One Month Later, Biden Has Won, What's next?
By Leon van der Deure
December 2nd, 2020
With the elections one month ago and the victory of Biden becoming more and more apparent. We have decided to take a look at what this victory means for the US, the upcoming four years, and the plans of President-elect Biden.
What will Biden do as a president?
As Biden moves into the White House and becomes the leader of the Free World, he is taking over a deeply divided country, tackling a deadly virus. He campaigned with a message of ‘unification,' but that could be difficult. The most pressing issue is Covid-19 and unlike his predecessor, he has pledged to listen to the scientists. His plan to combat Covid includes working with local leaders to acquire Americans to wear facemasks. He also wants to expand testing and make a vaccine free for everyone. The task of combatting Covid will be the biggest challenge he will face in the first period of his presidency when he is inaugurated in January.
President Biden also needs to pull the US out of an economic hole and drive a global recovery after the crisis. Hundreds of thousands of Americans can still not find a job due to the pandemic. Biden’s plan to invest government money into the economy has been compared to FDR’s New Deal policies during the depression. Biden has promised to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in the US industry, provide loans to small companies and reverse some of Donald Trump’s tax cuts, making wealthier Americans pay more. He has also shown support for a $15 national minimum wage, almost double what it is now.
That economic vision is tied up with his desire to put America back at the forefront of the fight against climate change. He says, “We can make sure that our economy is being run and moved and motivated by clean energy, creating millions of jobs.” Biden wants to spend two trillion dollars on clean energy, like solar and wind technologies. He has also set an ambitious target of net-zero carbon emissions in 2050. To top it all off, he wants the US to re-join the Paris Climate Accord, which Trump abandoned in support of the fossil fuel industry.
While Donald Trump carved a path as an outlier on the international stage, Joe Biden is more likely to embrace the institutions that Trump demonized, like NATO and the WHO. Biden also wants the US to once again be a player in the Iran nuclear deal alongside European allies. He will be a more internationally open president who will most likely speak out against dictators and would want a more close relationship with Europe once again.
Back on the home front, Biden will be judged heavily on the way he deals with racial tensions. He has already faced criticism for his record on race over the more than three decades he has served as a US senator. However, amidst national protests over police brutality and inherent racism, Biden promised that equality would be a top priority. He has promised to invest in and give loans to black and brown businesses, and increase access to affordable housing for minority communities.
Then of course there is the subject of Health Care. Many Americans struggle to pay for medical care and insurance plans are pricey. Donald Trump repeatedly tried to dismantle Obamacare and in doing so drastically reduced the number of people with medical insurance. Biden, on the other hand, wants to expand his old bosses program to cover more Americans. President Biden’s policies and his picks for cabinet will have to tread a careful line. Far enough to the left to please the Democrats’ increasingly liberal base, but at the same time, he cannot alienate the centrist voters that secured him this victory and risk losing a second term. Although, at 78, Biden becomes America’s oldest president and some are skeptical about him running again in 2024. The posibility that his vice president, Kamala Harris, takes over his place on the ticket, will become clear over the next four years!