and sexuality. The diversity is more than that of former president Barack Obama’s cabinet.
Juneteenth Bill Signing
Another significant step by the president is the signing of the Juneteenth bill into law. June 19 celebration commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. On the 17th of June this year, the president signed a bill that makes June 19th a National holiday. The signing of the bill on its own may not seem very special. However, when viewed for what it represents, the timing is perfect. It is just like the president said, “…this day doesn’t just celebrate the past. It calls for action today”.
Looking back at the first 100 days of president Joe Biden, the question remains, has he lived up to his promise of uniting America. We believe it is still too early to answer this question accurately. The president could not have resumed office at a more difficult time in history. The weight of the COVID-19 pandemic, political turmoil, and racial tensions all bearing down on him. There is also the challenge of Iran nuclear deal.
While we will be watching Joe Biden’s administration closely and analyzing his policies in the coming years, we want to hear from you. Do you think the president has kept to his promise of uniting America? Kindly drop your opinions in the comment box below. We read all of them.
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