As Mr Biden, Mrs Harris take office today...

As Mr Biden, Mrs Harris take office today...

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

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Veteran politician Mr Joseph Biden will today take the oath of office, making him the 46th president of the United States — a job that will saddle him with a deeply divided nation which is also struggling with the weight of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The enormity of the task ahead is not lost on Mr Biden who, since his victory in the November 3, 2020 presidential election, has been pressing the need for Americans to unite in order to overcome the pandemic and move forward socially and economically.

It was most fitting, we believe, that Mr Biden marked the annual Martin Luther King Jr holiday on Monday by travelling from his home in Delaware to Philadelphia, where he helped pack food bags for charity.

“Service,” Mr Biden said in a video marking the occasion, “is a fitting way to start to heal, unite, and rebuild this country we love.”

That Mr Biden will take office two days after his country paused to reflect on the life of Dr King, the revered civil rights leader, who preached non-violence, is symbolic, given the violent assault on the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 6, 2021 by supporters of Mr Donald Trump, who is still pouting at his election loss.

Mr Trump, who has so far refused to congratulate Biden on his win, has been largely responsible for the increase in anger and division that have been hobbling the USA for the past four years.

We expect, therefore, that in his inauguration address today, Mr Biden will place a lot of emphasis on healing, optimism, and the advantages of a united America, domestically and internationally.

In that regard, one of Dr King's more memorable quotes is, we believe, most appropriate for Americans to ponder today and, indeed, every day going forward if that country is to truly overcome its long-running problem with race relations and political contention.

The quote is from his book Strength to Love, which was first published in 1963. It goes: “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.”

As we said, the task ahead for Mr Biden and his Administration will not be easy, especially in a country where so many citizens have fallen prey to political conspiracy theories spread in large measure by people who should know better.

Today's transition of power, therefore, will hopefully be the first step on the road to reconciliation for a nation that needs to rid itself of turmoil in order to provide a better life for its citizens and re-establish America's standing in the international community.

We wish Mr Biden, his Vice-President Mrs Kamala Harris, and their new Administration every possible success as they take up the mantle of leadership of one of the greatest country on Earth.

When America does well the rest of the world stands a chance of doing well too.

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