As of the writing of this article the state of Nevada has been locked in an apparent stasis as the last state with an undeclared lead in Biden’s favor in the 2020 presidential election. If Nevada clinches this Democratic lead Biden will reach 270 electoral votes, change his title from former Vice-President to President-elect, and many people of this country (and, from what The Griffin’s recent poll indicates, much of this school) will breathe a sigh of relief as a 46th president of the United States is sworn in on Jan. 20, and not 45th-round-two.
But this has been a close election, and while media sources gave Biden an incredibly generous lead in their predictions, I’m not surprised about how tightly this vote has ridden on the razor’s edge. Biden isn’t a popular candidate, and many blue voters I know of are wary of his values, drive and advanced age. If the controversy surrounding the Iowa caucus was any indication, it’s plain that the establishment of the Democratic Party were desperately pulling for a centrist to represent them, and Biden is a perfect fit for that desire. It’s no secret that he’s ideologically flexible. Perhaps someone who can reach across both aisles at once is the perfect “electable” pick to beat Donald Trump.
So if his tag of electability pulls him through this, what does four years of Biden look like? And what will the Democratic Party do so that the four years prior never happen again?
If Democrats want people to rally behind them in the future, they would have to make a Biden presidency count. I’m not just talking about “damage control,” or “harm reduction,” but they will have to make things actually happen. One popular mockery of the Democratic Party is their wokeness; not that they endorse progressive and popular values, but that they pretend to, and wear the farce proud.
In July of last year, Vice-President nominee Kamala Harris tweeted “as president, I’ll establish a student loan program” — not for the wide swaths of people in crippling debt that pins them to a paycheck-to-paycheck life, but “for Pell Grant recipients who start a business that operates for three years in disadvantaged communities.”
The mayor of Los Angeles tweets that in “delivering assistance to the Angelenos facing hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Department of Transportation “will offer a $20 discount on parking citations paid within 48 hours.”
In a similar vein, in response to one of the greatest economic dips, public health crises and unemployment spike in American history, does Hillary Clinton espouse socialized medicine? Perhaps eviction immunities, or at the very least a greater social security net of any sort?
“It’s an easy call: Re-open the health care exchange.”
The country needs action if the damage Donald Trump has done to the people of this nation is going to be reversed. Despite what Senator Schumer will tout, action doesn’t mean passing suicide prevention acts in honor of a desperate veteran who stopped receiving unemployment assistance and couldn’t pay his mortgage. It means making sure people don’t lose their unemployment assistance at all. I think we all agree that “not a single patient should be forced to fight off medical bankruptcy in the midst of a global health pandemic,” but Joe Kennedy III finishes that sentence with “without a lawyer by their side” instead of swearing to abolish the conditions that require a legal battle at all.
Could Joe Biden fulfill that role if he’s elected? Will a centrist with fingers in two pies and a literal cop be able to do justice — not performative damage control, but justice — for the losses of life and shattered communities that American police continuously and (seemingly incurably) generate? Will a man who supported the Defense of Marriage Act really protect the rights of LGBTQ+ people more than he needs to in order to “stay woke?”
One of Biden’s most insistent points is that he’s not a socialist — he beat Sanders, after all — in order to ensure that he never gets scandalized in the never-ending Red Scare. In a Fox News town hall during this election cycle Bernie defended the necessity for a government-sponsored healthcare program to a room full of Fox News watchers and was met with applause.
If Sanders, a man whose voting and authorship are consistent, whose public persona and mental constitution stand up to Trump’s reliable “low-energy” attacks, and whose endorsement of action as drastic as Medicare for All can get the support of a room full of Fox News viewers, then is a centrist really what the Democratic Party needs to reach both sides in this election, or down the road in the next?