By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
Whether it was President Joe Biden calling on the nation to lead by example, the poetry of Amanda Gorman, or the feeling that the United States is turning a corner, there was something about Jan. 20 that resonated.
Town Council President Keith Lapointe said that Inauguration Day was a juxtaposition from the events of Jan. 6 and that Americans have a way of rallying around horrific times to come together.
“People really would love to see a return to civility,” he said. “The feeling I had is that politics felt polite again.”
Lapointe said that the performance of Bruce Springsteen that day and the poetry reading by Amanda Gorman both impacted him. He sees Springsteen as a moral compass and added that it was exceptional seeing Kamala Harris being sworn in as vice-president. He is optimistic about the future and the United States reclaiming its place in the world hierarchy. But still, he said, some challenges remain.
“I’m not optimistic that were going to solve the problems that are dividing us,” said Lapointe. “Most people sit in the middle and we have to find our middle, and the path to get there’s not clear to me.”
In an e-mail sent to the Reporter, Linda Weston said she was disappointed that President Joe Biden chose to incorporate lines from Bill Clinton’s inauguration speech, particularly “to lead not merely by the example of our power but by the power of our example.” In Bill Clinton’s inaugural speech. he said “people the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example, than by the example of our power.”
“My reaction was that we have a President who clearly was not capable of writing his own inaugural address or deliver it well,” she wrote. “What resonated and stays with me the most of many bad points was that he plagiarized Clinton in the speech.”
State Rep. Adam Scanlon said “The Hill We Climb,” written and read by Gorman, was a point that stayed with him. He said that it was clear she had done her homework when writing it and liked the symbolism of people coming together, ready to move forward.
“I appreciate the president’s words on unity,” said Scanlon. “I understand that there are enormous challenges facing the country.”
State Sen. Becca Rausch felt that with the country at a crossroads, President Biden has a tremendous responsibility. She said that the sentiments that lead to the events of Jan. 6 have not evaporated, nor will a change in administration be enough to do so.
Rausch said that in the times ahead, her own role will be to listen to the voices of the communities she represents. She cited recent legislation filed to improve the option of mail-in-voting and access to the census and public records as some of the steps she has taken.
“We’re still divided,” said Rausch. “The stark divide between both socioeconomic and political perspectives is enormous. We as a nation have to find a way to come together.”