"But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.” - Amanda Gorman
No power has ever proved more potent than that of hope, and last Wednesday, just that was once again restored in the American people. As President Joseph R. Biden swore his oath, we watched as a moral exemplar once again took command of our country and gave a voice to the voiceless. As Vice President Kamala D. Harris swore her oath, we watched as our country was once again reminded that the impossible is most possible when our country dares to brave the unprecedented and unite behind a cause greater than ourselves.
We were reminded that we will move no further towards tyranny and will instead embrace the very hope of a better tomorrow. We were reminded that America is America because she has relentlessly chosen decency and empathy, grace and respect, humility and strength: because America has relentlessly chosen democracy.
As we watched, we were reminded that our country is not red or blue, black or white, believers or atheists, indigenous or immigrants, but instead a multitude of colors, religions, cultures, and individuals in which the beauty of our nation revels. We were reminded that America stands for more than any singular right, belief, party, or man and that our diversity is that which makes America: America.
We were reminded that no matter the side of the aisle with which you align, America will ensure that that aisle is no more a tool of separation but rather a testament of democracy. We were reminded that the win will no longer mean more than the motive. We were reminded that difference of opinion is not the enemy but instead, the pride of the beholder is. We were reminded that divided is no way in which one can stand and united is the only way in which one will ever exceed. We were reminded today that democracy is the very act of the unfaltering pursuit of justice driven by the perpetual hope that “right” will conquer “wrong” at its terminus.
We were reminded that our citadel of democracy is indestructible only if we choose to defend it. Only if we choose to accept that everything America claims to be is perhaps thus far rested within the journey rather than the destination. And that if we wish to change that, it is up to no one but ourselves.
We were reminded why we have an unwavering patriotism and pride in the waving red, white, and blue flag of democracy that resembles all that America may not yet be, but will one day exceed. We were reminded- as former President Obama has reminded us once before- that America will not rest until the ceaseless pursuit of her ideals do indeed become her reality. We were reminded of the power of a president who leads with empathy, courage, humility, and hope rather than fear and division. We were reminded that America is best when we “lead not by example of power, but power of our example.” As we watched, Americans and the world was reminded that democracy will no longer be delayed in the land of the free, in the United States of America.