COLORADO SPRINGS — An inauguration like no other will get underway Wednesday, at noon, as President-Elect Joe Biden takes the oath of office as the 46th President of the United States.
We expect a much different event tomorrow than in years past; attendance will be low and in-person events will be few and far between as effects from the coronavirus pandemic drag on, and at least one notable person won’t be there.
President Donald Trump announcing earlier this month he will not attend Biden’s inauguration. It isn’t the first time a sitting president has refused to attend this ceremony but certainly a first in recent history.
The inauguration is a highly respected event by many Americans as it symbolizes peace amid a transfer of power.
Josh Dunn, a Professor of Political Science at The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, says there’s a good reason for that, “Americans have rightfully taken pride in that despite serious political disagreements that you could recognize that’s the next president coming in deserves to be considered as a legitimate president and therefore can fully exercise the office the powers of the office of the presidency.”
For the first time in more than 150 years, the incumbent President Donald Trump is skipping the event.
“It’s not pleasant for the incumbent who loses but I think most of them have thought that it was important simply for what it means to the country,” Dunn added.
However, after the insurrection at the capitol earlier this month, Biden says Trump’s absence is for the best.
Dunn said Tuesday, “We don’t know but obviously give considering events surrounding last week, attention is going to be extremely high perhaps this is the best for everyone if President Trump were not there.”
It’s certainly been done before, though, not often.
“I’m certain it wasn’t easy for George Bush to see, you know Bill Clinton taking the oath of office. The same thing with Jimmy Carter in 1981,” according to Dunn.
Despite all the challenges of the times, Dunn says he believes brighter days are ahead.
“America has seen even more violent periods and periods where there was even greater division and still manage to come through it so I don’t think we should despair, we’re a nation that obviously has a good deal of resilience and even though there’s reason to be concerned now there’s also reason to be optimistic and hopeful that we can move past these these these periods,” he said.