August 1, 2020

The Biden Agenda before the Biden Agenda

Joe Biden has articulated his plans and objectives for addressing myriad matters—the environment, education, women, gun violence, you name it. Each topic is treated on his Web site in a longish essay, not simply in a list of bullet points.

As of August 1, 2020, Donald Trump’s Web site is quite different. It is compact and concerned primarily with fund-raising. Only two issues are dealt with, and neither page treating one of these issues is linked to from what passes as the home page. The issues carry the titles “Drain The Swamp” and “Stand Against Antifa.” Apparently, these are the two most vital issues facing the nation in the Trump universe. Each page is virtually devoid of seemingly relevant text and, like the home page, concerns itself primarily with fund-raising.

What is the president’s plan for the environment, for civil rights, for prison reform, for the COVID-19 pandemic? Who knows! In fact, when questioned about his goals for a second term, Donald Trump could only speak of his natural talent and the failings of his enemies, most notably John Bolton. Trump never answered the question asked. However, his goals presumably include enriching himself and his friends through government action, continuing the dismantling of democratic institutions, alienating our allies, and enjoying the fellowship of foreign despots. Interestingly, the Republican Party has decided not to devise a new platform for the 2020 campaign but to simply reuse the platform from 2016. The party wasn’t going to get any fresh ideas from their current standard-bearer anyway.

Laudable though his intentions are, Joe Biden’s most important and urgent task is one that, out of political politeness, he is no doubt reluctant to publicize. Like a parent facing widespread devastation caused by a precocious but destructive toddler left alone in the house too long, Joe Biden must concentrate on cleaning up Trump’s messes. He must quickly build an administration comprising men and women of experience, competence, and unswerving loyalty to democracy and the rule of law. He must reassure our allies that a steadfast United States of America is back and that its flirtation with fascism is over. The Biden administration must begin re-implementing regulations annulled by its predecessor and seek to enact the most important ones into law. A Biden Justice Department needs to drop its support of anti-democratic conservative litigation and turn its attention to police department misconduct and the crimes of Donald Trump and his cronies.

Once the ship of state is diverted from its course toward the rocky shoals of autocracy, Joe Biden, his administration, and—it is to be hoped— a Democratic Senate and Democratic House of Representatives—can renew the goal of perfecting our Republic and again becoming a beacon of freedom in an increasingly dark and perilous world.

Enough.