Wednesday 20 January 2021

JOE BIDEN'S INAUGURAL SPEECH....5pm, Wednesday 20th January, 2021. (Just how did I get it so wrong? September 2021)

 I wrote this post before the American withdrawal from Afghanistan, August 2021, and now my opinion of Joe Bidden has radically changed. Turns out, he's just the same as other American presidents with a total disregard of human lives in other countries. Like Trump, he has betrayed the people of Afghanistan, placing them in a state of terror and their lives, particularly for girls and women, will never be the same. Shame on Donald Trump, shame on Joe Bidden, shame on Boris Johnson. shame on Dominic Raab, shame on all of those who did not prepare thoroughly for this withdrawal. In fact, shame on those who thought that a withdrawal was a good idea in the first place. Afghanistan has been handed to a known terrorist organisation and we will all - Afghans and the free world - rue the day that this happened.  

Normally I find political speeches not just too long and too boring but also divisive and exclusive and I tend to avoid them if I can. However, I have just listened to Joe Biden's Inaugural speech, hanging on to every single word, and I now feel as if a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders, a weight I hadn't realised was there. And a wonderful sense of calm.

Critics say that Joe Biden is too old. I say that his age  and his life experiences, often tragic, give him a wisdom rarely found in those who are younger. He's too part of the establishment, critics say, but that gives him an understanding of and respect for the political system which the former President had not a clue about, and has enabled him to establish contacts over many years with politicians on both sides and with  world leaders, which is so crucial at our present time in history. He's boring, critics say. Well, if that means that he talks in a calm, reasoned way, without histrionics, in a voice which is pleasing on the ear, then I say give me 'boring' any day.

I can't imagine Jo Biden to lie or spread fake news, which is a massive threat to truth, democracy and progress. He is a man who shows integrity and ability and we need these qualities in those who hold positions of authority. Qualities which are so often absent in many leaders, including in the UK.

His speech was all about reconciliation and inclusivity and hope, and his desire to be a President not just for his own supporters but also for those who voted against him. He shows a respect for women, again, something the former President seemed incapable of, and it is heartening that not only is his Vice-President a woman (AND with a black/Asian background) but that in this ceremony women played  important roles. And I'm particularly delighted that a Native American woman is part of his team. 

Unlike his predecessor, he recognises that Covid-19 is not just real but a real threat to lives. He understands that Global Crisis is also real and a real threat to the planet. He sees the danger in the developing nuclear programme in Iran and will work with other world leaders to challenge this. He is not best buddies with Vladimir Putin and will not tolerate Russian influence in America. And he doesn't need to wave a Bible in the air to show that he is a true man of faith.

When the full facts emerge about Donald Trump's time in office, as they surely will, we will see him for what he is: a narcissist, a populist, a liar, a bully, a cheat, a misogynist, and a racist. He is anti-Muslim and anti-Mexican. A man who put himself and his family above the people he was supposed to be representing. A man desperate for adulation, who loves himself more than America. And certainly a man who does not respect democracy or the rule of law or the rights of others.

Joe Biden has enormous challenges ahead and he may not always get things right, because no-one is perfect, and probably, even as I write this, his vociferous opponents will still claim that the election was rigged, despite there being no evidence to prove this, and they will still spread fake news and plot to undermine him at every turn. Sadly, that is the world we live in. And sadly, we have not heard the last of Donald Trump. But I believe that Joe Biden can rise to these challenges and will try his very best to do what is right, what is decent, what is needed.

Joe Biden is not just what America needs right now but also what the the world needs. I sincerely wish that there were more Joe Bidens in the world. 

And finally, I didn't realise that I was a Joe Biden fan but listening to his speech and seeing his dignity and grace, I do now.