No matter your political stance, the Trump era has been one of controversy. Tweets have been tweeted, norms have been broken, and the very integrity of our system of government has been questioned. As of recently, the very safety of our own capitol was threatened. As the country prepares to move forward under President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, there remains a sense of unease.
It is no secret that the events that took place at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 will have an unprecedented, shameful legacy. Most news and media outlets did not hesitate to use the words “domestic terrorism” to describe what transpired. Many government officials, including several who previously supported President Trump, directly blamed the President for inciting the violence that occured. He had just spoken to supporters at a rally earlier in the day, giving them the message to “fight harder.”
President Trump’s speech on the following day, January 7, 2021 may have been a concession. The President said outright that he will support a peaceful transfer of power. But with the violence at the Capitol on the 6, it seems as if hope of a peaceful transfer of power has already been lost.
The attack on the Capitol reaffirmed a challenge President Biden knew he had to face— uniting the nation. It is for this reason that he did not express enthusiasm towards the possibility of a second impeachment against Trump. Many Americans are concerned that a removal from office will only further inflame the anger from his supporters.
President Trump’s claims of election fraud and unwillingness to concede the race not only incited violence from his supporters, but have made things challenging for the Biden team as they plan to take office. “The initial hesitation of the General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator to recognize Biden as the apparent winner meant he was denied funding and office space to begin staffing up for the transition, as well as security clearance to begin getting classified government briefings, for several weeks,” says Carver Oblander, a coach for Franklin High School’s constitutional law team.
It’s possible that this delay will have major consequences. “The 9/11 Commission report found that delayed transition caused by the 2000 election being contested into mid-December was a contributing factor in the country’s unpreparedness for the 9/11 attacks,” notes Oblander. “Obviously, in the midst of a pandemic, the delayed transition is likely to have consequences again this time.”
The extent to which the Trump era will influence Biden’s presidency remains to be seen. In the meantime, President-elect Joe Biden plans to heal the nation when he takes office on January 20. Together, Americans will see if it’s possible to move forward as a unified people.