Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took the oath of office and celebrated the rituals of our democracy today against the stark backdrop of a National Mall filled with flags and ringed by soldiers — but devoid of people — due to the pandemic and threats of right-wing terror.

I took a minute to meditate on the nature of change with Sam Cooke. I hope you will too.

There is no need to remind anyone that Joe Biden faces monumental challenges: out of control Covid, profound economic distress, accelerating climate change, and an unpredictable new fusion of right-wing media and a paranoid, disinformation fueled personality cult.

Yet we need Joe Biden to succeed in rolling back the outrages of the Trump years and he started on day one: cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline, stopping oil drilling in the Arctic, starting the process to rejoin the Paris Climate Accords, extending loan and mortgage moratoriums to debt distressed people and businesses and a lot more. On the legislative front he submitted an apparently well-designed immigration reform package to Congress.

Donald Trump ran amok in America, seeking to bring out the worst in us. We don’t want him or his movement back. Everyone of us needs to find a place in the struggle ahead.

We don’t have to be fans of Joe Biden to want him to succeed in the work of healing our nation and engaging productively with friends and adversaries alike, around the world.

How we get from here to where we need to go is never an easy question. And we should not expect Joe Biden to do anything we are not willing to fight for. The main lesson from the last time a Democrat was in the White House is that we must stay active, deepen our involvement, remain critical, and help become the change we want to see.

Together, we will figure this out and together, we will get to the other side.