When President Joseph Biden Jr. took the stage during today’s inauguration, he delivered a powerful speech with a powerful message: America must unify.

I must confess, the whole event made me quite emotional. 

From Lady Gaga’s exquisite performance to President Biden’s speech, to Associate Justice Sotomayor swearing in our first person of Asian descent, Black person and woman into the office of the vice presidency, I was left in tears by the end of the affair.

America breathed a sigh of relief today.

After a tumultuous four years, voters managed to make President Trump a one-term president. Miraculous, but necessary for this nation to become better.

In his speech, Biden commanded such emotion. Touching on the many goals of his administration, he reminded the nation of the lengthy journey ahead — from tackling the coronavirus to climate change and racial justice.

He also wove in a message of unity throughout his address.

Time and time again, he called upon Americans to act with love, to not let politics become so vicious, to lay down arms and unite and to find common ground. In times like these, such a message is vital. The United States of America is left quite bruised in the aftermath of the Trump Administration.

However, if we focus too much on uniting, we may not actually achieve the goals we must complete in order to make our home better. Climate change cannot be combated if we let big oil off the hook. LGBTQ equality can’t happen if we go to brunch with homophobes. Yes, peace is important. Peace can nourish prosperity.

But peace can also lead to complacency. The same complacency that saw to the degradation of our nation’s reputation, values and progress (see: The Trump Administration).

Unity is not enough.

Action is everything.

Both Biden and Harris’ track records that show they’re notorious for complacency, if not counter-production. If they’re going to make real, meaningful changes, if they’re going to hold their promises, they must walk the walk. The people must also hold them accountable as well. If either Biden or Harris act against their promises, protest. Make it known that we the people won’t tolerate it.

I’m a believer.

I want to hope that settling for this administration may bring some good, and who knows, maybe it will, but I also voted for them knowing that I am going to protest them. That’s not a slight on the progress they can make; it’s assurance that I won’t stand for indifference — not when our planet is sick, not when our neighbors are being murdered by the police.

I’m not alone in this sentiment.

Make no mistake, we cannot fall asleep again. 

We were too enamored by the peace brought on by Obama’s presidency that we didn’t see the abominations coming until it was too late.

All-in-all however, today was a success for this nation. We finally got to exhale after a hard, long 4 years. And for what it’s worth, President Biden did an excellent job delivering his speech.

So take a deep breath, feel your emotions and cherish this. Allow yourself to process everything. Today is a celebration.

Tomorrow, we work.

Alexander Prevost is a staff writer. Follow him on Twitter at @Alexanderprvst. 

Alexander Prevost is a staff writer for the Gonzaga Bulletin. He is passionate about writing, politics, and music.

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