Op-Ed: Complacency Is Harmful Under Biden Administration


President-elect Joe Biden and Vice Preisdnet-elect Kamala Harris during a 2019 campaign rally. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Kolja Westhues, Journalist

The past four years have been egregious for progressive America. President Donald Trump has pushed the status quo of American politics even further right. 

With this, I have seen a lot of celebration now that Trump will not serve for a second term. While that excitement is justified, I have also seen a lot of people acting as if President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory means that they don’t have to care about politics anymore, which is not the case.

This is an incredibly flawed point of view. While Biden is certainly an improvement from Trump, he is still a puppet of bourgeois American politics.

Since his victory, Biden has made clear that his climate change policy will not be as drastic as promised during his campaign. In fact, he has even warmed up to oil billionaires who profit off of industries that destroy the environment. 

Corporate America never cared who won the White House, as both Biden and Trump serve its interests. Oil and fossil fuel industry corporations may even be happy Biden won, who is slowing down movements for environmental advocacy and change. 

In fact, many issues Biden pledged to address during his campaign are already seeing changes for the worse, making this the worst time to be complacent on political issues. Though the Republican Party will not control the White House after Biden’s inauguration, progressive movements won’t gain traction unless we hold elected officials accountable.

Nancy Pelosi’s re-election as Speaker of the House and Biden’s cabinet appointees are further examples of how progressive leadership is dying in U.S. politics, as many democratic politicians oppose programs like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal.

Biden’s climate plan is no Green New Deal—he claimed to be the candidate for science, yet he refuses to end fracking. Banning this destructive practice would greatly help the fight against the climate crisis and help his “Green Energy Plan” that he claims will neutralize carbon emissions in the U.S. by 2035.

Biden also continues to make it clear that he does not support defunding the policeHis plan to increase police funding is extremely counter-productive to progressive movements.

“I don’t want to defund police,” Biden told The Hill last August. “I want to get police more money in order to deal with the things they badly need, from making sure they have access to community policing, that they have also in the departments social workers, psychologists, people who in fact can handle those god-awful problems that a cop has to have four degrees to handle.”

Additionally, Biden’s support for Black Lives Matter is in name only, and his plans do nothing to correct systemic issues that are plaguing this nation. While complacency and apoliticism are bad at any time, the transition from Trump to Biden presidencies is not a time to sit back and stay out of politics.

Biden is quite literally is a white supremacist in action, just like Trump and any other major public official who does not support the end of systemic racism. His complacency will do nothing to help the American people, and we need to demand more from our public officials.