Inauguration Day proves peaceful reprieve from post-election chaos

In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. In what could be the longest of legal longshots, several of those arrested for storming the U.S. Capitol are holding out hope that President Donald Trump will use some of his last hours in office to grant all the rioters a full and complete pardon. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

By Emily Cousins | Staff Writer

The road to Inauguration Day was a challenge. Claims of election fraud, legal challenges to the election, the flip of partisan control in the Senate and an insurrection on Capitol Hill eventually led to a successful transfer of power.

After days of counting, Joe Biden was projected to the next president of the United States by the Associated Press on Nov. 7.

Even before Election Day came, former President Donald Trump set the stage to claim election fraud if he lost. His team pursued 62 election lawsuits, all of which failed except one involving first-time voter ID, which was later overturned by the Supreme Court.

The Department of Homeland Security even released a statement, reassuring the public that the election was not fraudulent.

“The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result,” the statement said.

Ballot recounts were done in many states such as Wisconsin and Georgia, and every time Biden came out victorious.

The states that were recounting felt pressure from Republican leaders to exclude votes. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was one of the people encouraging Raffensperger to change the outcome of the election.

Georgia’s state runoff was the Democrats’ chance to take control of the Senate. Both Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock beat their Republican counterparts and were sworn in a few hours after the inauguration on Wednesday.

The Democrats now have control of the executive and legislative branches of the government, making a clear path for Biden’s administration and their goals.

The impending shift of power to a new president and party inspired a presidential rally where Trump gave a speech to protesters on Jan. 6. Many of the protesters came to the Capitol to take a stand against the election of Biden. They stormed the Capitol building, threatening to kill politicians and steal electoral ballots. Five people died as a result of the riot.

“I do think that what Donald Trump has come to represent on the American political landscape — as the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol made plain for all to see — is the aspiration for an altogether different political order, or regime,” said Dr. Dwight Allman, associate professor of political science.

This led to the second impeachment of Trump, which was backed by 10 Republicans in the House of Representatives. Up next will be the Senate trial.

Then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the protesters were “provoked by the president.” This could mean some Republican senators may join Democrats on the vote to convict Trump.

Because of the attempted coup on Capitol Hill, security in Washington D.C. on Inauguration Day was strict, keeping the inauguration safe and orderly.

Dr. James Curry, Baylor professor and director of the Washington Internship Program and the Bob Bullock professor of public policy and administration, said even after the difficult journey to Inauguration Day, the nation is moving forward.

“Admittedly, there were numerous bumps in the road along the way, but today we are watching members of both parties participating in an orderly transfer of power,” Curry said. “The outgoing president did all he could to derail the process and failed.”