I overheard a coworker today — and no, we aren’t supposed to discuss politics at work — talking about Joe Biden’s incoming administration and the subject of gun control.
It’s important that everyone recognizes that Joe Biden is not a radical politician and he never has been. He’s on the same side of the grass as Hillary Clinton, who fought for universal healthcare in the 1990s and even helped shovel the Affordable Care Act through the Senate. But as proposals such as Medicare for All darkened through much of moderates, Clinton’s passion for it has also diminished.
With Joe Biden’s inauguration approaching quickly, we need to realize that Republicans will be fine. Exactly which portion of Biden’s agenda do Republicans find radical?
Joe Biden was definitely not very quick to support gun control measures as former Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke made an enemy in Fox News, announcing a national mandatory gun buyback program as a centerpiece of his campaign. It could’ve been a lot worse.
For my coworker, it’s likely that he’s pulling from this news story where Democrats insist that Biden use executive action even with Senate control. One example where Biden can use executive orders is on the subject of gun control and can “dramatically expand the number of gun sellers that are required to do background checks.”
Last month, it was discussed that the President-elect is also interested in banning the sale of AR-15s and limiting the use of them. The hysterical reaction to this might be a bit overboard since the next Republican president can just overturn this move.
Biden is also not very fond of expanding universal healthcare to degrees such as Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All. For Republicans, the most “radical” portion of Biden’s incoming administration is that Democrats gain control of the Senate at a 50–50 caucus ratio, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris occupies the tiebreaker.
A Democratic Senate means that Sanders is the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. Two of Sanders’ first priorities are to issue $2,000 coronavirus stimulus checks and pass a measure that would give Americans universal healthcare throughout the rest of the pandemic.
Even the $2,000 stimulus issue is one that Republicans seem to support.
The point here is that a Joe Biden presidency doesn’t mean you have “less freedoms.” He’s said that he would veto Medicare for All during his presidential campaign, citing its price tag; he doesn’t seem interested in banning guns or “taking them away”; his administration is interested in “bipartisan support” even though his party controls both chambers of Congress; Biden didn’t appoint nearly enough progressives to his cabinet as most would’ve liked. He was literally the absolute safest candidate for president in my entire lifetime.
The bottom sectors of the economy will still struggle regardless of who the president is. Acting like our constitution will suddenly collapse under Biden is a reach. If it were to collapse, it would’ve under our previous administration.
What’s interesting is how the Republican Party has no real immediate future. In 2014, following Mitt Romney’s unsuccessful campaign against Barack Obama two years earlier, the GOP installed a playbook titled the “Growth and Opportunity Project.”
Within the platform, Republicans planned on strengthening their appeal to Black people, Latino/as, other POC, and displacing the assumption that the GOP doesn’t want them in the country. They also intended to expand on campaign finance, utilizing grassroots organization, which Democrats eventually conquered through the next two election cycles thanks to candidates like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others.
The problem with the Growth and Opportunity Project (or GOP) was the next two years that followed due to everything Donald Trump has ever said.
Embracing Trump will soon be catastrophic for the party. Not only has it split off because of the division between Trump’s supporters, the party elite, and moderate Republicans, but his baseless claims of election fraud have even driven away key donors such as Mariott, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Citi Bank, and JP Morgan Chase.
It’s surprising that Trump’s efforts of “big government” didn’t drive away supporters from the get-go. His regime emulated qualities seen across both North Korea and Russia, two of the United States’ most historic rivals. The U.S. is supposed to be the “epitome of democracy” and driving away allies like Australia and France was not in the plan.
Thanks to the embrace of Donald Trump by the Republican Party, a future forward isn’t as clear as it could’ve been. Early signs point to Ted Cruz challenging Democrats in 2024, although Biden running for a second term seems unlikely. But no one can ever be sure of that since Dianne Feinstein just filed to re-run for a sixth Senate term in 2024 when she would be 91 years old. Even Nancy Pelosi is older than both Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.
If Ted Cruz is the best Republicans can offer, then they might be in for a wake up call. More and more children are growing up progressive due to an economic decline, thanks in part to policies set forth throughout George W. Bush’s administration. Ted Cruz is one of the GOP’s most disliked politicians. If he is the nominee in 2024, he’d just give Republicans a similar fate which Democrats had in 2016.