Biden-Harris inauguration gets mixed reaction

There has been a mixed reaction among Americans resident in Samoa to the inauguration of the U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

President Biden was sworn in as America’s 46th President early Thursday morning with Vice President Kamala creating history by becoming the first Asian and Black American woman to hold the nation’s second highest office.

Samoa Observer posted a question in the Apia Expats Facebook group on Thursday, asking Samoa-based Americans for their thoughts on Thursday morning’s historical inauguration in Washington D.C.

A woman Suzanne Fereti said Mr Biden is the “worst President”, five hours after the end of the inauguration, while Kiri Beth says his elevation to America’s highest political office was “a collective sigh of relief.”

“I’ve been back stateside for a few months but this was a collective sigh of relief for most of America,” said Ms Beth.

However, another woman, Charmaine Johnston accused the Samoa Observer of “praising” the new U.S. President and went on to make false QAnon conspiracy theories surrounding pedophilia claims. 

“(Trump) gave me hope after eight years of doom and gloom by a President [Barack Obama] who hated this country and now we are back to the doom and gloom,” she posted in response to the Samoa Observer question.

“This same guy ran for President twice before and had to drop out because he plagiarized his speeches.

“The third time, we half the time he didn’t know where he was, spent all year in his basement but yeah, miraculously won.”

Tupuola P. Langford said he agreed with Ms Johnston’s sentiments, while Stephen Merritt said he cannot support a Biden Administration as they are “anti-Bible” and don’t subscribe to Christian ethics.

“No way I can back this Administration, his and the Democratic Party’s policy is extremely anti-Bible and does not line up with Christian ethics. 

“I’m sorry but if you’re a Christian and you support this Administration, you may need to reexamine the policy of the Democratic Party.”

Mr Merritt said his position ultimately came down to a “spiritual judgment call” based on what he knows, though he will pray for them, but will not support their policy.

Mr Biden’s predecessor Donald Trump, according to Mr Merritt, “may not be a Christian to our standards, but the policy he promoted and supported lined up with the ideology of ‘One Nation Under God’.”

“I voted for the policy, not necessarily the man,” added Mr Merritt, who also apologised to Lupe Avea for “coming across as judgmental.”

Avea then responded to Mr Merritt, saying: “Do not judge. You of all people should be supporting this new Administration with a positive attitude. They need Christian leaders like you to uplift them in your prayers regardless.”

Kylie Stephen Fauchelle then added: “[I am] pretty sure the last guy wasn’t a Christian either.”

However, Serge Zenisek said he is glad the Trump era is over, having watched the disgraced President’s State of the Union address in 2017.

“Almost four years ago, I watched Trump’s first State of the Union on the lobby TV in Aggie Grey’s, I’m glad it’s over,” he said.

And there were others who could not be bothered, such as Robert Bell, who said both Mr Biden and his predecessor did not meet up the mark.

“I was one of the majority who didn't vote – Biden is scary (and) Trump is reckless – I withdraw deeply into the world of ‘thank God politicians have so little to do with our real lives (if you ignore them),” Mr Bell wrote. “I am deeply suspicious…I console myself that there's never been an easier time to be alive, so they say.

“And ever since the Greeks, every voter has always thought the vote was useless and the world was worse than a generation ago!”

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