Joe Biden Wants to Unite and Heal America, but How Is He Going to Do It?
“It’s time for America to unite and to heal”
— Joe Biden
With these words, Joe Biden has set the course that will be his for the four years of his presidential term, which will officially begin in January 2021.
Just elected by the American people to become the next President of the United States, Joe Biden has refused any triumphalism. Of course, he rejoiced in his victory. However, as a man experienced in politics, Joe Biden saw that the long-awaited blue wave did not come.
Joe Biden noticed that while he reached the record number of 75.4 million votes in his favor, Donald Trump reached 70.9 million votes.
That’s huge, and it shows how Trump’s ideas remain extremely popular in the United States. If Donald Trump’s defeat probably marks the end of his adventure in politics, as he now appears isolated within the GOP, Trumpism will outlast him.
Under these conditions, the hardest part begins for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. The next President of the United States, and the first woman to become Vice President of the United States, will have to work to reconcile these two Americas that appear more divided than ever.
Nearly half of the Americans voted for Donald Trump, they should not be left by the wayside.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will have to try to carry out the reforms planned in the program of candidate Biden while addressing issues dear to the voters of Donald Trump. The goal is to ensure that the sense of abandonment that Trump supporters often feel is not amplified.
This will obviously not be an easy thing to do. It may be even more complicated than expected, given that the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives has shrunk, and the Senate may remain on the Republican side.
As for the Senate, it would appear that none of the candidates for the two Senatorial positions in the state of Georgia will be able to obtain half of the votes. Voters may well be called to the polls on January 5, 2021. The majority in the Senate could be decided at that time with these two seats.
It will be a long time before we know what Joe Biden’s margin of manoeuvre will really be.
In the meantime, we can already look back at the program that was his during the presidential campaign to see how Joe Biden wants to unify and heal this America that is more divided than ever.
Plan to beat COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. The second wave is catching up with the United States, and Joe Biden has already decided to set up a crisis cell and a research group.
The goal is to have everything ready to act quickly when he officially takes office on January 20, 2021.
This crisis cell might have to recommend new measures, but for the moment, Joe Biden plans to include free tests for all Americans. He also wanted to hire some 100,000 people to create a contact tracing program.
Joe Biden also planned to use the Defense Production Act to speed up the manufacture of protective equipment for healthcare workers and test kits.
His goal is also to help schools and businesses better cope with the pandemic. He wants to put in place a calendar to help schools and businesses reopen their doors and to provide paid leave for anyone who has contracted the coronavirus or is caring for a sick person.
Finally, Joe Biden intends to ask Dr. Fauci to remain a member of the White House Task Force on COVID-19.
He appreciated his work in this position, and regrets that Donald Trump did not listen to him. Among Dr. Fauci’s advice that Joe Biden wishes to enforce is the generalization of the requirement to wear a mask.
Donald Trump’s economic program during his presidential term divided the United States more than ever before. Donald Trump reinforced the inequalities in the United States with a policy that mainly benefited the richest.
Joe Biden is well aware that he must fix this, and reduce the inequalities. So now the hardest part begins for him and Kamala Harris.
Supporting the middle class is essential. Joe Biden wants to reward work, not just wealth as he said at a meeting in June 2020:
“We need to build an economy that rewards work — not just wealth.”
— Joe Biden
He wants to increase the federal minimum wage to double it. It would rise to $15 per hour, compared to the current $7.5 per hour.
Joe Biden also plans to tackle Donald Trump’s tax reform. He wants to raise taxes for high-income earners, those earning more than $400K per year, from 37% to 39%.
As for corporations, the increase would be more marked, from 21% to 28%. These increases would be used to finance investments in public services in order to reduce inequalities in the United States.
Joe Biden has always been very committed to environmental protection and the fight against climate change. As early as 1972, during his campaign to be elected for the first time to the Senate, Joe Biden was talking about measures to fight climate change and better protect the environment.
These issues are crucial to him.
Joe Biden has already announced that the United States will return to the Paris climate agreements. This is an excellent thing for the long-term future of the United States.
In July 2020, Joe Biden also unveiled a detailed investment plan of $2 trillion over four years. On the agenda:
- Carbon-free energy (with a target of 100% by 2035).
- Smart power grids.
- Low-energy buildings.
- Public transportation
- Incentives for zero-emission vehicles
Here again, the focus is on the long-term future of the United States. According to Joe Biden’s advisors, this conversion of the United States to renewable energy would combine near-instantaneous full employment and carbon neutrality for the United States in 2050.
Like Donald Trump, Joe Biden has repeatedly stated that he does not support the calls for “defund the police” that have been growing in the United States in recent months after the murders of George Floyd in Minnesota and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky.
Joe Biden does, however, support other ideas put forward by proponents of this measure:
- Improve racial diversity in policing.
- Investing in equipment.
- Improve the cameras worn by police officers on their uniforms.
A $300 billion package has been earmarked to strengthen community policing, on the condition that new recruits “reflect the diversity of the neighborhoods they serve,” as Joe Biden put it.
Joe Biden was Barack Obama’s Vice President for 8 years. He was at his side when Barack Obama established Obamacare. Joe Biden is very attached to this strong reform of the Obama era.
He intends to protect and expand Obamacare in the form of optional public social protection that would coexist with the private insurance-based system. Private insurance is available to a majority of Americans through their businesses.
Joe Biden pledged during his campaign that Americans would pay no more than 8.5% of their monthly income for health coverage.
To better help the elderly, Joe Biden wants to lower the minimum age for senior health coverage from 65 to 60. This measure would still affect 20 million Americans.
Concerning health care, Joe Biden wants to help the most disadvantaged, but also those whose income is too high to be helped, but too low to benefit from quality health care. We’re talking about middle-class measures here.
Gun Control Plan
In the summer of 2019, Joe Biden declared that he wanted to ban assault weapons in the United States in the event of victory. Joe Biden said that “The United States has a huge problem with firearms”.
Joe Biden went on to say that these “military-style firearms designed to fire quickly pose a threat to the national security of the United States”.
This courageous position will not be easy to hold in the face of the NRA, the extremely powerful U.S. gun lobby. In order to facilitate the removal of weapons from circulation, Joe Biden proposes a federal gun buyback program.
During the first presidential debate on the Democratic side, Joe Biden spoke of his desire to see the emergence of what he called “smart guns”. Concretely, this would mean that gun manufacturers would have to include biometric processes to block the use of firearms for those whose fingerprints are not recorded on a particular weapon.
Joe Biden kept reminding us that he considered that Donald Trump had weakened the United States on the international scene with his “America First” doctrine. Over time, it even became an “America Alone” doctrine.
The United States was perceived during the Trump era as isolationist and bellicose.
This served the interests of China, which was able to extend its influence on the world. If the United States wishes to remain the world’s leading power in the future, it must regain “credibility” internationally. For Joe Biden, this means renewing ties with the historical allies of the United States.
Joe Biden will therefore make a priority of a rapprochement with the European Union. NATO will be able to resume working properly under Biden’s presidency.
In addition, Joe Biden wants the United States to regain its place within the WHO. The goal is that multilateralism becomes again the norm for the United States.
Finally, Joe Biden intends to put an end to the trade war with China. Donald Trump’s strategy has not been successful. Joe Biden wants to take a smarter approach by relying on the international community to put pressure on Beijing to ensure that China truly respects the rules of international trade.
Joe Biden has just been elected to become the 46th President of the United States. If the joy of ending the Donald Trump experiment had been great in the Democrats, Joe Biden immediately wanted to show that he was well aware of the extraordinary challenges that awaited him with Kamala Harris for the next four years.
Joe Biden’s goal will be to reconcile and heal this America that appears more divided than ever following the 2020 presidential election. To do so, he intends to carry out ambitious reforms that I have just detailed to you.
This is promising, but all this still depends, in my opinion, on what will happen in the Senate. We will therefore have to wait a few more weeks to find out what Joe Biden’s real room for maneuver will be during his term of office.