In the still-unfolding, still-unfinished aftermath of the bitterly disputed US Presidential Election of 2020, it seems like only yesterday – because it was only yesterday – that the United States of America was reportedly teetering on the brink of turmoil on the streets. Turmoil that would be at least a nuisance and, perhaps, far worse, internecine. The nation had also seemed to be in peril of the state meting out repression upon those who manifested their heterodox belief in a theory opposed to the alternative theory in which believe those who now have the upper hand politically.
Today, President Biden spoke fine words of peace, unity and reconciliation in his Inauguration Speech. This is welcome, but we’ve already seen how he is capable of that in one breath and saber-rattling in the next. (In fact, he did it today.) Biden’s sincerity will be tested. Actions speak louder than words and sometimes contradict the actor’s words, or tell us which mutually contradictory sayings of the actor to believe and which to put down to empty, schmaltzy virtue-signaling.
It wasn’t a promising sign that Biden characterised his inauguration as a “victory for democracy”, knowing that tens of millions in the USA still consider it to have been a defeat for democracy and many more than that all around the world don’t know what to make of it.
A real victory for democracy would bring peace. But that peace would be at a heavy price for a politician, an unfashionable curiosity as to the truth in a post-truth world. For democracy to win and unanimously to be seen to have won, experts in probability and statistics must first do some data collection and analysis that the new Administration has ordered to be done. Both Biden and Trump alike will have to agree to follow the science, whether it brings good news or bad for their political ambitions.
No science, no peace. Or at best precious little peace, because any peace will be founded on ignorance and fear, not truth and respect.