Joe Biden is not a socialist. Although many conservatives think he is and many more liberals wish he was, Biden is a moderate through and through. But the “at least he’s not Donald Trump” mentality is not enough for activists across the country.
Voter turnout hit record numbers this year with well over 151 million ballots counted, which means there are millions of people who may never have been politically active before but decided this was the year to dive in. But now that the election is over and Trump has been voted out, activists are worried about losing momentum. Biden is not the answer to all of America’s problems, but he should be held accountable to all of the promises made during his campaign.
Now is not a time to make exceptions. To those who “settled” for Biden, don’t forget you settled. Don’t forget he was not your first choice because it is unlikely he will enact radical change. Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, both have questionable things on their records from Biden’s “creepy Uncle Joe” persona to Harris’ questionable policies towards sex work and the transgender community. Biden and Harris not being Trump and Pence, doesn’t mean their pasts should be forgotten.
To those who were very enthusiastic about Biden, we encourage them to stay enthusiastic and active too, but intense activism can be exhausting. For some, it starts at a young age, particularly within single-issue conservatives. Data from the Pew Research center shows that conservatives are among the most politically active Americans. We want to see more of this on the more liberal side. Don’t stop going to protests; don’t stop holding sit-ins and rallies for the things you’re fighting for because it does make a difference.
While we continue to push for change, it’s also important to understand what the realistic goals are for Biden to achieve. Let’s not forget the kind of administration Joe Biden is walking into. Conservatives currently lead the senate majority by four seats, although the Georgia run-off elections could change this in January, and the democrat majority in the House of Representatives shrunk. There are twice as many conservatives as liberals on the Supreme Court thanks to Trump as well. Change in government never happens overnight, and Biden’s plans could be put on hold until the next midterm elections when Democrats will have another opportunity to take a senate majority.
Biden said he plans to govern as an “American president,” leading all citizens whether they voted for him or not, but he received 52% of the vote, just over half. In office, Biden has to find a way to govern a country of which almost half did not want him. It is impossible to please every single citizen, but it is important now, more than ever, for activists to stand strong, especially with the hostile climate Trump created during his presidency and his continuing refusal to concede, urging his followers to stand with him and reject the results of the election. There isn’t much to do in terms of holding Biden accountable until his inauguration, but activists can’t take too much time to relax. Trump is ready to rise up and motivate his followers to do the same. Biden, as a moderate, won’t promote very much activism.
Activists have a hard job over the next four years. The Democratic Party lacks a strong leader and is heavily divided. Biden may be our new president, but he is not someone that the entire Democratic party is willing to rally around the way a lot of the conservative party rallied around Trump and continues to stick by him. Activists will have to lead themselves while holding the president-elect accountable to the promises he made to them.
The Review’s weekly editorials are written to reflect the majority opinion of The Review’s staff. This week’s editorial was written by Rachel Sawicki. They may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.