Hopes for Biden presidency

Community members share hopes of change and restoration under a Biden presidency.

Community members differed in the ways they identified with Biden’s policies but shared hopes of his administration restoring unity.

Anya Juneja ’22 said they preferred more progressive candidates in the Democratic primary, but that Biden’s moderate platform may lend itself to compromise, improve the pandemic response, and expand civil liberties. 

“He’s a good pick for the Democratic party because some Republicans are okay with him and he tends to unite the country and think of the country as a whole,” they said. “I hope he can bring back LGBTQ+ rights and work on anti-racism. I hope he controls the pandemic.”

Aidan Taubenblat–Roberts ’23 shared Juneja’s assessment of Biden, saying he hopes Biden will strike deals across party lines – especially if Republicans hold their Senate majority after Georgia Senate run-offs are held in January.

“I think Biden can really make deals along party lines,” Taubenblat–Roberts said. “I’m optimistic it won’t be a more divided country. That can be very good.”

Taubenblat–Roberts added that he hopes Biden will take a tougher stance on the internment of Uyghur Muslims in China.

“I hope [Biden] is tough on China.” Taubenblat–Roberts ’23 said. “Trump has been pretty strong on China, but the human rights element was never there.”

Zander Iacono ’23 also said he hoped Biden would rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, and that the Biden administration would tackle police reform.

“Systemic racism will still exist [under Biden],” Iacono said. “But I think Biden won’t add more fuel to the fire, and that he’s going to try to help. Something really good can come out of that.”

Iacono said he supported Biden’s tax plan, which would expand corporate income tax.

“It’s more beneficial with his tax plan because we can get those giant corporations to actually be pitching in,” Iacono said. “To get things moving and kind of stop that free pass [of tax breaks for big corporations].”

Jacqueline Isaacson ’24 said she hoped Biden would take an aggressive stance on addressing climate change.

Time is really running out. So much work needs to be done,” Isaacson said. “I hope he does a great job. I’m optimistic.”

Katherine Olson, Head of the English Department, said she hopes Biden will expand the U.S Supreme Court to stifle a conservative majority that upholds traditionalist constitutional readings. 

“Traditionalist readers are dangerous to progress forward in this country,” Olson said. “They hide behind a form of literalism that doesn’t allow America to grow.”

Olson defends court–packing – which some opponents have claimed has the potential to threaten democratic norms – by suggesting that the Supreme Court’s legitimacy was undermined by the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual misconduct. 

“Kavanaugh has fundamentally damaged a lot of the respect I have for the Supreme Court,” Olson said. “I think it has been undermined anyway.” 

Aidan Taubenblat–Roberts ’23 agreed that Biden needed to reform the Court, but was skeptical of court-packing, saying he preferred term limits. 

“I think the right course of action is setting term limits and limiting how many justices a president can nominate,” Taubenblat–Roberts said. “I think that packing the court would give Republicans the opportunity to do the exact same thing.” 

All interviewees said they hoped Biden would restore democratic principles and unite the country.

“My theme with Biden is it’s about restoration. I think it’s about restoring a lot of what has been removed,” Neelan Martin ’21 said. “I’m hoping he’s able to restore some kind of normalcy.”

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