Today at high noon (EST) on the western front of the Capitol building a battered and beleaguered democracy that has survived a near death experience will have its day.
Today at high noon on the western front of the Capitol building with the after shocks from the January 6 MAGAton blitzkrieg still reverberating throughout the halls of the citadel of democracy, the 46th POTUS and VPOTUS will occupy the sacrosanct space seized by the MAGA Mob just two weeks prior.
Today at high noon on the western front of the Capitol building Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take their oaths of office, repeating these time honored words:
- “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” ~ Presidential oath
- “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.” ~ Vice Presidential oath
And tragically today at high noon on the western front of the Capitol building with the largest armed security force ever assembled in the nation’s capital for the “peaceful transfer of power” (sorry, but that war horse has already left the barn), the new President and Vice President along with the 81,283,485 Americans who voted for them will officially become the avowed “enemy” in the hearts and minds of far too many of the 74,223,744 MAGA disciples who have pledged their ongoing allegiance to a narcissistic white nationalist cult leader whose administration has been the nexus of racism, sexism, greed and corruption (to mention just a few). That is the sad but honest truth of the past four years.
And so it is that high noon on the western front of the Capital today feels like “High Noon at the OK Corral” with cowboys in white hats and black hats facing off against one another, and both sides believing they are the “good guys.” It shouldn’t feel this way at the terminus of one administration and the dawning of a new. But that is reality in this “reality show” era of American history. This is the ugly bottom of the barrel that the republic hasn’t occupied since the contentious pre-Civil War inauguration of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin 160 years ago.
This is the pickle America finds itself in during this briney transition where MAGA zealots, delusional conspiracy theorists and depraved militaristic groups feel like salt is being rubbed into their perceived wounds by “unamerican, heathen, socialist, left wing extremists” (those not like them) who have somehow managed to steal their leader’s crown.
This is the dystopian alternate reality where an outgoing POTUS and his family fly away to the strains of “My Way,” while at that same moment the incoming POTUS and VPOTUS are attending a bi-partisan church service and praying for the country to follow Thy Way. The sight of those two events on our TV split screens was as powerful a visual display of the contrast in values and character that mark this transition as one could imagine.
It is the scene of early morning worshipers inside the sanctuary of Saint Matthew Church in our nation’s capital that will overshadow for me the pomp and circumstance that takes place at high noon on the western front of the Capitol. It is the good news and the good works that the real Christian Church represents, proclaims and enacts that can instill hope that We the People will yet call upon our “better angels” to take flight and lift this democracy from the edge of the cliff at which we now stand. E Pluribus Unum, we pray.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.”
Saint Matthew 5:9