To fix America, President Biden must listen to those who put him in power

“The biggest problems are the Democratic and Republican parties. Both.”

On the eve of the November US election, I spoke to JD, a former Marine, at a dive bar on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio. He was confident in Trump’s victory.

“There are a lot of Democrats I know who become Republicans. But in reality, they don’t become Republicans, they become Trump. “

Joe Biden ended up winning by more than seven million votes, but the results were far from the landslide victory many predicted.

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Biden walks into the Oval Office at a time of deep crisis. Since the storming of the Capitol on January 6, state houses across the country have braced for more violence. The United States is at the center of a global pandemic; in America, more than 400,000 people have died from COVID-19 and millions more have been left unemployed. Racial tensions are at their highest in decades, as America’s position on the international stage has bottomed out.

Many see Trump as the main source of these problems. But his call cannot be ignored. I have spent the past two months traveling the United States and have heard people from all walks of life give countless reasons to support Trump.

But I also met hundreds of activists, many of whom were not white, young, and working class, mobilizing on the front lines against Trump.

Not all of them were Biden’s supporters, and many had only recently become politically active. But this unprecedented popular mobilization had a decisive impact on the result. More voters ran for Trump in 2020 than in 2016. Without Biden’s historic turnout, Trump would have won the most votes ever won by a presidential candidate.

If Biden is to maintain this level of popular support, it would be unwise to ignore the demands of the activists, activists and canvassers who helped him come to power. Here’s where those I’ve spoken to say he should start.

Put money in people’s pockets

“One of the biggest problems we have in this country is that people don’t believe in government because they don’t do anything.”

Outside a Holiday Inn in Gwinnett County, a largely Democratic area just outside of Atlanta, I met Connor Buckley, a 21-year-old New Yorker who visited Georgia before. the second round of the Senate. Buckley was there to campaign for Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock.

A few days later, the two candidates won their race and handed over control of the Senate to the Democrats.

“This will be the ultimate test of their [the Democrats] ability to actually promote change, ”said Buckley, who was skeptical of whether Biden would adopt substantive policies even with his party controlling both legislatures.

“Even though Republicans are probably doing significantly worse things, they’re still doing things.”

With more than ten million people unemployed amid one of the world’s worst COVID epidemics, many are struggling to survive. Millions of Americans are behind on rent and can’t afford to put food on the table.

Ossoff and Warnock – now newly elected senators – have directly addressed many of these concerns in their campaigns by promising to provide $ 2,000 stimulus checks to every household. Biden also backed this pledge ahead of the runoff.

Yet last week, when Biden announced his first major bill, a $ 1.9 billion “US bailout”, it included another round of $ 1,400 stimulus checks.

This has already been rejected by progressive members of his caucus. “$ 2,000 means $ 2,000,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told the Washington Post shortly after the aid was announced. “$ 2,000 does not mean $ 1,400.”

Kevin E. Boling