Mason students give their thoughts on Biden’s inauguration and their hopes for the rest of the presidency
BY BRAD BYRNE STAFF WRITER
On Jan. 20, Joseph R. Biden Jr. was inaugurated and became the 46th president of the United States. He is the oldest elected president in American history and the first from Delaware.
In just the early days of his presidency, Biden focused on signing a series of executive orders, some reversing orders from former President Donald Trump’s administration. They include rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, passing a national mask mandate in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, reversing Trump’s ban on transgender people in the military, giving protections to DACA recipients, ending the travel ban on certain Muslim countries and halting construction of Trump’s border wall initiative, among others.
Sophomore Perla Zarate noted her optimism with the beginning of Biden’s presidency, and is hoping for unity in the future.
“Trump has done a lot of stuff in just the past couple months that have torn apart our government and what we as Americans stand for,” Zarate said. “But I believe that Biden will put everything back together. I know he probably won’t accomplish everything he says he will, but I know he’ll try his best to. I hope he builds back the unity that the United States once had during Obama’s presidency.”
Sophomore Erica Bartell is hopeful about Biden’s presidency, but still has doubts.
“I think he’s going to bring forth changes to the country, as he definitely takes the pandemic more seriously than Trump did, and he repealed the ban of transgender people from joining the military,” Bartell said.
“However, I’m iffy about what he’ll do in regards to criminal justice as his record on the matter hasn’t always been too good, and he hasn’t said much about the innocent people on death row who are fighting to have their sentences commuted, but I have faith that he would be willing to help in that area,” Bartell said.
Sophomore Mac Clapper is more critical about the future of Biden’s presidency, however.
“With Biden getting inaugurated, it was really interesting to me to just watch everyone’s reaction, especially mainstream media and their whole approach to rewarding Biden for ending the Trump era and not pressing him for lying as they did for Trump,” Clapper said. “When Reverend Rafael Warnock and Jon Ossoff were campaigning for the Georgia Senate runoff, they campaigned with the intention of sending out the stimulus checks going out in the next week, and now is it the end of January and nobody has the $2000 checks.”
Clapper continued, “Biden has also already gone back on campaign promises already, really begging the question of, why try to be progressive if you’re not going to follow through with it? Biden is really not stepping up and providing the leadership that we need, and if he wants to unify the country, he needs to show people the democratic way by implementing a universal basic income until at least the pandemic is over as a trial run.”