Well Joe Biden, Where’s the Plan for Unity?
From the moment he announced his desire to run for President through a video in which he discussed how he felt we were engaged in a battle for the soul of the nation, Joe Biden’s campaign has revolved almost entirely around platitudes and empty words. Words that have been designed to spark a sense of nostalgia, and longing for an end to the turbulent Trump era. Unfortunately but unsurprisingly, the platitudes and calls for unity and healing have not particularly changed even after he has been elected. Which begs the question, how does Joe Biden actually plan to unify and heal this nation?
In a tweet virtually identical to countless others, Biden’s Twitter posted:
“Let’s begin the work to heal and unite America and the world.”
In a quote response, another Twitter user wrote:
“You stole the election. We will unite with you the way you united with us for four years.”
So, Joe Biden, how exactly are we going to unite with people who don’t even acknowledge your electoral win and right to govern? After years of calling the other side dangerous, a threat to Democracy, and chastising anyone on the left who dared to criticize Democrats as secretly supporting Trump and his fascism, how are liberals really going to expect we just put everything aside, ignore it all, and unite? How are you going to deal with people who see your occupancy among halls of power as illegitimate? When over 93% of the Republican base voted for Donald Trump, does Joe Biden really think their lawmakers are going to come crawling to work with him?
Once again, unfortunately but unsurprisingly, the answer appears to be yes.
For over a year, all we have heard from the Biden team is calls to come together and put this moment behind us. Well, what does the President-Elect have in mind in order to achieve that goal now? How does Joe Biden actually plan to address the various factors that led to Donald Trump’s rise?
The thing is, putting these last four years behind us and healing — while it certainly won’t be easy — is actually possible. Having said that, possible and actually taking the actions required in order to achieve it are two entirely different things.
If Joe Biden was actually interested in uniting, his top priority would be to improve the material conditions of working people. His priority would be to transition to a government run healthcare plan like Medicare for All — which is supported by the overwhelming majority of voting Americans overall — so that they would not have to worry about healthcare costs, especially in the middle of a pandemic. If he wanted to calm down tensions he would seriously consider abolishing all student loan debt and pay for it by decreasing Military spending and taxing the top 1%, alleviating tremendous financial burden and stimulating the economy by doing so. He would face the acceleration of automation in the wake of the pandemic head on, and work to establish a universal basic income to help ease the strain on workers in a changing economy.
When you plow ahead and ignore Republican smears, and implement policies that positively affect the stability of the lives of working people across the country, and ease the stress of people who are living paycheck to paycheck, the “socialist” label Democrats are so afraid of really doesn’t mean anything. If Joe Biden genuinely wants unity, actually making your case to the American people and being unapologetic in your efforts to improve their material condition seems like a pretty good place to start.
I have long given up hope that Biden will realize it, but platitudes and calls for a return to decency are not enough. His presence in the White House alone is not going to heal a nation that was on the verge of an autocratic breakthrough if he vehemently refuses to address anything that led us to that moment. Appealing to identity politics in cabinet picks is not going to satisfy a nation that is growing increasingly desperate. The election of Joe Biden is quite literally the reinstallation of everything that brought us to Trump, from the Regan years to Clinton and right on through.
I cannot even begin to describe how much I wish Joe Biden and the liberals who voted for him would address those concerns, but I’m not holding my breath.