The presidential inauguration took place under much different circumstances than in previous eras. Washington was not the scene of crowds of thousands. National Guardsmen and police officers replaced the traditional spectators.
The drastic security measures that replaced the once serene political event created a scene that resembled a military barracks. The administration and security agencies were concerned with the possibility of rioting, security breaches and even assassination during this ceremony.
Prior to the election and leading up to the ceremony, private militias and extremist groups challenged the legitimacy of the election. Therefore, rather than being a welcoming public event, the inauguration ceremony for Joe Biden witnessed uniformed personnel and security barriers. Also notable was the absence of Donald Trump, who broke tradition once again by refusing to welcome Biden at the White House.
Trump’s domestic and foreign policy during his term divided American society and his own party. Battles over election results and allegations of discrimination and voter fraud in several states deepened the social divide and fractured the political elite.
Trump’s departure from the White House was the last step in a series of abandoned norms. His administration created foreign and domestic tension with many groups and interests. Trump threatened American friends and allies in addition to engaging in a trade war with powerful adversaries such as China.
The former U.S. president abandoned international organizations, agreements and treaties, leading Iran’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to state, “All that is left is for Trump to abandon planet Earth.”
Trump even abandoned the Iran nuclear deal and imposed existing and new sanctions on our country. His maximum pressure policy launched a full-scale economic war against Iran, with the intention of swiftly overthrowing Tehran or subverting Iran according to Washington’s demands.
Over time, however, the Islamic Republic did not fall apart and weathered the harsh situation of the past few years with active resistance.
The current conditions are a clear response to the maximum pressure policy of the previous U.S. administration. Trump asserted that Tehran would contact Washington within hours of his reelection in 2020. In the end, not only did his assumption that Tehran would call Washington prove wrong, but his assumption that he would win reelection was only a dream. The belligerent U.S. president left office in disgrace and committed political suicide by encouraging his followers to gather in Washington and storm the U.S. Capitol.
The House of Representatives immediately passed an article of impeachment against Trump. The Senate will now hold a trial and deliver the final verdict. However, this is likely not the end of the nightmare facing Trump, as Democrats will likely push to press criminal charges against him.
The state of the U.S. today is a story of a divided and polarized society that suffers from systematic social and economic discrimination. Just as Democrats spent four years trying to defeat Trump, Republicans will work to sabotage Biden. The election season in the U.S. has ended for now, but political conflict and racial tension persist. The end of Trump’s term does not mean the end of Trumpism in the U.S., and years of chaos in U.S. domestic and foreign affairs lie ahead. The COVID-19 crisis, with its high number of casualties and notable economic consequences, is sure to mean a tough tenure for Biden. He will face many difficult decisions in the international arena as well.