From 'Pretty Ambivalent' To 'Cannot Wait,' North Texans Share Their Feelings On Biden Taking Office
KERA wanted to know how North Texans are feeling about the change in America’s leadership that officially took place Wednesday, so we posed the question to folks on social media. Here are some of the thoughts and feelings shared with us:
“I don’t think Biden was the best choice for the presidency,” said Mathew Miller from Fort Worth. “But [Biden’s] infinitely better than what we had for the last four years.”
Miller said normally he’s not very emotional about presidential elections, but today he “cannot wait” for the new leader to take office. He also admits that performances from Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez had him holding back tears. “J-Lo just killed ‘This Land Is Your Land.’ Killed it! And now, it's all happening.”
Garland resident Shelby Donahue shared some of Miller’s feelings and said she feels “pretty ambivalent” about the incoming president.
“Obviously, I’m glad that Trump is no longer in office,” she said. “But from the things Biden has said, the people he’s chosen for important positions, the way he’s talked about being more aggressive overseas, and domestically wanting to work with Republicans — I just feel like [Biden’s] too willing to compromise and play nice.”
Donahue worries that the Biden will “give in” to Republicans on important issues like coronavirus relief in an attempt to heal the country. She said doing so would “prioritize the worst parts of the American right-wing rather than the majority of voters.”
Adam Swartz, a North Dallas resident, said he was feeling “thankful” today, because he could have a conversation with his 11-year-old daughter to let her know that “the last four years wasn’t what it was supposed to be.”
Swartz said that four years ago he and his daughter watched the presidential election very closely. And that when Trump won, he had to have “a delicate conversation” with her.
“That was tough. But explaining things over and over again for the past four years became this horrifying exercise for me [in which] I was explaining to her what the worst parts of us are,” he said. “I didn’t want that to be the only idea of what she thought a presidency is and how it runs.”
Laurence White was in a similar situation to Swartz. The downtown Dallas resident is also a father of a daughter. He said there’ve definitely been lots of difficult conversations over the past four years. But today, White was filled with joy because he and his 17-year-old could see Vice President Harris, a woman, in the second most powerful position in our country.
“I have spent the majority of [my daughter’s] life telling her that the fact that she is a woman should have absolutely zero impact on her ability to impact the world,” he said. “But I think many people realized and understand that’s not always true.”
Seeing the Vice President on the inauguration stage was proof that women could do anything for White though. “Seeing [Harris’] face and the joy she had when she was being sworn in by Judge Sonia Sotomayor — all I could really do was think about the future for my own daughter,” White said.
“This is a time for equality, egalitarianism, and openness for the future that here to for I haven’t really had too much hope for,” he said.
Angel Rodriguez is also a Dallas resident who’s feeling “hopeful” today. Rodriguez immigrated to East Texas from Mexico as a kid, and he identifies as an American. He said being a person of color and immigrant has been “tough” during Trump’s presidency.
“I feel like we can all finally breathe,” he said. “It’s been a very stressful four years. And I know it’s not just for me, it’s for the whole country itself, especially people of color and immigrants.”
Rodriguez said that he saw an ugly side of people start to come out in Facebook posts and in personal conversations while Trump was in office, and that the things said sometimes put a rift between him and people he thought was close to. But now that Biden and Harris are going to be leading the country, he thinks it’s time to “forgive and move on as a united people.”
“The one way I see us all moving forward as a country and just being ‘America’ once more, is all of us just being united,” he said.
East Dallas resident Lisa Lopez agrees with the sentiment of unity expressed by Rodriguez and President Biden. She said today’s inauguration was so inspiring — from the messages to the performances — that she can’t wait for tomorrow, “so that I can wake up and see how things are going to be and to feel the feelings of inspiration one more time.”
In his first address to the nation as its leader, Biden pledged to unite the county and called on Americans to come together to heal our politically divided nation.
"I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know the forces that divide are deep and they are real," Biden said. "Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we're all created equal and the harsh ugly reality of racism, nativism, fear, demonization. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge — and unity is the path forward,.
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