Today is the first time in 150 years that an outgoing US President has refused to attend the inauguration of his predecessor, instead planning his own rival send-off ceremony with military honors, including a 21-gun salute and a fly-past before boarding Air Force One for his final trip from Washington as President.
From November 3 when he lost the election, the 45th US president showed clearly he was no longer interested in being presidential, not having a single diary appointment for 45 days and spending all of 16 playing golf.
Trump departs today as the only US president: impeached twice; charged with inciting insurrection; accused of monetizing presidential pardons and seeking advice on how to pardon himself; made to ‘digitally disappear’ after being banned from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and all major Social Media platforms; refusing to speak to his Vice President (Mike Pence) after January 6 (when Pence condemned the attack on the Capitol that threatened his life (and that of every other person on legitimate duty at the Capitol that day); refusing to congratulate his successor — and his wife doing likewise; the first US Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to have incited an armed domestic terrorist insurrection against the country he leads (in which five people died); the first to cause a reconfiguration of the White House to feature two presidential bedrooms; and the first president to cause there to be two ‘Nuclear Footballs’ – a code name for what many consider the most important briefcase in the world — containing the code for the US to launch a nuclear war.
Every president, on immediate assumption of office at Midday on Inauguration Day, has had at his eternal side two soldiers carrying and guarding the briefcase with the presidential nuclear codes.
Normally, the briefcase would have been handed-over from one president to the next the moment the transition happens at the Washington inauguration ceremony.
But since Trump won’t be attending and will instead be in Florida at his Mare-a-Lago Golf Club when the sun sets on his presidency at midday today, the immediate handover of the nuclear code briefcase will not be possible.
The result? Another identical briefcase has had to be created for President Biden – for the first time in history — to be placed at his fingertips the moment he takes the oath of office, with Trump’s copy simultaneously erased.
Worst of all, however, is the legacy of the Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces having forced the deployment of over 25,000 troops to Washington to guard the nation’s congressional headquarters, all of who had to be heavily screened to avoid infiltration by the President’s fanatic supporters – a situation deemed correct after it was disclosed Monday that another set of fanatic Trump supporters had tried to infiltrate the Presidential Guard to be present on duty at Biden’s inauguration at the White House today.
Never before in US history have elected politicians felt their lives so threatened by a President; never before had the Republican Party been hijacked by one man and his family like now; and never before have Americans been so afraid of what could happen at a presidential inauguration.
Joe Biden will become US president today with every inch of his life in jeopardy from the untold number of fanatics among the 74 million who voted for him, 75% (55.5 million) of who actually believe Trump’s claim that the election was stolen.
Biden will also have his own unforgettable historical anecdotes: being sworn-in on the anniversary of the first COVID-19 positive case was registered in America; having promised to put $1.9 trillion into getting America going again; promising 100 million COVID-19 vaccine jabs in his first 100 days and having a mixed-race Vice President who is also the first woman Vice President.
He’s taking over at a time when America has posted over 400,000 COVID deaths with 23 million positive cases registered at a time when two million lives have been taken worldwide.
As things stand right now, should Biden ever not be able to function as president, Kamla Harris, the former Attorney General of the most populous state in the USA, would become the first woman President, but will also be seen by many as ‘The first Black Woman President’ of America — and by many more as the ‘most powerful person in the world.’
And all of that as the 50%-70% more-effective SARS-CoV-2 virus has entered America, with that much more deadly consequences for the rest of 2021.
Those engaging in the 21st Century equivalent of the ‘blood quantum’ theory (an old Native American method of determining tribal membership based on the ‘amount of Indian blood’ one possessed) would argue that President Barack Obama and Vice President Harris are both ‘half-black’ – annoying the 55.5 million Trump supporters who simply refuse to even think of ‘another Black’ becoming US President.
But the Biden-Harris ticket brings hope — the biggest being that as of this afternoon, President Biden will start rolling-back the most egregious decisions and actions taken by his predecessor, not only in his last days between November 3 and expiry of his tenancy at the White House, but throughout his entire four years in the Oval Office.
But one thing at a time…
First, let’s see how today ends; then, tomorrow will be the first day for the rest of our lives without Donald Trump having his finger on America’s presidential nuclear button.
He would not have been able to launch a nuclear bomb or war on his own, but pressing his itchy finger on the red button was always a distinct possibility and was no football game — up to midday today.
But, as we hope for the best, we must also plan for the worst – especially as the sunset on Trump’s White House days also mark the sunrise of a tomorrow that’ll be predictably unpredictable for as long as Donald Trump lives.