Opinion: Democrats must hold Biden accountable

I would like to preface this article by explaining that I consider myself to be a progressive libertarian who doesn’t truly identify with a political party, despite leaning left. I support a variety of policies including universal basic income, universal healthcare and college and substantial criminal justice reform, specifically related to drug laws and mandatory minimums. I do not support Donald Trump or President Joe Biden and frankly, I don’t support most current politicians, excluding New York City Mayor Candidate Andrew Yang and U.S. Representative Justin Amash

The political elites like to pretend the two big parties are polar opposites, but they truly aren’t; the establishment Democrats, ie. politicians like Biden, push similar policies as establishment Republicans, but never act on them. Both major political parties are filled with corporate sellouts, and I cannot bring myself to support either of them — hence my hatred of the so-called two-party system. 

The same establishment Democrats who proclaimed Trump was a facist for putting children in cages at the border are now doing the exact same thing — while censoring media coverage of it and halting tours of the facility completely. However, the mainstream media is reporting on it as Biden providing a more humane “shelter,” which only applies to a new detention facility that was opened to give Biden good press rather than giving an accurate view of what is happening in the facilities. 

Over the past two months, Biden has failed to deliver campaign promises, and Democrats are letting him get away with it when they should be holding him accountable. 

Before the Georgia elections, Biden told voters if they vote blue that $2,000 checks would go out the door immediately. Two months later, adults get $1,400 means-tested checks — that many won’t even see the full amount of — and the illusion that our politicians fought for us. The Democratic Party had enough votes to pass the progressive legislation they promised, but instead decided to “water down” the legislation to get more GOP votes, which they could pass legislation without, therefore killing the progressive legislation with a perfect scapegoat. 

While Biden has accomplished a great deal in his short time in office with jumpstarting COVID-19 vaccinations, he is failing to act on other important issues. Biden chose not to condemn New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for covering up COVID death tolls in nursing homes, that resulted from Cuomo’s direct order for nursing homes to accept COVID patients, as well as numerous sexual assault accusations that have come to light. 

In addition, the Biden administration recently fired five White House staffers for past marijuana usage, despite previously saying past usage would be overlooked, which is another sign Biden  will not follow through on his promise of decriminalizing marijuana. Biden has also backed down from his policy of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, which was an important progressive policy that Biden promised on the campaign trail. 

The message of the progressive left when Biden became the presidential nominee was to keep trying to push Biden further left to achieve their goals or a smaller version. This seemed like a reasonable idea at the time because democracy typically works in theory; however, it’s not quite working out the way progressives wanted it to. Biden is failing to deliver the policies he campaigned on — which must be stopped as soon as possible. 

Democrats are saying we should be grateful Biden did anything at all for us, and while I am extremely grateful that those in need will be getting at least $1,400 to help with their bills and rent, we should not reward Biden for doing the bare minimum. 

The Democratic Party, which now controls the House, Senate and White House for the first time since 2011, had a chance to follow through with their promises throughout the campaign with the American Rescue Plan, and they chose not to — that is a problem. Change doesn’t happen by idolizing politicians and being happy that our president doesn’t live tweet throughout the day anymore; it happens through pushing politicians to achieve the policies we elected them on. The politicians are supposed to serve American citizens — not corporations and their donors. 

The White House is currently proposing a new bill that will primarily focus on infrastructure and jobs, universal prekindergarten and free community college. I sincerely hope Biden is able to achieve these goals and more, but Democrats must ensure Biden continues to push for the progressive legislation we desperately need. 

The reason that politicians are able to get away with not achieving their promises is people giving up after consistently being defeated. The best way to ensure that Biden follows through on policies is to continue to demand more and be persistent online, but most importantly, to not settle for token gestures and meaningless words. 

Democrats must hold Biden accountable to achieve the goals he campaigned on and more. If we allow Biden to get a free pass and let go of the promises he made, we won’t achieve anything during the next four years.