A Look Towards the Future

Anticipating the Biden-Harris Administration

Neither Biden nor Harris is more progressive than, say, Warren or Sanders. But they can be expected to exercise their power to help those less fortunate. They both want to make the nation greener, fairer and less corrupt.

buildbackbetter.gov via Wikimediacommons

Neither Biden nor Harris is more progressive than, say, Warren or Sanders. But they can be expected to exercise their power to help those less fortunate. They both want to make the nation greener, fairer and less corrupt.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election. We know that. We’ve had to hear about Republican efforts to undo the democratic will of the people, but on Jan. 20, the Biden/Harris ticket will take office. 

This was, without a doubt, one of the most important elections in American history — it determined whether the USA would still be able to call itself a democracy, and whether or not the U in the name would be a lie or not. Now that we know who will lead the nation for the next four years, let’s talk about them.

Joe Biden has more government experience than any president in history. He served in the Senate for 36 years, then was Vice President for eight. His extensive experience makes him better qualified than nearly anyone in the nation, and he is the right person for the task of uniting the nation — he’s a moderate. 

Biden has been wrong in the past: compromising with segregationists and standing against marriage equality are only two of his misdeeds. But he’s come around on these issues, and he and the nation are better for it.

Joe Biden is very much an “establishment” kind of person — a characterization based on his long tenure in government and his moderate views throughout that time — and the progressiveness of policies shouldn’t ruffle any feathers among anyone on the right. Shouldn’t, not won’t. Those who smear him as far to the left miss the mark, because he is against Medicare For All and doesn’t support free public college. 

Biden’s presidency, for better or for worse, will be defined by his reaction to the man who precedes him.”

It will require the rest of the party to push him to make the right choices. He pledges unity, but it is important that he understand the popularity of progressive policies, and, more importantly, their urgency. It is unlikely he will run for a second term anyway, so he should avoid worrying about political expediency and should work on moving the nation forward. 

Unity is good and all, but it doesn’t mean anything if we’re stuck in the past. There are many conservatives in government, and by definition, they want things to stay the same (some even want to move backward). If anything, I worry Biden will bend too much to what Republicans want, even if Democrats have a majority in the Senate. 

Kamala Harris is a former Attorney General and is about to preside over the Senate she currently serves in. While she won’t be as active in legislation as the party leaders in the Senate (like Mitch McConnell), she might have to break ties and will likely play a key role in forming majorities to pass bills. She is experienced, smart and capable. Harris is somewhat to the left of Biden, which is good considering he is pretty close to the middle. 

Harris also left behind some of her positions to join him, which is to be expected, but I am hopeful that she will advise him from a more progressive viewpoint to push him to the left in the way I mentioned earlier, because he will not budge without pressure. She has a greater understanding of the need for urgent action on climate change, for example, and this is an issue that cannot be put off any longer. I am grateful she is in office.

Biden has run for president several times in the past. In 2008, though he lost in the primary, Barack Obama selected him as Vice President, and they went on to win two terms. Maybe his experience with Obama is why he picked Kamala Harris, his former opponent, as his running mate. 

Her campaign was positioned well when it started, but amid criticism over her record as a prosecutor, she lost support and had to withdraw. Together, these experienced government officials won more votes than any candidates in history. Also, as a funny twist, they won with the same Electoral College numbers as the soon-to-be former president, which he had called a “landslide” in 2016.

No, I don’t mean to gloat. I won’t be flying a Biden flag or anything like that. Honestly, I preferred other candidates in the primary. But he was the best choice this November. And after these last four years, he has his work cut out for him. He knows world leaders and he’ll have a lot of buttering up to do to smooth over the bumps created by the man who wanted to leave the World Health Organization, abandon our Kurdish allies and pull out of the Paris Agreement. 

The fact is that Biden knows what his job is. He won’t be out golfing during an international summit. He won’t let hundreds of thousands of Americans die out of carelessness, as we see the current president doing through his mishandling of the pandemic. He won’t applaud a nation after they assassinate a journalist. He won’t say he “fell in love” with a ruthless dictator. His presidency, for better or for worse, will be defined by his reaction to the man who precedes him. Both Biden and Harris can be trusted to attend intelligence briefings and to make tough decisions.

This election, America showed that it would not put up with a tyrant. Most students at Beachwood were not old enough to vote in the election, and with nearly every student reaching 18 over the course of the next four years, being just on the cusp of voting can seem agonizing. ”

This election, America showed that it would not put up with a tyrant. Most students at Beachwood were not old enough to vote in the election, and with nearly every student reaching 18 over the course of the next four years, being just on the cusp of voting can seem agonizing. This may lead young people to a sense of frustration and voicelessness. Fortunately, enough voters spread out across the necessary states voted rationally. But we will still be worried about this not happening next time. 

Our future is at stake. The Biden/Harris ticket vowed to take action against climate change as they campaigned against an administration that has denied climate change and has actively reversed policies designed to combat it. The seriousness of this issue is not lost on young people, who realize that the planet will not be hospitable if we don’t protect it from ourselves. But Republicans deny the science and put profit over the planet. Our generation won’t be able to prosper without climate security, and that is a big part of why Biden and Harris were deserving of their victory.

Neither Biden nor Harris is more progressive than, say, Warren or Sanders. But they can be expected to exercise their power to help those less fortunate. They both want to make the nation greener, fairer and less corrupt. And while I may disagree with them on how rapidly these things should be done, I at least agree that it should happen sooner rather than later. So I look forward to their tenure and hope they can do what they set out to do. 

They’ll be better than the guy we put up with for the last four years.

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