President Joe Biden loves to paint and persuade with bold strokes on the canvas of public policy.. He likes to paint big picture of the possibilities and power of the United States. On April 28, 2021, he assessed the country at the joint sitting of the U.S Senate and House of Representatives, fo make the point that just before and shortly after he took over, “America’s house was on fire.”
For those who might have, willfully, forgotten, he was hinting at the massive disruption of regular living, more than one half of a million deaths and other devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Especially, its decimation of small business and wider economic insecurity that came with it.
Indeed, “America’s house was on fire”, at the time, regarding the issue of COVID-19 because of the truancy, incompetence and lies told to Americans by our former, impeached President, Donald J. Trump. Here is the contrast; according to Biden: “When I was sworn in, less than 1% of seniors were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 100 days later, nearly 70% of seniors are fully protected.
Senior deaths from COVID-19 are down 80% since January. Down 80%.
And, more than half of all adults in America have gotten at least one shot.”
Without any doubt, “America’s house was on fire”, in part, because Mr. Trump instigated and inflamed most of the desecration and destruction which took place on January 6, 2021 as an armed attack, an insurrection at the U.S Capitol by his supporters and foot soldiers. Yes; as in most cases regarding the direction and vitality of this country, America triumphed.
“Now — after just 100 days — I can report to the nation: America is on the move again,” Biden said, adding that the U.S. is now “turning peril into possibility. Crisis into opportunity. Setback into strength.”
President Biden’s first words dramatized part of the trail of overcoming and moving forward to greater, unfold in chapters of history when he said:
Madame Vice President.
No president has ever said those words from this podium, and it’s about time.”
Yes; for the first time in the history of the United States, two women were in the immediate line of succession to the presidency, the most powerful position in the world!
For proper record and identification: “Madame Speaker is Nancy Pelosi, and Italian American.
Madame Vice President is Kamala Harris, a Black woman.
I believe and think that it is important to share with you the very significant text of his introductory comments; he spoke to the spirit and resilience of America. Here:
“My fellow Americans.
While the setting tonight is familiar, this gathering is very different – a reminder of the extraordinary times we are in.
Throughout our history, Presidents have come to this chamber to speak to the Congress, to the nation, and to the world.
To declare war. To celebrate peace. To announce new plans and possibilities.
Tonight, I come to talk about crisis – and opportunity.
About rebuilding our nation – and revitalizing our democracy.
And winning the future for America.
As I stand here tonight – just one day shy of the 100th day of my administration.
100 days since I took the oath of office, lifted my hand off our family Bible, and inherited a nation in crisis.
The worst pandemic in a century.
The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
The worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.
Now, after just 100 days, I can report to the nation: America is on the move again.
Turning peril into possibility. Crisis into opportunity. Setback into strength.
Life can knock us down.
But in America, we never stay down.
In America, we always get up.
And today, that’s what we’re doing: America is rising anew.
Choosing hope over fear. Truth over lies. Light over darkness.
After 100 Days of rescue and renewal, America is ready for takeoff.
We are working again. Dreaming again. Discovering again. Leading the world again.
We have shown each other and the world: There is no quit in America.”
A critical segment of Biden’s plan to ensure that America neither quits nor stays down is a relatively expensive yet important $4 trillion infrastructure, child care and early education agenda. Predictable denunciation came from the Republican party leadership and activists who called the price tag “socialism” and unrealistic tax-and-spend plan. Biden insists he wants to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges, water pipes and other technology-related and environmentally progressive investments. “For too long, we have failed to use the most important word when it comes to meeting the climate crisis…. Jobs. Jobs. For me, when I think about climate change, I think jobs.” He referenced the word “jobs” 43 times in the speech.
His predecessor Trump also focused on jobs; and had some success of it.
I think it is refreshingly clear that Biden is leading a team of individuals and professionals who are elevating the quality and methodology of both governance and communicating to Americans and the world. They have chosen discipline and mutual respect over bravado and bluster. They have chosen factual delivery instead of manufactured data and deception.
As far as I can tell, Americans and others know that it’s a new day in America, since these 100 days of the Biden presidency.
Regardless, I am guided by the wise words of the late, great Chinua Achebe who wrote decades ago that ‘it’s morning yet on creation day’!
*Dr. Chido Nwangwu, the author of the forthcoming 2021 book, MLK, Mandela & Achebe: Power, Leadership and Identity, serves as Founder & Publisher of the first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper on the internet, USAfricaonline.com, and established USAfrica in 1992 in Houston. He is recipient of several public policy and journalism excellence honors, civic engagement and community empowerment awards and has appeared as an analyst on CNN and SKYnews. He served as an adviser on Africa business to Houston’s former Mayor Lee Brown.