Inauguration Resets Country’s Course Toward Our Nation’s Ideals and Aspirations

Statement of Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn

Today, our country is headed in a different direction – and we welcome the change.  Today, the nation under President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris charted a new course of aspiration and hope for every American regardless of the color of their skin or who they voted for on Election Day. We have turned away from a wayward course that undermined our democratic norms, truth, values, institutions, and the rule of law.

We know the challenges ahead are daunting.  Our nation must now address the grave public health and financial crises facing every American – crises that for too long have been denied and manipulated in an attempt to gain partisan advantage. The new administration has already issued a schedule of current and upcoming Executive Orders and actions — including an executive branch ethics order that will begin to drain the toxicity from our democracy by mandating executive branch ethics rules to restore balance and lessen the stranglehold of wealthy special interests. Other orders will better ensure the equitable treatment of every American, support a full and accurate census, restore the immigration policies that have allowed our nation to thrive; and work toward rebuilding our country’s standing internationally.

We will once again begin listening to the scientists, the experts, and the professionals rather than the sycophants and the profiteers. Political expediency and disinformation must no longer be the driving force behind our policies. Today, the world has witnessed an inaugural ceremony that displayed the rich diversity of our nation’s people, the lodestar of our nation’s promise, and the compassion of a leader who recognizes how critically important it is to acknowledge that millions of Americans are currently in mourning. We can, indeed, work together to form a more perfect union, but only if we acknowledge our history and our present in a truthful way.

As we move forward and begin working to address the crises and problems we face together as a nation, we must also ensure that those who facilitated and staged a violent insurrection in the United States Capitol two weeks ago are held accountable. Our democracy was attacked by insurrectionists seeking to overturn a free and fair election and harm our elected leaders. This cannot be tolerated and must be addressed head-on.

Our nation at its best can and must be a nation that gives every American a voice in our government. Democracy reforms must play a key role as we work to build a nation that serves We The People, all The People. Great damage has been done to our democracy, and it has not yet lived up to its full promise.

We have learned important lessons about our democracy and the tough work we have to do to root out systemic racism and white supremacy. We have also learned about the power of wealthy special interests funding lies for profit and the outsize damage this can do to our democratic institutions. It is time for healing, accountability and intentionality as we build strength and resiliency into our democratic system so that the people’s voice is the ultimate source of government power.