Time to Celebrate, and Work

The start of the Biden administration should be marked by joy and high expectations.


Getty Images

Biden signing documents in the Oval Office.

The most diverse cabinet in the history of the United States, the first Asian-American, Black, and female vice president, an executive order prioritizing racial equity: these are just a few of the Biden administration’s accomplishments from the past two weeks. 

The “wins” we have earned in the past few months — winning the election, victories in unlikely Senate seats, the second impeachment of a violent president — have been met with stress and loss as well. We won an election but spent months watching it needlessly disputed. We then watched an assault on our nation’s capital, and though Trump’s impeachment was just, it shouldn’t have been necessary. Empowered minority voices have been met with hate in and out of the government. Finally, we have a victory.

In President Joe Biden’s and Vice President Kamala Harris’s first week in office, they have given hope for a near future without the threat of COVID-19 by getting on track to deliver 100 million vaccine doses in 100 days. Biden has also signed executive orders to require masks on federal property, coordinate a COVID-19 response throughout the government, and give more resources nationwide to combat the virus. Biden has also returned to the norm of trusting scientists to lead our COVID-19 response. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading immunologist in the nation and a trusted public figure concerning COVID-19, stated that the Biden administration has “let the science speak. It is somewhat of a liberating feeling.”

A hallmark of Biden’s first week was using the power of the executive order to undo a lot of Trump’s policies and decisions that harmed the nation. Biden undid the ban on transgender citizens’ military service, ended the ban on immigration from majority-Muslim nations, revised harsh immigration policies, and rejoined the Paris Agreement.  Biden aimed executive orders to fix existential threats including COVID-19, racial equity and environmental justice, which were ignored or worsened by the Trump administration.

Life will not return to normal for a long time, not just regarding the virus. Health, unity, truth, trust, and other values that we once took for granted will take time and work to become the norm again. But since the start of his campaign, Biden has embodied these principles and has surrounded himself with people who act on them as well.  

After Jan. 20, my goal was to never speak of Trump again. It’s difficult to let go of something that has consumed your mind for four years, but every time Biden signs a document that pushes us away from the Trump era, Trump becomes less significant. Yes, his power over the GOP will last and it is impossible for him to be truly irrelevant; he has done too much damage. But Biden represents a brighter future as long as we keep our expectations and efforts high. While there is a lot of work to be done to achieve our goals of a more equitable and safe society, we deserve to revel in this victory and let ourselves be hopeful for the future instead of angry at the past. 

Comment using your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL or Hotmail account