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Hope Returns: President Joe Biden’s First Words to the People

This is America’s day.”

Such were the first words spoken by the 46th President of the United States today from the Capitol in Washington, District of Columbia, to the people he has come to serve. The day is not his nor any one victor’s, President Biden said. The day belongs to all of us who defend and make work the great work of America, the knitting together of diverse peoples with the rule of enlightened law and a fundamental (if still not perfectly exercised) faith in the equal dignity of every human being.

Our country is free again. We can come home from work, switch on the evening news, and not be verbally and intellectually brutalized by the chief occupant of the White House. I can click on and not feel like I’m being lied to. Instead of the constant stream of self-aggrandizing, self-deluding, and sometimes self-contradicting outbursts and insults produced by the legally defeated and dismissed prior regime, President Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., will instruct and inspire us with thoughtful, researched, structured oratory. He will cite saints and poets, history and values, and his own survivor’s optimism to rally all willing patriots not to his side, but to America’s side.

I gladly and proudly yield the floor to the President of the United States (I intrude only with bold font to emphasize the points that stand out to me):

President Biden—@POTUS, banner image, official U.S. government Twitter account, 2021.01.20.
A man who appears to enjoy his work: President Biden—@POTUS, banner image, official U.S. government Twitter account, 2021.01.20.

Chief Justice Roberts, Vice President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Vice President Pence, distinguished guests, and my fellow Americans.

This is America’s day.

This is democracy’s day.

A day of history and hope.

Of renewal and resolve.

Through a crucible for the ages America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge.

Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy.

The will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded.

We have learned again that democracy is precious.

Democracy is fragile.

And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.

So now, on this hallowed ground where just days ago violence sought to shake this Capitol’s very foundation, we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.

We look ahead in our uniquely American way – restless, bold, optimistic – and set our sights on the nation we know we can be and we must be.

I thank my predecessors of both parties for their presence here.

I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

You know the resilience of our Constitution and the strength of our nation.

As does President Carter, who I spoke to last night but who cannot be with us today, but whom we salute for his lifetime of service.

I have just taken the sacred oath each of these patriots took — an oath first sworn by George Washington.

But the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us.

On “We the People” who seek a more perfect Union.

This is a great nation and we are a good people.

Over the centuries through storm and strife, in peace and in war, we have come so far. But we still have far to go.

We will press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and possibility.

Much to repair.

Much to restore.

Much to heal.

Much to build.

And much to gain.

Few periods in our nation’s history have been more challenging or difficult than the one we’re in now.

A once-in-a-century virus silently stalks the country.

It’s taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II.

Millions of jobs have been lost.

Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed.

A cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.

A cry for survival comes from the planet itself. A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear.

And now, a rise in political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.

To overcome these challenges – to restore the soul and to secure the future of America – requires more than words.

It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy:



In another January in Washington, on New Year’s Day 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

When he put pen to paper, the President said, “If my name ever goes down into history it will be for this act and my whole soul is in it.”

My whole soul is in it.

Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this:

Bringing America together.

Uniting our people.

And uniting our nation.

I ask every American to join me in this cause.

Uniting to fight the common foes we face:

Anger, resentment, hatred.

Extremism, lawlessness, violence.

Disease, joblessness, hopelessness.

With unity we can do great things. Important things.

We can right wrongs.

We can put people to work in good jobs.

We can teach our children in safe schools.

We can overcome this deadly virus.

We can reward work, rebuild the middle class, and make health care
secure for all.

We can deliver racial justice.

We can make America, once again, the leading force for good in the world.

I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy.

I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real.

But I also know they are not new.

Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we are all created equal and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, and demonization have long torn us apart.

The battle is perennial.

Victory is never assured.

Through the Civil War, the Great Depression, World War, 9/11, through struggle, sacrifice, and setbacks, our “better angels” have always prevailed.

In each of these moments, enough of us came together to carry all of us forward.

And, we can do so now.

History, faith, and reason show the way, the way of unity.

We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors.

We can treat each other with dignity and respect.

We can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature.

For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury.

No progress, only exhausting outrage.

No nation, only a state of chaos.

This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward.

And, we must meet this moment as the United States of America.

If we do that, I guarantee you, we will not fail.

We have never, ever, ever failed in America when we have acted together.

And so today, at this time and in this place, let us start afresh.

All of us.

Let us listen to one another.

Hear one another.

See one another.

Show respect to one another.

Politics need not be a raging fire destroying everything in its path.

Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war.

And, we must reject a culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.

My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this.

America has to be better than this.

And, I believe America is better than this.

Just look around.

Here we stand, in the shadow of a Capitol dome that was completed amid the Civil War, when the Union itself hung in the balance.

Yet we endured and we prevailed.

Here we stand looking out to the great Mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream.

Here we stand, where 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protestors tried to block brave women from marching for the right to vote.

Today, we mark the swearing-in of the first woman in American history elected to national office – Vice President Kamala Harris.

Don’t tell me things can’t change.

Here we stand across the Potomac from Arlington National Cemetery, where heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion rest in eternal peace.

And here we stand, just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, and to drive us from this sacred ground.

That did not happen.

It will never happen.

Not today.

Not tomorrow.

Not ever.

To all those who supported our campaign I am humbled by the faith you have placed in us.

To all those who did not support us, let me say this: Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart.

And if you still disagree, so be it.

That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably, within the guardrails of our Republic, is perhaps our nation’s greatest strength.

Yet hear me clearly: Disagreement must not lead to disunion.

And I pledge this to you: I will be a President for all Americans.

I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.

Many centuries ago, Saint Augustine, a saint of my church, wrote that a people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love.

What are the common objects we love that define us as Americans?

I think I know.







And, yes, the truth.

Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson.

There is truth and there are lies.

Lies told for power and for profit.

And each of us has a duty and responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders – leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation — to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.

I understand that many Americans view the future with some fear and trepidation.

I understand they worry about their jobs, about taking care of their families, about what comes next.

I get it.

But the answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions, distrusting those who don’t look like you do, or worship the way you do, or don’t get their news from the same sources you do.

We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal.

We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts.

If we show a little tolerance and humility.

If we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes just for a moment.

Because here is the thing about life: There is no accounting for what fate will deal you.

There are some days when we need a hand.

There are other days when we’re called on to lend one.

That is how we must be with one another.

And, if we are this way, our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future.

My fellow Americans, in the work ahead of us, we will need each other.

We will need all our strength to persevere through this dark winter.

We are entering what may well be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus.

We must set aside the politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation.

I promise you this: as the Bible says weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning.

We will get through this, together.

The world is watching today.

So here is my message to those beyond our borders: America has been tested and we have come out stronger for it.

We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again.

Not to meet yesterday’s challenges, but today’s and tomorrow’s.

We will lead not merely by the example of our power but by the power of our example.

We will be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security.

We have been through so much in this nation.

And, in my first act as President, I would like to ask you to join me in a moment of silent prayer to remember all those we lost this past year to the pandemic.

To those 400,000 fellow Americans – mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

We will honor them by becoming the people and nation we know we can and should be.

Let us say a silent prayer for those who lost their lives, for those they left behind, and for our country.


This is a time of testing.

We face an attack on democracy and on truth.

A raging virus.

Growing inequity.

The sting of systemic racism.

A climate in crisis.

America’s role in the world.

Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways.

But the fact is we face them all at once, presenting this nation with the gravest of responsibilities.

Now we must step up.

All of us.

It is a time for boldness, for there is so much to do.

And, this is certain.

We will be judged, you and I, for how we resolve the cascading crises of our era.

Will we rise to the occasion?

Will we master this rare and difficult hour?

Will we meet our obligations and pass along a new and better world for our children?

I believe we must and I believe we will.

And when we do, we will write the next chapter in the American story.

It’s a story that might sound something like a song that means a lot to me.

It’s called “American Anthem” and there is one verse stands out for me:

“The work and prayers
of centuries have brought us to this day
What shall be our legacy?
What will our children say?…
Let me know in my heart
When my days are through
I gave my best to you.”

Let us add our own work and prayers to the unfolding story of our nation.

If we do this then when our days are through our children and our children’s children will say of us they gave their best.

They did their duty.

They healed a broken land.

My fellow Americans, I close today where I began, with a sacred oath.

Before God and all of you I give you my word.

I will always level with you.

I will defend the Constitution.

I will defend our democracy.

I will defend America.

I will give my all in your service thinking not of power, but of possibilities.

Not of personal interest, but of the public good.

And together, we shall write an American story of hope, not fear.

Of unity, not division.

Of light, not darkness.

An American story of decency and dignity.

Of love and of healing.

Of greatness and of goodness.

May this be the story that guides us.

The story that inspires us.

The story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history.

We met the moment.

That democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch but thrived.

That our America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world.

That is what we owe our forebearers, one another, and generations to follow.

So, with purpose and resolve we turn to the tasks of our time.

Sustained by faith.

Driven by conviction.

And, devoted to one another and to this country we love with all our hearts.

May God bless America and may God protect our troops.

Thank you, America.

[President Joe Biden, inaugural address, 2021.01.20]

Let me say a sentence I can say with integrity for the first time in four years: Let us follow our President’s example.

Let us speak the truth.

Let us go forth and do good.

Let us embrace all that is America and make America better.


  1. jerry 2021-01-20 19:11

    So then, trump, Thune, Rounds, Johnson and the rest of the republican frauds, didn’t provide even a fraction of the vaccine we need. Imagine that failure. So tell me, what good are they? Why do they lie? You know, I can take a thief, but a liar is just to much of a stretch.

  2. grudznick 2021-01-20 19:41

    I am curious what the Deep State has in store next.

  3. happy camper 2021-01-20 19:54

    Rejoice and be silly for a moment. The tyrant has left the building. Then start to consider why other good people fell under his spell. Equality is not just a word, but it means equality of opportunity, not outcome.

  4. Porter Lansing 2021-01-20 20:07

    Use your noodle, Mr. grudznick.
    First on the agenda:
    -All the scientific information that Trump ordered destroyed is being recovered and decrypted, soon to be returned to the reference server farms of USA.
    -Next, the IRS is being restored to “full speed ahead” and immediately being integrated with the information GOOGLE and FACEBOOK have been gathering on you and your bank accounts.
    Get ready for your audit, muchachos.
    The new motto: “WE KNOW – YOU OWE”
    -Then, the felonious Trump crime family’s, secure data from Russia will be presented to Joe “Steady” Biden, Nancy, and Chuck.
    – Stay Tuned chipnick and Dale.
    – Deep Eyes On You!

  5. grudznick 2021-01-20 20:14

    How does the Face Book have my bank account information? How does the Face Book even know if I have a bank account instead of a hermetically sealed mayonnaise jar buried in my garden?

  6. Porter Lansing 2021-01-20 20:23

    Here’s a small example of what and how big tech knows everything about you, Mr. grudz.
    – Ordering a Pizza in 2021
    CALLER: Is this Pizza Hut?
    GOOGLE: No sir, it’s Google Pizza.
    CALLER: I must have dialed a wrong number, sorry.
    GOOGLE: No sir, Google bought Pizza Hut last month.
    CALLER: OK. I would like to order a pizza.
    GOOGLE: Do you want your usual, sir?
    CALLER: My usual? You know me?
    GOOGLE: According to our caller ID data sheet, the last 12 times you called you ordered an extra-large pizza with three cheeses, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms and meatballs on a thick crust.
    CALLER: Super! That’s what I’ll have.
    GOOGLE: May I suggest that this time you order a pizza with ricotta, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes and olives on a whole wheat gluten-free thin crust?
    CALLER: What? I don’t want a vegetarian pizza!
    GOOGLE: Your cholesterol is not good, sir.
    CALLER: How the hell do you know that?
    GOOGLE: Well, we cross-referenced your home phone number with your medical records. We have the result of your blood tests for the last 7 years.
    CALLER: Okay, but I do not want your rotten vegetarian pizza! I already take medication for my cholesterol.
    GOOGLE: Excuse me sir, but you have not taken your medication regularly. According to our database, you purchased only a box of 30 cholesterol tablets once at CVS Pharmacy, 4 months ago.
    CALLER: I bought more from another Pharmacy.
    GOOGLE: That doesn’t show on your credit card statement.
    CALLER: I paid in cash.
    GOOGLE: But you did not withdraw enough cash according to your bank statement.
    CALLER: I have other sources of cash.
    GOOGLE: That doesn’t show on your latest tax returns, unless you bought them using an undeclared income source, which is against the law!
    GOOGLE: I’m sorry sir, we use such information only with the sole intention of helping you.
    CALLER: Enough already! I’m sick to death of Google, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and all the others. I’m going to an island without the internet, TV, where there is no phone service and no one to watch me or spy on me.
    GOOGLE: I understand sir, but you need to renew your passport first. It expired 6 weeks ago…
    Welcome to the Deep State, Mr. g

  7. grudznick 2021-01-20 20:27

    That is interesting. And disturbing it knows that A) grudznick likes pizza; and B) grudznick has other sources of cash.

  8. Spike 2021-01-20 20:29

    I see covid kristi was there… geez. Must have got lost picking up her “there’s no free lunch” agricultural welfare check from the failed trade war with China. Hanging with the commies from Georgia and Joe’s crew that stole an election of all things. And wearing a red coat. The color of Mao and Vlad.
    We ain’t falling for your bs.

    Joe and Kamala have shown more eloquence, class and compassion in the last 24 hours than trump n noem have in their entire lives.

  9. Porter Lansing 2021-01-20 20:37

    Mr. grudznick. – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, What’App etc. are free and fun for you to use, as you choose.

    – There’s an idiom in Silicon Valley, where your personal life data is collected, stored, and sold to advertisers
    and soon, the IRS.

    – Quote: “If you’re not paying for the product, you ARE the product.”

  10. Porter Lansing 2021-01-20 20:57

    In summation, I’ll leave you with one more thing, that you already know, deep in your hidden subconscious, Mr. grudznick.

    -This personal intrusion by what you label “The Deep State” scares the heck out of conservatives a thousand times more than it scares we liberals. And, you know why Mr. grudznick.

    -It’s why you all demand “small government”, when small government hurts you as much as it hurts us.

    -This social media data collection scares you Common Sense Conservatives to death because …

    – “You’re all breaking the law, somehow”.

  11. grudznick 2021-01-20 21:22

    My goats will remain in their pens tonight, but sleep very, very disturbed.

  12. Jenny 2021-01-20 21:37

    Republican J.Edgar Hoover would have loved the computer age.

  13. cibvet 2021-01-21 00:05

    A resolution to continue disregarding the Paris Climate agreement, without senate approval, by Republicans – John Barrasso, Jerry Moran, Roger Marshall, Cynthia Lummis and Mike Crapo was sent to Pres. Biden in less than 12 hours of being president. There is nothing in any type of climate agreement that they would ever vote for, so the games have already begun!!

  14. John Dale 2021-01-21 05:06

    Chinese media lauds Biden, but also takes a cheap shot at Trump?

    I’m liking the metaphysical shift ..

    This is an international embarrassment.

    We should be ashamed of not protecting the ballot box .. we just “elected” a reanimated corpse whose handlers cheer that you can no longer utter the words AL_X J_NE_.

  15. M 2021-01-21 05:15

    Grudz, now I know why I don’t like you and believe you should not be on this platform. You have been disturbingly indoctrinated to believe in conspiracy theories, and not just a recent convert. You and your Deep State, anti science, anti expert, against everything but not for anything philosophy can not be reasoned with.

    I envision you looking like Yoda, unmarried or divorced because any woman with self esteem would find you repulsive, pasty white from drinking too much Bud, owner of lots of guns, angry, contrary about everything, and you blame all your failures on everyone else. Oh and you are middle-aged and soooooo want your hair back.

    I bet you hated seeing all those women and people of color at the inauguration, that is if you watched it. I won’t respond to you anymore because you are not worth my time and you are a lost soul. Go get some help.

  16. M 2021-01-21 05:19

    John Dale, you are pathetic as Grudz and the above description applies to you. I looked at your website and I know the the shoe fits. Get some help!

  17. V 2021-01-21 05:22

    I think everyone should ignore Grutznick and John Dale and not respond to them anymore. It really distracts from the article and other great comments. They hijack the replies and now I know why Debbo quit. So let’s ignore these wingnuts.

  18. John Dale 2021-01-21 06:53

    For some reason, is picking-up ~400 new unique ip addresses every 3 days.

    Pretty soon I’m going to need some “help” administering the servers.

  19. John Dale 2021-01-21 06:58

    Objectively, palpable disagreements in discussion make better, more productive discussion. Without dissent, there is less progress in understanding?

  20. grudznick 2021-01-21 07:14

    Why Mr. M, I find it hard to believe you don’t know that Mr. Dale and I are entirely different sorts of conspiracy theorists. And grudznick is all #4Science. In fact outside of Dr. McT I am probably the most scientific scientist here.

  21. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-01-21 07:18

    International embarrassment? The world heard President Biden’s speech, and they don’t seem to think we should be embarrassed:

    … [New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern]: President Biden’s message of unity as he takes office is one that resonates with New Zealanders….

    … [S. Korea Pres. Moon Jae-In]: America is back. America’s new beginning will make democracy even greater. Together with the Korean people, I stand by your journey toward ‘America United’….

    … [Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong]: Strong American leadership will make a decisive difference to our collective recovery and the shape of the post-COVID-19 world.

    … [EU Pres. Ursula von der Leyen]: The United States is back. And Europe stands ready. To reconnect with an old and trusted partner, to breathe new life into our cherished alliance. I look forward to working together with @JoeBiden.

    … [German Pres. Frank-Walter Steinmeier]: Today is a good day for democracy. In the United States of America, it has faced tremendous challenges – and endured. Despite the attempts to tear at America’s institutional fabric, election workers and governors, the judiciary and Congress, have proven strong. I am greatly relieved that, today, Joe Biden is being sworn in as president and will be moving into the White House. I know many people in Germany share this feeling.

    … [Spain PM Pedro Sanchez] The (election) victory of Biden represents the victory of democracy over the ultra-right and its three methods, the massive deception, the national division and the abuse, even violent, of democratic institutions… Five years ago, we thought Trump was a bad joke, but five years later we realized he jeopardized nothing less than the world’s most powerful democracy.

    … [France Pres. Emmanuel Macron] We will be stronger to face the challenges of our time. Stronger to build our future. Stronger to protect our planet. Welcome back to the Paris Agreement! [“How World Leaders Are Reacting to Joe Biden’s Inauguration,” Reuters, 2021.01.20].

  22. Porter Lansing 2021-01-21 07:58

    Q – Do you know why John Dale, Alex Jones, Qanon, Donald Trump, and socially conservative, conspiracy kooks fear China and overlook the world domination plans of Vladimir Putin?
    A – Because Putin is white and Xi is not.

  23. Dicta 2021-01-21 08:37

    I don’t think lumping Grudz and Dale together is fair. Grudz is a decently intelligent right of center person who has a troll streak, but will still call out nonsense on Pat’s propaganda. John Dale is flat-out nuts.

  24. Jenny 2021-01-21 09:31

    Gudzilla is a POS and harasses people on here he doesn’t agree with. He has a crush on Cory so Cory tolerates him,maybe because he sends Cory checks, I don’t know. Strange relationship.

  25. Mark Anderson 2021-01-21 09:34

    I don’t know John, that bus trip I took to Georgia with my fellow travelers was well worth it.

  26. bearcreekbat 2021-01-21 14:27

    I just posted this on another thread, but it really belongs here:

    Last night Sean Hannity told his listeners that Biden’s Inauguration speech was the worst one ever given, along with a myriad of disparging and insulting comments. Now there’s a fellow trying to fan the flames of division in this country, but projecting blame on Biden, other news media, Democrats, Republicans that have questioned the false claims of election fraud, and anyone else he can quote out of context. The story is online for anyone wanting to look for it, but I am not inclined to post links to anything Hannity says. These days it seems like he is trying to join Tucker Carlson to replace Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones has the most obnoxious public figures on the mainstream media.

  27. V 2021-01-21 14:44

    That looks like a great article Mike from Iowa. Maybe Cory can help us.

  28. Porter Lansing 2021-01-21 14:56

    Good one, BCB
    Republicans don’t want unity. And, who gives a rat’s patoot? We won and we intend to act as such. They stole our Justice, polluted our environment, spent our money on their recreation. We don’t need ’em.
    Here’s a United States Senator on the very day his President was inaugurated calling him subversive.

    “If you read his speech and listen to it carefully, much of it is thinly-veiled innuendo calling us white supremacists, calling us racists, calling us every name in the book, calling us people who don’t tell the truth,” Rand Paul said on Fox News Primetime.
    Paul said he also thought Biden was calling his political opponents liars.

  29. Porter Lansing 2021-01-21 15:15

    Don’t be the kind of milquetoast liberal that’s looking to let bygones be bygones.
    We kicked their Keester and it’s time to plunder.

    Favorite quote: “President Biden does not seek the unity of all Americans, only that of ‘enough of us’ to drag the rest toward justice.” – Eric Levitz of New York Magazine https://

  30. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-01-23 18:56

    Porter, I’ve never been good at bygones. People who get on my s***list usually stay on that list.

  31. SD is 20 per cent nonwhite 2021-02-12 07:56

    “Joy comes in the morning.”

    Every morning.

    A victory for all Americans.

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