The theme of President Biden's inauguration was unity, but with impeachment trials looming, executive orders being signed, and the day itself being characterised by a Rolex wristwatch, how can Biden surface above this noise? Tom Bromwich explains his views.

Like many anti-Trump conservatives, I watched in glee as the 45th President left the White House last Wednesday. As he dragged his feet to Marine One before being whisked away to Florida, I was able to reflect on the past four years of his presidency. One tends to get nostalgic when momentous political events such as these occur, but this was characterised more by relief. America's nightmare had finally ended.

Trump's presidency had not been wholly bad. I can recognise when an agenda-setting media is overstepping the mark, all I have to do is watch Channel 4 news for 5 minutes. In this regard, I believe Trump's presidency isn't something to be embarrassed about, policy-wise. As a human, I can think of no worse communicator of a political message, and morally bankrupt, self-serving individual than Trump. However, without Trump an increase of stimulus payments from the pitiful $600 to $1,400 would not be happening. Likewise, unemployment reached 3.5%, incomes rose, a dialogue with North Korea arose, and rural America and the people who had been 'left behind' received unprecedented investment and inclusion in the conversation. Had it not been for him behaving like a conspiracy-hooked uncle in a tin foil hat, his incitement of insurrection at the Capitol, and his (let's be honest) racist and sexist dog-whistle campaigns, then he may conversely be viewed as the best Republican President since Reagan.

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As he flew above the clouds, President-elect Biden arrived at the Capitol for an inauguration which promised surprisingly little: The main event was the inauguration of the nation's first female Vice President, Kamala Harris. However, for an inauguration characterised by a narrative of unity, there didn't seem too much. Granted, it was attended by fierce Trump allies, Senators Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, and Representative Louie Gohmert, but the line-up of entertainment including prominent Hillary Clinton surrogates Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Jennifer Lopez just smacked of the stagnant entertainment which had epitomised everything wrong with the Democratic Party's outreach since 2015. Relying on highly unpopular (within conservative circles) figures to headline your unifying inauguration wouldn't be the avenue I would have taken, instead I would have relied on largely impartial, but revered entertainers such as Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, or Stevie Wonder. These are far more relatable figures to the American heartlands than politically charged Hollywood millennials (sorry, not you J-Lo).

Biden's speech was strong, though not memorable. Laced with the standard slogans and messaging which had characterised US politics and brought about outsiders like Trump, Biden spoke of using "unity to achieve great things", and that "American is better than this". You would think that something more creative could be conjured up than a set of sayings from the Hillary Clinton 2016 Campaign playbook. What I did find particularly significant was his emphasis on the resilience of American democracy ? a topic often taken for granted in inaugural speeches. That was the most unifying message of the speech he delivered on the exact spot that brainwashed hillbillies lazily badged as 'patriots' sought to overturn the election in favour of their cult leader. You could tell Biden was aware of the challenges he faced. Yet, what does the so-called 'conservative' media focus on? Biden wearing a Rolex watch. Nothing was heard as Melania Trump sauntered out the White House with a $90,000 Birkin handbag.

If America wants to unite, the media needs to stop indulging in petty point-scoring trying to diminish the other side's credibility. It's the whole Obama tan suit all over again. Division came from pettiness: Name calling, crude impersonations, enacting policies wholly unpopular with the American public just to appease the darkest elements of America's underbelly are all causes of this division. Luckily, President Biden has reversed all these laws, notably the executive orders banning transgender soldiers serving in the military, and US exit of the Paris Climate Agreement. Whilst many would say that reversing your predecessor's policies is not unifying, statistics say otherwise, with 71% of Americans supporting transgender military service, and 70% supporting US membership of the Paris Climate Agreement. These are issues which Trump pursued to appeal to a narrow sect of his base. He lacked conviction in doing so, but as long as he was still assured power and attention by them, it worked for him.

America has a real opportunity to unite following Trump. I don't believe impeachment should be considered, and whilst I am quietly hoping for its success, I think it will just be used as another bow to extreme Trump Republicans' quivers in securing victories in 2022, painting Democrats as radical socialist liberals, or whatever nonsensical, buzzword label they try to slap on them. Biden can achieve unity by not actually doing too much: A Green New Deal, or reparations will be the exact things which many leading Democrats are lobbying for, but will inevitably drive a wedge between the two Americas. Perhaps sleepy Joe is exactly what America needs to recover from its 4 year hangover.

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