Wednesday during PBS’s coverage of now-President Joe Biden’s inauguration, New York Times columnist David Brooks was moved to tears over the transfer of power.
Brooks described himself as “depressed” earlier in the day seeing the walls the United States had built up and thinking about how “broken” the country has been. However, he said he now finds himself “strangely moved and uplifted” leading up to Biden’s presidency.
“You know, I took the short walk over to the Capitol from my house, which is not too far away. And this morning, I was depressed. You see the walls. You see the National Guard patrolling my neighborhood, helicopters over my head, and you think we’ve done a really good job of building walls. And we could be a broken country that is almost unrecoverable,” an emotional Brooks said. “Now, as I look at these faces, I must say I’m moved almost to tears by a lot of people with different political views. … But there are good people there, standing there talking; they’re wanting to run this country well. And this is opening day, and so now I find myself strangely moved and uplifted, compared to where I was about two hours ago.”
PBS anchor Judy Woodruff then consoled Brooks by telling him it is “OK to shed some tears” in this moment.
“I think it’s OK to shed some tears, David Brooks,” she stated. “There is just a lot to be both very sad about because of so much that’s been lost in this country and continues to be lost. But also a time to experience joy because of, as you say, the good people we are seeing who will be taking responsibility for so many decisions that affect 340 million Americans and indeed people around the world who look to the United States as a beacon of hope and a beacon democracy.”
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