The Biden Administration
My pastor has often stated that if you want to know how a man feels, you first have to hear about what he thinks. This is usually the case in my own life, particularly in complex situations. But today may be a rare exception to that rule. Today marks the beginning of the presidency of Joe Biden. And today I know what I feel more clearly than I understand my thoughts. I feel generally pleasant, somewhat relieved, and cautiously optimistic about the beginning of the Biden administration. But my thoughts about the election, the transfer of power, and the future are a little more complicated. And it is through these thoughts that I can best explain my feelings.
First, I think the election was messy. There is still much which is unknown about the election. The liberals say that Trump is being a sore loser and the conservatives say that the establishment used COVID-19 as an opportunity to cheat on a massive scale. If the liberals are right, then today is a good day, democracy has prevailed, the people have spoken, and we can celebrate a “peaceful” transfer of power. However, if the conservatives are right, then everything we see today is a charade and a facade, there is no legitimate government, and there will never again be a legitimate government until the American people revolt, overthrow the ruling class, and rightfully reclaim their government.
These opposing perspectives might be reconciled, although not in any sort of expedient fashion, by a thorough investigation and through legal processes. However, when this was attempted, the courts rejected many of the Trump campaign’s suits and the liberals viewed these efforts as attempts to overturn the legitimate election results. Instead of resolving the issue, this action only deepened the divide.
Of particular interest throughout the aftermath of the election was the mainstream media’s position of “nothing to see here, Biden won, any questions are treason.” Once again, like every other time throughout Trump’s time in politics, the media was blatantly anti-Trump while portraying itself as the impartial arbiter of truth. This bias does not necessarily indicate disinformation or misinformation, but experience (and possibly statistics, although I don’t have the time for those right now) suggests the media is usually wrong about Trump. Those who want the truth are (at least anecdotally) better to reject the media narrative and believe the Trump campaign. Again, this is based on history and does not necessarily indicate what the truth may be in this particular situation, just what it is likely to be. So while it is technically possible that the media is correct about the election, it isn’t very likely.
For a while, I hoped the truth about this election would be revealed. Perhaps it has been and my bias has blinded me to it. Perhaps it has not and never will be. My best guess is that the integrity of this election will be debated and questioned for decades to come. It will become one of those perennially popular conspiracies associated with our nation’s history like who killed JFK, what the government is hiding in area 51, whether it was more than airplanes that took down the World Trade Center, and where Obama was born. There will be documentaries and both sides will amass evidence in support of their respective claims, but no agreement will ever be reached. It will become one of those taboo topics never again to be discussed on microphones or in polite conversation, but that old men cannot help but blabber on about when they’ve had a bit too much to drink. So I will suspend my hope against hope for knowing what happened in 2020, but I would still like to see greater election integrity and transparency in future contests.
The Transfer of Power
Closely related to my thoughts on the election are my thoughts on the transfer of power. Like most Americans, I prefer peace to conflict and sincerely believe that a day where everyone lives is a good day. I was disheartened by the attacks on the Capitol, the property damage, the injuries, and the loss of life. It was a tragic day for our country and has left an ugly stain on our history.
At the same time, if the election was fraudulent (something we will probably never know), then we have a moral imperative to resist the illegitimate takeover of a legitimately elected administration. In fact, the Declaration of Independence argues that “when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce [people] under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government.”
This country was founded under the ideal of the consent of the governed, and if this sacred trust is breached, the government becomes the enemy of the people. Those who sincerely believe that we are now at that juncture naturally feel morally compelled to act in accordance with that belief. This is why understanding the truth about this election is so important. The truth dictates the appropriate response. However, in this case, since we do not know the truth, we must err on the side of peace. Thus, in light of what we know, a peaceful transfer of power is the best course of action for our country right now. I am relieved that we were able to have that today.
There are other issues taking up a space in my mind today. First, what will Biden accomplish as president? My suspicion, and my hope, is that he will not do much. There are a few reasons for this. First, there’s Biden’s physical age. Biden was not a strong candidate even in his prime, plagiarizing speeches and making countless gaffes. Now his advanced age has many speculating that he suffers from early dementia. If he was ever capable of leading the changes that Democrats hope to realize, it was years ago. That ship has sailed.
But Biden is not just physically old, he’s politically ancient. He’s had nearly half a century in public service to accomplish whatever he wanted and has shown little initiative over that time. That’s part of his appeal to Democrats. He’s generic. He’s a blank slate. Voters can associate him with whatever liberal positions they like. And he’ll pay lip service to those positions, but it’s unlikely that any major policy will follow. There will certainly be legislation and perhaps a few executive orders, but the likelihood of sweeping policy shifts is scarce. Since I personally prefer the government do as little as possible, I think this is good news.
I have also been thinking about the common speculation that Vice President Harris may exercise her power under the 25th amendment to replace President Biden. I think this is primarily a conservative fear tactic, and I don’t think it’s likely to happen. Will she try it? Maybe. And it may work for a few weeks, but as long as Biden wants to remain president, I don’t think there are enough votes in Congress to override that desire. While I think a Harris administration would be a much greater threat to conservative interests than the Biden administration, I think it’s extremely unlikely. This is also good news.
While I strongly oppose much of the Democratic platform, I do not mourn this day as one who thinks all hope is lost. In fact, I am probably more optimistic today than I have been in some time. While the election and its aftermath were disappointing, I think the peaceful transfer of power was best for the country under this set of circumstances and I am glad that there was no massacre at the inauguration as some had feared. I think that the Biden administration will not be the liberal powerhouse that the Democrats want and that most of the policy changes will be gradual and temporary. I also think it is unlikely that Biden will be removed from office. These are all things for which I am grateful.
Biden has called for unity. This is unsurprising as liberals always call for unity when they win and dissent and protest when they lose. While I dislike this trend and think his policy positions are loathsome, I think his leadership offers a fresh start for a country in desperate need of one. It is indeed a chance for our country to unify once again. The strength of America has always been its people, and if we can come together, our best days may still lie before us, regardless of who occupies the oval office.
Finally, for the Christians: Remember that we are citizens of the kingdom and who is on the throne matters far more than who is in office. Also, if God can work through Donald Trump to accomplish His will in this country, He can use anybody, including Joe Biden. Toward this end, I pray for President Biden and encourage you to do the same.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for President Biden. I ask that You keep him safe and in good health. I ask that You help him to hear Your voice and seek You in each and every decision he makes. I thank you that he unites this country, that he executes Your will, and that we enjoy liberty, peace, and prosperity during his presidency. In the matchless name of Jesus, Amen.