It happened again. Every four years the United States swears in a new president. The president is the leader of the executive branch of our government.
For those who are not familiar with our form of government we have three equal governmental branches.
The executive branch carries out the laws of the federal government. It is composed of the president, vice-president, and cabinet members. It also serves as the ceremonial portion of the government by meeting with dignitaries of other governments and appointing ambassadors to those other countries. The ambassadors work to keep friendly relationships with the other governments. The president is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
Contrary to what some believe the president cannot make laws, decide how federal funds can be spent, or declare war.
The legislative branch consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Together they make up our Congress. Congress makes our laws. They vote upon appointees to other governmental positions such as federal judges and Supreme Court Justices, cabinet members, and heads of federal agencies. Congress is the body who can declare war. They decide what funds are spent and how they are spent.
The judicial branch of the United States interprets the laws as they apply to the Constitution of the United States. It consists of the Supreme Court, appellate courts, and federal judges. They settle legal disputes, protect individual rights, and punish violators of the law.
Supreme Court Justices are appointed for life and are not elected. Congress members are elected by citizens of the states they represent. The president is elected by citizens of the United States.
All of them work for us and we pay their salaries.
This year the inauguration was different from any I have seen.
Because of COVID-19 the large crowds usually present had to be 'socially distanced'. Much of the pomp and circumstance was not present. Usually there are parades, speeches, balls, and parties. They are not needed but they do add festivity to the ceremony.
Sadly two weeks before the inauguration there was an armed insurrection. For the first time the halls of congress were invaded by people trying to violently take over our government. Five people died. It was surprising there were not more.
More than 100 people have already been arrested and more are being sought. It broke the hearts of Americans to see this happen. It was an embarrassment around the world. And those fools thought they could actually interrupt the peaceful transfer of power.
At noon on January 20, 2021, as mandated by our Constitution our new president took the oath of office. Those who were there in person were spaced at the distances recommended by scientists to try to prevent COVID spread. Washington DC was filled with armed troops to prevent any more violence.
So we have a new president and vice-president. President Biden is the oldest person ever elected to the position. He was a member of congress for many years before being elected to serve as President Obama's vice-president. Vice-president Harris is the first female to hold the office. She is also the first black woman and of Asian heritage to serve in the office.
They will lead the executive branch for four years. Then we will have another election. They may or may not be chosen to serve for another four years. No mater who is chosen maybe we can have the celebrations they should have had.
Then we will start over --- again.