President Joe Biden needs to implement fundamental changes during his presidency, shift towards progressiveness

Abby Pikett, Editor-in-Chief

The long-awaited inauguration of Joe Biden, the 46th President of the United States, was met with celebrations in the street from his supporters and voters, while thousands of Trump supporters were disappointed with the loss of their previous president. On both sides of the aisle, it is obvious that Biden has an enormous load of work to do in order to stabilize and rehabilitate the country that chose him. 

Because of the heavy influence of Republicans in the government, it would be astounding to see a shift in Biden’s administration and the Democratic Party towards progressive ideals and policies, despite the party’s overall solid commitment to centrist politics over the past few decades. Biden needs to spur real change in the United States and prove to his voters that he was the best Democratic candidate for the job while balancing his compromises enough to shift the Democratic Party away from the center that prevailed before Donald Trump’s presidency.

Due to the controversy of Trump’s presidency since 2016, many Americans were simply relieved that he was finally out of office, but relief with no continued political action from citizens is not enough. Of course, it is completely fine to feel relieved and even joyous that Biden won, but Americans must demand economic and societal change and reform from Biden during the next four years. They can not simply sit back and watch what happens. 

Fortunately, Biden got to work the day he was inaugurated, taking actions such as rejoining the Paris Agreement, an international treaty on climate change. Despite it being mostly non-binding, it’s still a step forward to combat climate change. Biden also rejoined the World Health Organization and rescinded Trump’s Executive Order 13769, more commonly known as the “Muslim Ban,” a travel ban which was intended to screen out “radical Islamic terrorists.” While all of these actions are inherently good and helpful, Biden must still respond to the demands of the people with actions that will be long-lasting and send a message of progress. If Biden wants to create a lasting impact on America and be known for more than just the candidate that was not Trump, then he needs to create policies that will go down in history as being the most progressive yet. Simply revoking harmful policies from the previous administration is not progressive enough. Biden must also follow through with installing more permanent policies on issues such as healthcare and wages.

Although Biden has boasted that he was “the guy who ran against the socialists,” it would be in the country’s best interest if he adopted more socialist policies. For example, universal healthcare would be happily welcomed by the working class of America, especially during a pandemic. Biden’s plan to make healthcare more affordable and less complicated is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough. Healthcare should be free and ensured to every American so they never have to watch a family member die simply because they could not afford the necessary care or medicine.

Continuing along the lines of progressive policies, increasing the minimum wage would be a massive step forward so citizens can earn a living wage, thus decreasing the number of people living below the poverty line in the United States. Along with this, tax reform is needed to ensure unreasonably wealthy companies like Amazon are taxed more proportionately. A steeply graduated income tax on the super rich would ensure that they are contributing their fair share, as well as take pressure off the working class. 

Although these goals may seem rather ambitious, it is important that Biden strives towards progressiveness so the Democratic Party can experience a shift from the center that it has been sitting at comfortably for the past few decades. Americans need to think deeply about the changes they want to see from Biden, especially after the events of last year, and they must demand to see progress. 

Sticking to the moderate center of the Democratic party is a tactic that has helped numerous Democratic nominees get elected in the past, but centrism has created a divide in the Democratic Party. Since centrists tend to cave into Republican interests, many Democrats have grown to resent the party’s ideals. On the other hand, progressive candidates are electable because progressive policies have become more popular in recent years, especially among younger voters who struggle with student debt and healthcare costs. The divide among the Democratic Party will only grow bigger if Biden fails to open his mind to such progressive policies. 

During Biden’s campaign, it seemed to be enough for many Americans that he simply was not Trump. During these unparalleled times in America, where hate thrives and the super rich live without consequences while average Americans are dying from disease and violence, progress is needed now more than ever, and Biden needs to step up and provide it before the situations in this country only grow more intolerable.