President-elect Biden must unify nation

Biden’s presidency draws high expectations from the U.S. and the world

Kate Federer, Staff Columnist

Over 79 million Americans got what they wanted out of the 2020 election: a Joe Biden presidency. However, while the votes they cast may have had a black bubble next to Joseph R. Biden, many feel that that bubble was really next to “an administration that’s not Trump’s.” This election year turned many of the party norms on their heads and altered the long-standing beliefs of many staunch Republicans and made those who would prefer a president that is further left “settle for Biden.” This criterion for Biden’s voters that are not his exact makeup (moderates) means that there is a lot he and Kamala Harris are going to have to do to keep these voters in his favor and actually deliver in this upcoming term. While Biden has expressed that he does not wish to be a two-term president, whether or not he pleases the base that supported his policy endeavors will indicate what legacy he is bound to leave.

We are entering a new era of politics that has not been present since 2016: one of not always focusing on Donald Trump. During that presidency, it seemed that the Left was hyper-critical of Trump’s outlandish tweets, backward policy proposals, and seemingly unattainable goals. The Right, on the other hand, was overly defensive of his behavior and decisions. Now that there won’t be a president as unusual and divisive as Trump, there is a chance that both sides will now be wary of Biden’s choices. He does not have the cult following that number 45 had, and is lacking strong support from his voters. He will make both Republicans and Democrats nervous for the outcome of his presidential tenure. Those that were Red “never-Trumpers” will be watching for moderate policies and maintenance of a capitalistic agenda. Many blue voters, and quite frankly, settlers, will desire for Biden to lean further left and resemble the more progressive policies of those who lost in the primaries, like Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang. 

 Those that were Red “never-Trumpers” will be watching for moderate policies and maintenance of a capitalistic agenda.”

Not only will every day Americans need to keep Biden’s administration accountable for following through in his promises, but the media especially will, as many news outlets have given in to the drama and profitability of politics in the last term. For the extent of Trump’s term, much of the left-wing reporting was often swayed to discourage the reelection of Trump toward the end of his term. It was not always to apply pressure on him to enact more beneficial policies. The Fourth Estate had a field day uncovering his scandals, but not ensuring that he fix what was damaging the American people. What needs to be done with this administration is covering the president like you would a democratic leader, not a reality TV star. Elected officials are not to be reported on based on their absurdity, but on their integrity in the office and their actual abilities to make a national and international change from the democratic throne they sit on. For example, the State of the Union should no longer be critiqued on whether or not the president was respectful or not. That should already be a given. Now, we must watch these checkpoints closely to make sure that Biden’s ambitions are actually fulfilled. Has his climate plan been initiated in the first one hundred days? Has a new tax bill that only raises taxes on earners of 400K or more been drafted? Is he reflecting on his and his administrations’s own progress rather than exclaiming how much better he is than the former administration the whole time?

The nation has become gradually more progressive since Trump has been in office, as he is an extreme example of conservatism gone-wrong. Whether Biden takes the cues of this desired progressivism and recognizes that many of those who vote Blue have shied away from moderation and wish to resemble more of a European system, will be watched over. He will be the oldest president in U.S. history, and he needs to set precedents of policies and examples of decision making that give young candidates an actual starting point for the next term. On the other hand, he has the power to sway many of those who considered themselves “fiscally conservative, socially liberal Republicans” to lean more moderately so that those two “sides” can actually overlap in the future. 

This current political atmosphere is not outraged over social media posts or unheard of threats, like defunding the postal service, but about actual policies enacted in the executive and legislative branches. At this point, the saving of the reputation of the United State’s global reputation, as well as its domestic social and economic political needs is on the line. I hate to be cheesy, but history has its eyes on this next administration, and Trump’s removal from office will not mean that everything will just become okay.