Online response to Biden swearing-in video overwhelmingly negative after comments enabled

The comments section and overall responses to a video of President Joe Biden’s virtual swearing-in ceremony posted to YouTube on Thursday were overwhelmingly negative, a potential indicator of just how difficult it may be for him to unite a bitterly divided country.

According to The Daily Wire, which posted a screenshot of the video page in a report on the president’s first full day in office, the comments section appears to have been initially disabled for the video, though YouTube users could still respond with “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.”

As of Friday, however, BizPac Review noted that comments for the video were enabled, and nearly 1,000 people had commented or reacted, most of which were negative.

For example, there were five times as many “thumbs down” responses than “thumbs up.”

And comments were mostly critical.

“When he says, ‘I really believe it,’ is he trying to convince himself or us? When he says, ‘I’m not joking,’ did he think it would sound like he was?” one user wrote. “The only disrespect of the last four years came from the news media, not Donald Trump.”

“Say Hi before they silence your comments… welcome to 1984. The purge is underway,” wrote another in an apparent reference to author George Orwell’s 1940s-era classic about a big-government dystopian future.

“One thing we know about this president, don’t ever play poker with him – guarantee he has the deck rigged. I live in Britain and I feel cheated,” said another user.

“What a putz. Anyone that still believes this charade is a fool,” still another remarked.

“I really am still in shock that they got away with this and not one soul was arrested. Disgusting,” said another. “No-one takes you serious buddy!”

Reaction to the video appears to be in contrast with polling data released this week as Biden took the oath of office and former President Donald Trump and his family returned to Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

A Gallup survey released Tuesday found that Biden has a favorability rating of 57 percent, while 68 percent of those surveyed said they approved of his handling of the transition — though there was a significant partisan divide. Only 27 percent of Republicans approved of his transition compared to 96 percent of Democrats and 71 percent of independents.

“By comparison,” Gallup said, Trump “had a 40-percent favorable rating right before taking office.”

Politico noted that Biden’s 57-percent favorability rating was below that of President Barack Obama’s 60-plus percent following his first inauguration in January 2009.

The outlet went on to claim that Biden’s rating “is still easily outpacing Trump, whose poll numbers increased only slightly after winning the 2016 election and tumbled soon after taking office as a result of his combative style and unpopular policies.”

That said, Politico also noted there is a significant partisan divide regarding Biden’s favorability rating.

And that divide, along with what appears to be an overwhelmingly critical reaction to Biden’s post-inaugural video, combine to demonstrate just how challenging it will be for the new president to bring together a country separated by a Grand Canyon-sized chasm when it comes to political, cultural, and social issues.

And while Biden has repeatedly said he seeks to bring unity to the country, some Democrats in Congress, as well as former Obama officials and left-leaning pundits in the media, have likened the more than 74 million Americans who voted for President Trump to terrorists.

In an interview with MSNBC where he is a contributor, Obama-era CIA Director John Brennan seemed to suggest members of the Trump administration and congressional Republicans were threats to domestic security.

And former Obama Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes has linked the Capitol Building riot to all supporters of Trump, suggesting it will take “years” for a “detox” of “lies” and “hate” from the right and “Libertarians.”

Fox News host Tucker Carlson remarked this week that he believes Democrats, in general, are attempting to paint all of the former president’s supporters as domestic terrorists.

“The leaders of the Democrat Party have now decided that 74 million Trump voters weren’t just wrong or misguided. They didn’t simply back the wrong guy or have incorrect opinions or fail to see the obvious truths,” he explained.

“No, the threat they pose is graver and more serious than that, more dangerous. These 74 million Trump voters are in fact, terrorists. They’re a looming physical threat to the rest of us, and we must deal with them in the way that you deal with threats like that,” he added.

Jon Dougherty

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