Can Biden Bring Divided U.S. together?

Pool photo via AP
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers his inaugural address after being sworn in as the 46th President of the United States in Washington on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON — When U.S. President Joe Biden spoke of “Bringing America together” in his inaugural address on Wednesday, I wondered how the message would be received by the American public.

Amid tight restrictions, the crowds that would typically be out celebrating the launch of a new administration were replaced by the conspicuous presence of National Guard members.

The handover between incoming and outgoing presidents that has been a symbol of the peaceful transfer of power in the United States was also absent, as former President Donald Trump, who has fomented divisions in the country, had left Washington before the ceremony.

Biden said in his address, “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue,” a sincere message that sounded somewhat hollow.

In the United States, two groups that believe in different values have been unable to come together.

The divide between rural conservatives in red states and urban liberals in blue states is no longer just political. It has developed into a socio-cultural conflict over gun control and the Christian faith.

Far-right groups incited by comments from Trump stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, temporarily occupying the building and using violence to block proceedings to formally confirm the election of Biden as the new president.

U.S. presidents since the end of World War II have expressed their determination to counter autocratic regimes and international terrorism in their inaugural addresses. In contrast, Biden cited “white supremacy” and “domestic terrorism” as challenges that must be confronted and defeated.”

According to an opinion poll conducted following the Capitol riot, just 5% of people who voted for Trump said they regretted doing so, indicating the riot has had no significant influence on the attitudes of the 74 million Americans who voted for him.

It is inevitable that the United States will remain divided, forcing Biden to prioritize dealing with domestic issues.

“We all understand the world is watching, watching all of us today,” Biden said in his address.

The prolonged turmoil in the democratic superpower will surely embolden authoritarian states as they bid to change the status quo.

The ramifications of the divisions are not limited to domestic politics in the United States, but could also have a serious impact in other parts of the world, including Japan.