President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was officially inaugurated on Jan. 20. After a long election process, his speech was focused on a message of unity.
“For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness, and fury,” Biden said. “No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only state of chaos. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge. Unity is the path forward.”
Chris McHorney, professor of political science, spoke on the message of unity in potential applications to the future of his administration. He said that it was a message of optimism given to the exhausted American people after a period of hardship.
“In my opinion, President Biden was articulating a hope that our country could be more unified after a bitter campaign, contested election and assault on the Capitol building,” McHorney said. “I doubt that President Biden is expecting the Republicans in Congress will support many of his legislative proposals.”
President Biden has signed 42 executive actions since his inauguration on Jan. 20. These executive orders include rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, ending the transgender military ban and the creation of more vaccination sites.
Selah Kelley, sophomore sociology major, said she noticed the compassion and responsiveness of the administration after the inauguration. She applauded him for his quick response to discern LGBTQ+ issues.
“I noticed the first day after the inauguration was filled with new policies, (or reversing ones from the last administration,) that showed the empathy of his new administration,” Kelley said. “He ended the Muslim travel ban immediately, which was huge. He also made some movements in transgender rights, taking away the rights of hospitals to refuse service because of one being transgender, as well as allowing students to use the correct bathroom.”
Daniel Taylor, freshman engineering major, has a less optimistic look at the future of the administration in comparison to Kelley.
“I do truly believe that no politician has the people’s best interest in mind, and I do not think things will be much better under Biden,” Taylor said. “I am super pessimistic with government leaders because they prove time and time again that they are incapable of fixing our issues. Cops are murdering innocent people, mass incarceration of Black, indigenous and people of color. The (people in) power do absolutely nothing to solve these issues.”
McHorney said the success of Biden’s administration will likely be assessed based on the performance of his policies regarding COVID-19.
“Given the seriousness of the current public health crisis, the Biden administration’s plan to address the pandemic could have significant political ramifications,” McHorney said. “Most Americans remain very concerned about the pandemic. The Biden administration will primarily be judged based on the effectiveness of the plan.”
McHorney also said Biden’s COVID-19 plans could affect the future of education for students.
“The success or failure of Biden’s COVID-19 plan will significantly impact their education (with remote or in-person instruction) and the economy,” McHorney said. “A revitalized economy unhindered by the pandemic will mean a strong job market when they graduate from CBU.”
Throughout his next few weeks, Biden is planning on tackling issues regarding climate change, economic growth and the spread of vaccination accessibility across the country.