Integrative United States President Joe Biden:
A Journal of the Month Before the Election and the Days That Follow It: Part 7 the Finale
by Elliot Benjamin, Ph.D. January, 2021
Joe Biden has now been President of the United States for over 36 hours, and it is therefore time for me to end this essay series. Biden’s inauguration speech was generally very well received, inclusive of by a number of Republican senators, as he in plain language forcefully called for unity, but without minimizing the immense challenges that America faces on many fronts, not the least of which is to “lower the temperature” and tolerate differences of opinion without animosity and hatred . Biden subsequently wasted no time in signing into law a number of executive orders to reverse Trump’s policies that many people believe have been extremely destructive, inclusive of the signing into law of executive orders that involve more humane policies on immigration, rejoining the Paris climate agreement and the World Health Organization, halting the Keystone Pipeline and the building of the border wall, removing travel bans from predominantly Muslim countries, and safeguarding the rights of LGBT Americans . However, while Biden has made a strong pitch for unity, he also has displayed that he has no intention of retaining who he considers to be unqualified and dangerous Trump appointees in powerful positions . As I described in my previous Part 6 essay in this series , I believe that Biden’s diverse choice of cabinet members, both from a social and political perspective, is an initial demonstration of his goal of unifying the country and captures the essence of the title of this essay series: Integrative United States President Joe Biden.
But what about “former”-President Donald Trump and his cult-like massive number of angry and potentially violent supporters? Well apparently a number of Trump’s followers are feeling disappointed and betrayed by him , which does not indicate a very promising rejuvenation for his 2024 presidential prospects, assuming he does not first get convicted in the Senate or get convicted via the 14th Amendment . Furthermore, the “now” Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, is no longer Trump’s accomplice, and is even apparently open to voting to convict him in the Senate trial . Consequently, after this kind of loss of support from his fellow Republicans, inclusive of Vice President Mike Pence “doing the right thing” with certifying Joe Biden to be President as well as deciding to attend Biden’s inauguration and not attend Trump’s farewell speech that same morning , , Trump is now starting to think about forming his own political party, the Patriot party, to cater to the most far-right extremist white supremacist elements in his movement, which would in all likelihood destroy the Republican party . But Trump is likely to be overwhelmed with court litigation on the many legal fronts that are going after him , and I am hopeful that between the Senate trial, the 14th Amendment, and legal proceedings against him, as well as the curtailment of his social media accounts , that his cult-like influence will seriously diminish while Biden makes effective progress on his unifying integrative agenda.
Thus this essay series is finally coming to an end. And I am very pleased to say that it is from my perspective a hopeful end. But I think it is also urgent to not forget the very real dangers and threats that we are continually surrounded by, as assassinating members of Congress on January 6th came very close to happening , and these dangers are certainly not going away any time soon . In this context I am including my two journal entries from the past few days, the first one written a day and half before the inauguration, when the fears and anxieties over the safety of the upcoming inauguration were rampant, and the second one written a few hours after the inauguration, where I allowed myself to briefly bathe in the joy and comfort of the finally official ending of President Trump and the heartwarming welcoming of President Biden.
The United States is on pins and needles as we are now little more than a day and a half away from the inauguration of Joe Biden as the next president of the United States. My experience of these pins and needles is quite the mixture of fear and excitement. Excitement that we are finally getting rid of Trump and inaugurating a United States president who embraces empathy and decency, and a noble plan to defeat the pandemic, preserve the environment, and restore effective international relations . But the fear is very palpable to me, as the country nervously anticipates and tries to get ready for the dangers of more violence on Inauguration Day . The shock of the attempted insurrection is still raw and painful, as the United States came so close to witnessing targeted assassinations of Democratic leaders as well as Vice President Pence . And my heart goes out to a number of members of Congress who are now frightened for their lives as well as the lives of their families, as they are receiving death threats as a consequence of their decisions to not support Trump in his election fraud conspiracy, or their decisions to support Trump’s second impeachment .
Thus far things have been under control in regard to all the anticipated demonstrations in Washington D.C. and the state capitals in the days leading up to the inauguration . The police and security systems are much better prepared for violent protests than they were during the Congressional insurgency, which was nearly 2 weeks ago . 25,000 members of the National Guard will be stationed in Washington D.C. during the inauguration, though there have been some concerns about a possible “inside job” by some of the National Guard members, and all 25,000 of them are currently being vetted . There is no telling what will happen on Inauguration Day in regard to anticipated violence, but my expectation is that the government is now so much better prepared that it will seriously discourage anything even remotely comparable to what happened during the Congressional insurgency on January 6th. But we will know soon enough, and it goes without saying that the dangers of violence from far-right extremists is not going to end with the inauguration . However, at this point I have my sights on the mission that I have internalized for 4 years now, which is to get rid of Trump. And this is going to happen in little more than a day and a half. What the future will bring I don’t know, inclusive of if Trump becomes the Republican presidential candidate in 2024. But if Biden is inaugurated on Wednesday 1/20 without tragic violence occurring, then my wife and I will be having our little celebration to honor the occasion.
At any rate, these next few days are momentous, and I will be including at least one more journal entry as part of my finale to this essay series.
This is my last journal entry in this essay series, and it is a joyous one. Yes my wife and I will be celebrating in a little while. The inauguration went off without any violence, and even without any Trump supporter protests in Washington D.C. . And I have not seen any reports of violence in the small Trump supporter protests that occurred in any of the state capitals. The inauguration itself was moving to me, the highlight for me being Biden’s speech in which he portrayed his determination to lead America though unity and decency, while not minimizing the ordeals our country have been suffering through, or the immense challenges that lie ahead of us . And already, just a few hours after the inauguration, Biden has signed a number of “decent” executive actions into law, inclusive of taking measures to make immense policy changes to undo some of the worst actions of the Trump presidency, from immigration to the environment to international relations . It is hard for me to believe that this is finally actually happening, after 4 long years of continuous destruction to our democracy from Donald Trump. But yes it is happening, and a new day awaits us. A day of caring, decency, and humanity. I fully understand that there will continue to be political compromise and disappointment, and that Biden is no savior who is going to make everyone happy. But make no mistake about it — we in the United States have turned a corner on the cruelty and the hate and fear-mongering stemming directly from a United States president. We have also turned a corner on the continuous cult-inducing tweets that served to indoctrinate and divide tens of millions of Americans . For this I am thankful, and for this my wife and I will be celebrating tonight. And I am also thankful that I can end this essay series on a positive note with a confirmation of its title: Integrative United States President Joe Biden.
1) See John F. Harris (2021), Biden Turn the Page on Trump in a Surprisingly Effective Inaugural Address. Retrieved from https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/01/20/joe-biden-inauguration-speech-effective-460931; Laura Clawson (2021), Biden Balances Call For Unity With Celebration of the Survival of Democracy Under Assault. Retrieved from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1/20/2010641/-Biden-This-is-America-s-day-This-is-democracy-s-day; Jordain Carney (2021), GOP Senators Praise Biden’s Inauguration Speech. Retrieved from https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/535058-gop-senators-praise-bidens-inauguration-speech; and Umair Haque (2021), Why Biden and Harris’ Inauguration Matters — After Four of the Worst Years America’s Ever Had: Breathe Out. America Finally Had a Good Day. Retrieved from https://eand.co/yesterday-was-a-good-day-for-america-da9537c71292
2) See Eric Bradner, Betsy Klein, and Christopher Hickey (2021), Biden Targets Trump’s Legacy With First-Day Executive Actions. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/20/politics/executive-actions-biden/index.html
3) See mspicata (2021), No Prisoners: The First Firing of a Trumpist. Retrieved from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1/21/2010889/-No-prisoners-The-first-firing-of-a-Trumpist
4) See Elliot Benjamin (2021), Integrative United States President Joe Biden: A Journal of the Month Before the Election and the Days That Follow It: Part 6. Retrieved from www.integralworld.net/benjamin117.html
5) See Aldous J. Pennyfarthing (2021), “Trump Will Go Down As a Total Failure”: Proud Boys Jump Off the MAGA Train. Retrieved from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1/20/2010706/--Trump-will-go-down-as-a-total-failure-Proud-Boys-jump-off-the-MAGA-Train; and Tina Nguyen and Mark Scott (2021), Trump Leaves QAnon and the Online MAGa World Crushed and Confused. Retrieved from https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/20/trump-qanon-inauguration-day-460926
6) See Manu Raju, Phil Mattingly, Jeff Zeleny, Jim Acosta, and Kaitlan Collins (2021), McConnell Believes Impeachment Push Will Help Rid Trump From the GOP, But Has Not Said If He Will Vote to Convict. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/12/politics/mcconnell-impeachment-trump-capitol-riot/index.html
7) See Nichlas Reimann (2021), Mike Pence Will Be No-Show at Trump’s Send-Off — and Attend Biden Inauguration Instead. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicholasreimann/2021/01/19/mike-pence-will-be-no-show-at-trumps-send-off-and-attend-biden-inauguration-instead/?sh=2d25b5e522f4
8) See Journobedell (2021), Trump’s”Patriot Party”Would doom GOP. Retrieved from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1/19/2010554/-Trump-s-Patriot-Party-Would-Doom-GOP; and Aldous J. Pennyfarthing (2021), He Who Shall Not Be Named Wants To Start His Own Political Party; Finally, An Idea Worth Backing! Retrieved from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1/20/2010680/-He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named-wants-to-start-his-own-political-party-finally-an-idea-worth-backing
9) Kerry Eleveld (2021), Swamping Trump in Investigations, Litigation to Stop Him From Creating “Shadow Presidency.” Retrieved from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1/20/2010624/-Deprogramming-Trump-cultists-starts-with-swamping-Trump-in-lawsuits-indictments-and-prosecutions
10) See Aysha Qamar (2021), Finally! Tech and Social Media Companies Impose Restrictions On Republicans, Hate Groups. Retrieved from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1/12/2008536/-Finally-Tech-and-social-media-companies-impose-restrictions-on-Republicans-hate-groups; Brian Fung (2021), YouTube Is Suspending President Donald Trump’s Channel. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/12/tech/youtube-trump-suspension/index.html
11) See TETIII (2021), We Have a President or Republican Party with Potential Death Squads?!?(Tap, Tap: Is This Mike On?). Retrieved from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1/15/2009288/-We-have-a-President-or-Republican-Party-with-potential-death-squads-Tap-tap-Is-this-mike-on; Josh Campbell and Whitney Wild (2021), Feds Warn Extremists May Be Emboldened To Carry Out Additional Attacks After Capitol Insurrection. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/13/politics/us-government-prepares-for-extremists/index.html; Captain Frogbert (2021), Neo-Nazis Actively Recruiting Military Personnel, Urging Mass Murder and Political Assassinations. Retrieved from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1/13/2008889/-Neo-Nazis-Actively-Recruiting-Military-Personnel-Urging-Mass-Murder-and-Political-Assassinations; Mark Sumner (2021), Qanon Was At the Center of the Capitol Assault, and Could Get Worse After Trump Is Gone. Retrieved from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1/14/2009108/-Qanon-was-at-the-center-of-the-Capitol-assault-and-could-get-worse-after-Trump-is-gone; and Umair Haque (2021), America Needs To Break the Back of Its Fascist Movement Now — Or Else. Retrieved from https://eand.co/america-needs-to-break-the-back-of-its-fascist-movement-now-or-else-d415b4b75a3f
12) See Dartagnan (2021), A Ten Day Blitz of Executive Orders? Mr. Biden Is Not F-ing Around. Retrieved from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1/16/2009809/-A-ten-day-blitz-of-Executive-Orders-Mr-Biden-is-not-F-ing-around
13) See Laura Clawson (2021), Trump Supporters Plan to Surround the Capitol in “Chilling” Insurrection Plot. Retrieved from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1/12/2008530/-Trump-supporters-plan-to-surround-the-Capitol-in-chilling-insurrection-plot; and David Neiwert (2021), States Appear Ill-Prepared to Deal with Vigilante Militias Invading Their Capitols This Weekend. Retrieved from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1/15/2009349/--Vigilante-militias-organizing-to-invade-state-Capitols-this-weekend-operate-outside-the-law
14) See Nicole Gaouette (2021), Terrifying Scope of Capitol Attack Becoming Clearer As Washington Locks Down for Biden’s Inauguration. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/16/politics/insurrection-investigation-washington-lockdown/index.html; and Umair Haque (2021), The More We Learn About the Coup, the Worse It Gets. Retrieved from https://eand.co/the-more-we-learn-about-the-coup-the-worse-it-gets-866fb923d4f3
15) See Samantha Schmidt, Emily Davies, Michael E. Miller, and Jessica Contrera (2021), With No “Armed March” by Extremists, D.C. Residents Navigate a Fortress and Fear. Retrieved from https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/with-no-armed-march-by-extremists-d-c-residents-navigate-a-fortress-and-fear/ar-BB1cQ1Er?li=BBorjTa; and David Niewert (2021), Not a Single Person Shows Up for “Million Militia March,” and State-Capital Protests Fail Badly Too. Retrieved from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1/18/2010122/-Not-a-single-person-shows-up-for-Million-Militia-March-and-state-capital-protests-fail-badly-too
16) See Mark Sumner (2021), Trumpists’ Last Minute Efforts To Stop Biden’s Inauguration Are Going Nowhere. . . Unlike Donald Trump. Retrieved from https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1/19/2010290/-Trumpists-last-minute-efforts-to-stop-Biden-s-inauguration-are-going-nowhere-unlike-Donald-Trump
17) See Paul Sonne, Dan Lamothe, and Missy Ryan (2021), FBI Screens U.S. Troops for Possible Insider Threats Ahead of Inauguration. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/military-inauguration-extremist-threat/2021/01/17/ed8885ba-593a-11eb-aaad-93988621dd28_story.html
18) See Bill Chappell and Hannah Allam (2021), No Large Protests In D.C., As President Biden Is Inaugurated. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/inauguration-day-live-updates/2021/01/20/958739876/no-large-protests-in-d-c-on-morning-of-bidens-inauguration