Updated: Jan 18, 2021
Despite Trump’s best efforts, it appears that Joseph R Biden Jr. will be the next president of the United States. As a Libertarian, I find that this outcome has not excited me as it has some of my more “progressive” peers; from his plan to spend $11 trillion to his horrendous record on criminal justice, there is much to dislike about Biden for those of us who value liberty and freedom.
Regardless of whatever personal misgivings I may have about a Biden presidency, in the spirit of viewing the glass as half full, here are some of the things I expect out of a Biden presidency which might actually be good.
The Democratic party has been pitching themselves as the “peaceful party” for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, also for as long as I can remember, this has been a blatant lie.
Obama entered the U.S. into the Libyan, Syrian, and Ugandan civil wars, Clinton entered the U.S. into the Bosnian War, the Kosovo War, and Operation Infinite Reach in Afghanistan, before him Jimmy Carter entered the U.S. into the war in South Zaire. We can debate whether these military ventures were justified or not, but the fact is that we have become involved in new military conflicts under every single modern Democratic president.
For a political party which claims to have a monopoly on compassion, this is a terrible black eye. It’s also extremely counterproductive to the social efforts of the Democratic party, not to mention the huge environmental impact of waging war. Every dollar devoted to unnecessary foreign wars is a dollar that could instead have been used to fund social programs at home, or better yet, have been saved to ensure that existing social programs like Medicare and social security are adequately funded and to limit the inflationary monetary policies which disproportionately affect the poor.
Biden has a chance to show the public that he actually cares about the poor in this country by only utilizing military force with the approval of congress and only then if it becomes absolutely critical in order to defend the safety and security of the nation. So will Biden, a man who has been in federal office for 20% of the time that the U.S. has been a country, be one of the first in his party to follow through on the rhetoric, or will he fall into the same war mongering habits of his predecessors? Only time will tell.
There’s little good that can be expected from Democrats when it comes to tax policy. They openly advocate for higher taxes to fund their lofty ambitions of social programs. They ignore the wealth of economic research that a simplified tax code offering less loopholes, combined with a lower rate, results in more actual tax revenue. Despite the generally misguided tax policies from the left, there is one positive expectation that I have from this administration.
In the VP debates Kamala Harris repeatedly promised that the Biden administration would not increase taxes on those making less than $400,000/yr, let’s see if she can put her money where her mouth is on this claim.
Unity has been a cornerstone of Biden’s campaign, and since the election concluded he has proudly proclaimed that now the country can begin to unite and heal from the wounds inflicted under Trump’s presidency. This sure sounds like a lot of feel-good fluff to me, but if Biden really means what he says there are a few ways in which he could back that up.
The first would be to stop promoting the polarizing politics that both sides have been guilty of since at least 2016. The example should start with Biden to not categorically reject any and all Republican positions as inherently evil. Castigating half the country will not inspire unity.
Second, Biden should condemn all those who commit violent acts against innocent citizens, regardless of which side of the aisle they might fall on. It is not okay for people to destroy property, and physically harm others just because they are on “your side” of the political aisle.
Democrat politicians have been largely unwilling to condemn the actions of individuals or organizations on the left who are responsible for inflicting harm, Biden stepping out to do just that would go a long way to inspire unity.
So that’s about it really, three policy areas where Biden could take action to do something good for the country. Will he do any of it? If his previous political experience is any indication then no, probably not. I guess maybe I’m a glass half empty kind of guy after all. Oh well, hopefully it’s at least filled with some good whiskey.