No president is perfect

Keeping Biden accountable for promises he has made

Aubrey Rhoadarmer, Staff Writer

Illustration by Micky Flores-Nieves

On Jan. 20, 2021, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States.

Now, our country will no longer be led by a white supremacist, a pedophile, and a rapist. With Trump out of office, our country will be able to begin to heal from electing an idiot to be one of the most powerful men in the world.

However, the end of the Trump administration is not the end of our fight for racial and environmental justice throughout America. Biden will not be a perfect president either, and it is our job to keep him accountable for the promises he has made.

Sophomore Mirelle Gutierrez-Palma is hoping that Biden will turn back on many of the decisions that have been made by Trump.

“We elected [Biden], of course, to defeat Donald Trump,” she explained, “But we also elected him to reverse everything that Trump has implemented and to sign us back onto treaties that would guarantee our safety and well-being.”

In 2017, President Trump abandoned the Paris Climate Accord, a United Nations treaty that focused on greenhouse gas emission mitigation through social and economic transformation, even while knowing that we have less than 10 years to get climate change under control.

Biden guarantees that under his administration the United States will re-enter the Paris Accord. He has also promised to address the climate emergency and lead the United States to achieve a 100% clean energy economy by 2050. We need to hold him to it.

We also need to hold Biden and Harris to their promises of seeking racial justice.

Indigenous and black voters showed up in record numbers this election in order to vote Trump out. Most black women, 91% in fact, voted for Biden. An unprecedented turnout of Indigenous voters led to Biden’s vital wins in Wisconsin and Arizona.

People of color turned out for Biden. Now, we need to remind this administration that they are responsible for supporting the demographics that put them in office. However, both Kamala Harris and Joe Biden have spotty histories when it comes to seeking racial equity.

In his early years in politics, Biden had a big hand in progressing mass incarceration when he supported legislation such as the 1994 Crime Bill. Harris, too, as a criminal prosecutor in California, was responsible for an influx of black and brown people into the prison system in the early 2000s.

Freshman Liam Massey hopes that even with their histories, they will still look out for the people who have supported him throughout his campaign.

“He’s made promises in terms of looking at policing reform, looking at prison reform, looking at police use of force,” Massey said, ”And I think for myself and a lot of other people, I’m hoping he wasn’t just saying that so that he would win Democratic votes. We’re all hoping they weren’t empty promises.”

However, Junior Tatumn Mathews-Rauch is worried that Biden is not going to keep to his word.

“From what we’ve seen so far about who’s been picking [for his cabinet], it looks like the policies that he promised us aren’t necessarily what he’s going to enact,” she said, “The only way that things are going to happen is if we hold him accountable.” But how do we do that?

Educate yourself on his policies and keep up to date on the news. Read books and articles, watch films, talk with your friends and family about these issues. Be ready to call him out, whether that is through social media, or through writing letters and making phone calls, or going to protests and marches.

Keeping him in check will require us taking action. Junior Maddy Brown also believes that keeping state officials to their promises will help keep Biden, at the federal level, accountable as well.

“I think we need to keep having conversations about it, keep it in the public eye. Writing letters to our congresspeople and our governors, that’s really important,” they said. You can attend city council meetings, write letters to your senators, and show up for the people closest to you.

“We need to show up and show out,” Mathews-Rauch said. Over the summer, hundreds of thousands of people showed up to the Black Lives Matter protests. That energy is what we need to continue through Biden’s presidency.

In only one week, Biden is going to become the leader of the free world. It is our job as citizens of America to keep him to his word. We can not let the next four years be anything like the last.