Maastricht Journal of Politics & Economics
Why Biden is the Best Possible Option
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By Eva Koch
The beginning of this year marked two years since the inauguration of Joe Biden. With a nation that is ever more divided over social and economic issues, the upcoming presidential elections in 2024 will be decisive for the future of the United States. Although many disapprove of President Biden and his politics, re-election would be the best possible outcome for the Democratic Party but most importantly for the nation as a whole.
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After twenty years, Biden ended US involvement in Afghanistan. As the longest ongoing war in American history, Biden was the fourth President to face this issue, evacuating over 120,000 Afghans and military personnel during the retreat. Even though Trump initiated the plan to withdraw US troops, Biden was the one making the final call and executing it.
While Trump wanted to act fast and reduce the number of visas issued to Afghans, Biden extended the deadline and managed to evacuate Afghans who worked alongside US forces. Despite this, the evacuation marked the beginning of his low approval ratings, which fell to under 50 per cent in August 2021.
Halfway through his presidency, Biden has already passed three large and historically important bills. The American Rescue Plan helps to decrease the consequences of the pandemic by funding testing, treatment and vaccines – something his predecessor could not (or would not) do. Additionally, it increased the child tax credit, bringing child poverty to an all-time low.
The Inflation Reduction Act is one of Biden's biggest achievements. It is the most important climate agreement since the Paris Accords, focusing on large investments in the research and development of clean energy.
Biden’s most recent achievement is the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which aims at economic competitiveness and innovation by investing over 500 billion dollars (446.7 billion euros) in infrastructure. It is predicted to create over one-and-a-half million jobs in the next ten years.
The most current and pressing issue remains the Ukraine Crisis. The Biden Administration has been approaching this brutal war as well as any president could have. Biden is the leading figure behind imposing severe sanctions on Russia together with his G7 partners and sending 133 billion dollars (124.1 billion euros) worth of aid, half of which going towards military assistance.
And yet again, NBC News polls show low approval ratings with only 41 per cent of US citizens approving Biden’s actions. These figures do not show the whole story, however. In Congress, there is considerable bipartisan support.
What are the Alternatives?
Biden has not officially announced his run for re-election in 2024 which is unusual so far into a term. Not surprising, as his approval ratings have been lower than 45 per cent since October 2021. He has, however, been hinting that he will run again. His wife recently stated that he “is not done yet”.
From the Democratic Party’s perspective, Biden has the highest chance of winning the presidential elections with Vice President Harris being next best. Polls have shown a spread of 25 per cent between Biden and her, making Harris an unlikely candidate to win against Republican opponents. Biden is thus the Democrats’ only hope.
Most importantly, in the interest of the United States, Biden is the most suitable option. Especially, when looking at Republican alternatives. Trump announced to run again in 2024 while Ron DeSantis, Governor of Florida, is in question in the Republican primaries.
After the Capitol Riots, it should be evident why Trump is not fit for the Oval Office. Should an unconstitutional, former president with not just one, but two impeachment trials be elected again? Ron DeSantis follows a similar political agenda.
With strong views against gun laws, reproductive rights and mandates on vaccines and masks, Trump seems to have comparable opinions on racial and social change.
The Best of All
It is safe to say that President Biden is not performing badly halfway through his term. He accomplished the passing of important bills, dealing with problems that had put the United States at a complete standstill.
Biden’s reforms are crucial for the successful future of the country. In the meantime, Republican opponents seem to be working in the opposite direction, trying to push conservative bills and, with this, triggering a rise in right-wing beliefs.
With a divided nation, it leaves Biden with rather low approval ratings. Yet, he has the highest chance of winning for the Democratic Party and Presidential Elections, especially since recent polls have shown a tie between Trump and Biden.
All of this does not make him an ideal candidate, but right now, it makes him the most suitable for the future of the United States.
Sources: BBC, McKinsey, NBC, The Independent, TheGuardian, The White House
Written by Eva Koch
The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of MJPE or its Board. The designations employed in this publication and the presentation of material therein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the MJPE concerning the legal status of any country, area or territory or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers.