Many see the 2020 election as a referendum on President Donald Trump and his presidency. This is a fair assessment considering how controversial and divisive of a president he has been. Opponents see Trump as a failed leader with poor character and a threat to democracy, while his base remains fiercely loyal to him.
Aside from the lack of respect and dignity in the Oval Office over the past four years, there have been numerous detrimental, regressive policies implemented. The president pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement on climate change and instituted a Muslim ban, and is rolling back climate regulations, attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act (which provides health care coverage for tens of millions of Americans), separating families at the U.S-Mexican border and failing to lead an adequate response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Early voting and mail-in voting numbers are at their highest rates of all time, and the electorate is highly motivated on both sides of the coin. The votes cast for former Vice President Joe Biden are largely seen as votes against Trump. However, they should also be seen as votes for Biden’s America.
It is clear that Biden is ready to both bring the country together and create positive, progressive change for the United States. He has a history of bipartisan leadership in the Senate, which may help calm political tensions, and a steady and caring temperament that can unite the country.
Biden will also bring some of the most progressive policies our country has seen to the table. This includes tackling the climate crisis the clock is ticking on, according to scientists. Biden said he will propose a $2 trillion investment in clean energy, re-enter the Paris Agreement and strengthen the environmental regulations that Trump has rolled back.
Biden has also said he will work to close the ever widening wealth gap in the U.S. Additionally, he said he will expand housing vouchers for low-income families, triple federal spending for low-income school districts and make public universities free for students from all families earning less than $125,000 per year. These policies, which can be paid for by ensuring large corporations pay their fair share, will help begin to reverse the economic oppression marginalized groups have faced throughout this country’s existence.
Biden has also said he will follow through on multiple issues Trump wanted to address but did not have the leadership or strategy to do so. One of these is a $1.3 trillion infrastructure plan to improve roads, bridges, highways, airports and railroads. This investment will create millions of jobs. Trump has also claimed he would “fix” health care for the past four years. A Biden presidency will expand the Affordable Care Act to ensure more Americans get the health care they need and create a public option to reduce costs and hold insurance companies accountable.
There may be skepticism about Biden’s ability to accomplish some of these ambitious policy goals, possibly because he has been in the political world for so long or due to his age and reputation as a centrist. However, these reasons may be exactly why the Biden presidency has the potential to be so impactful.
His past relationships with current congressional leaders and his reputation as a moderate give him a better chance to pass progressive policies and ensure the country is comfortable with them. Furthermore, Biden’s age suggests that he will voluntarily be a one-term president. This gives him the freedom to pursue policies he feels are beneficial and not worry about potential political fallout that would affect his re-election.
This election is certainly an evaluation of Trump, but those rebuking him in the polls should also be looking forward to the potential for Biden’s presidency. It will be a vast contrast from Trump’s and will move the country forward.