Insurrections, Impeachments, and Inaugurations

President Joseph R. Biden was sworn into office on Wednesday January 20th, one week after former-President Trump's 2nd impeachment and two weeks after the capitol insurrection.

President Joseph R. Biden was sworn into office on Wednesday January 20th, one week after former-President Trump’s 2nd impeachment and two weeks after the capitol insurrection.

Cynthia Schneider, Research Editor

In the wake of a new year in politics, an insurrection, an impeachment, and an inauguration all occurred within weeks of one another. In this rapid display of how democracy is at risk but continues to prevail, America watched as Washington worked to remain calm during one of the biggest attacks against the capitol and democracy itself. It was such an eye-opening experience to see how easily these insurrectionists got into the capitol and it begs the question: How fragile is democracy and have we taken it for granted?

Here are some important terms to know. According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, these are the definitions for the following terms:


Insurrection – The act of revolting against civil authority or an established government.


Riot – a tumultuous disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons assembled together and acting with a common intent.


Sedition –  incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority.


Coup or Coup d’étatthe violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group.


Impeachment – to charge (a public official) before a competent tribunal with misconduct in office.


On January 6th, rioters and insurrectionists stormed the US Capitol building demanding to “Stop the Steal”, a slogan used by some right-wing and Trump-supporting citizens to undermine the validity of the 2020 US Election which resulted in Joe Biden winning the presidency and marking the end of Trump’s term as president. During the insurrection, many rioters were waving one of the many flags associated with Trump’s supporters such as Trump 2020, Confederate Flag, and Don’t Tread on Me flags. In lieu of the news that Joe Biden would become the next president, Trump insisted that the win was unwarranted and stolen because of “rampant voter fraud” later proven to be false, and some Trump supporters who have followed Trump’s social media activity and speeches have seen incitements of protests against the government because of this “fraudulent election”. Trump even tweeted “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th,” leading many to believe he incited this insurrection or an act of sedition at the hands of the many right-wing rioters and insurrectionists at the Capitol on that Wednesday. Seeing how easily these people were able to enter the Capitol building, force Congress to stop while in session, and cause a riot in one of the major foundational locations in the US government to be invaded, we can see how delicate democracy and power really are. People in this country do have the power to overthrow their government by law and make changes within their government, and it is important to treat that role with importance as we see new developments in our politics every day.


On January 13th, President Donald Trump was impeached once again, but this time on the count of inciting an insurrection. Republican leaders agreed to this charge because they want to possibly rid Trump’s influence on the party, and the Democratic party wanted to hold Trump and the insurrectionists accountable for what they did to the Capitol on January 6th.


On January 20th President Joe Biden was sworn into office emphasizing unity, the importance of democracy, and the current issues in America regarding COVID-19, racial tensions, unemployment, the environment, unity, divided party lines, and most timely, the recent insurrection at the Capitol and what that means going forward as a nation together. This moment saw a shift in power party-wise, but Biden and Harris both preach words of bipartisan compromise and discussion during their term and we will only see what is next for America and how their influence, as well as the newly democratic majority Senate (and democratic majority House of Representatives), will affect the political state of the country as we tackle COVID-19 and a divided country.

Biden has listed his goals for his first 100 days in office and here are some notable general goals:

  • Containing the pandemic which is now predicted to have as many as 700,000 deaths total before it can be stopped (focus on vaccines and vaccine distribution)
  • Reverse Trump’s immigration policies
  • Reverse Trump’s policies on the environment and government environmental regulations for companies (Keystone pipeline permit specifically revoked)
  • Stimulus plan/stimulus checks
  • Proposing ideas and policies to aid communities, which correlate with some of the problems brought to light by the Black Lives Matter movement