Top Priorities for the Biden Adminstration

As Joe Biden takes office, his three biggest priorities should be:

COVID-19: Biden is lucky here. It is actionable – simply having federal policy and coordinated focus will go a long way, above and beyond what the particular policies and spending are. Additionally, the timing of the vaccines is perfect. Biden shouldn’t get credit for the vaccine, but thanks to quirks of human psychology, he will.

Climate Change / Global Warming: An actual existential threat to the human species. The good news is that, like COVID-19, the actions are easy. Just reverse everything from the Trump administration, and you’re back on track. Biden is also fortunate to be on the right side of ongoing trends. In 2009, global warming was understood as urgent, but a political problem. Twelve years later, the majority of the country is behind him. The rest of the world, private industry, and the populace are already taking action, he just needs to keep pushing that boulder.

Promote American Democracy: For Democrats to get their policies in place over the long term, they need their officials in power, they need the votes. Fortunately, they have those votes. The Democratic party has gotten more votes in five of the last six presidential elections, and the House and Senate, and Supreme Court would all be Democratic if we simply counted votes and went with the will of the people. We don’t. Biden should focus on voting rights, voting reform, same-day voting, remote/advance voting, anti-gerrymandering, the national popular vote, and possibly statehood for DC and Puerto Rico. All these have a great advantage: They not only favor Democrats, they are morally correct. All you have to do to get a permanent Democratic majority is allow the will of the people to be heard. That’s a lot easier than fighting uphill all the time.

Save American Democracy: Maybe there is a fourth one. We can’t ignore the recent storming of the Capitol Building and pretend there won’t be more going forward. Sadly, there is a significant swath of the country that has abandoned factual evidence, undermined liberal democracy, and believes that Biden is illegitimate. The forces that led to this need to be actively fought. Besides the political, social, and law-enforcement arms (which are probably more important, but I don’t have strong views here yet), we can go a long way to addressing concerns about election validity. There are many ways to reduce concerns about voting and elections. And unless the GOP is a bunch of hypocritical bombthrowers, they should be fully on-board with a rejuvenated FEC, vastly increased election funding, transparency, embracing technological improvements, actively fighting Russian (and others) interference, etc.

Good luck Joe!

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