Biden’s First Days in Office: Not Perfect, but Close

Well, folks, we’re more than 2 (and almost 3) months into the post-nightmarish leadership that we voted into office. Trump is somewhere in Florida, or at the New York DA’s office, with no real political power to utilize to dismantle and disregard the practices of the federal government (woohoo!). However, how has Joe Biden held up over the past two months in office after taking over the reins? Really amazing? Absolutely horrible? Somewhere in between? Well, it’s a combination of all of the above. 

President Biden took office during arguably one of the most tumultuous times in American history. The US was (and still is) in an economic recession contributing to high unemployment and significant business closures. It was only 2 weeks after the attack on the Capitol (courtesy of Mr. Trump). Not to mention the fact that COVID-19 is still a massive part of our society. Over the course of the campaign, facing these intense and life-altering issues, Joe Biden made many lofty promises. I remember vividly when I saw him in person at the Wilmington Riverfront, Biden said, quote, “help is on the way.” He expressed this sentiment all along the campaign trail and all the way until his inauguration on January 20th. Frankly, it’s what gave him this election: the idea that the damaging policies set under President Trump would be reversed and those hit hardest would have a better chance of getting ahead. Let’s assess what’s happened since day one, shall we?

President Biden has done a lot since he came into office. Whether it be fighting for more climate justice, or working to fight for trans rights within the armed forces, Biden’s executive orders have encompassed a lot. All-in-all, this type of change has proven to be integral to the American people, especially after the last 4 years of complete ignorance of these issues. In total, 20 executive orders were passed, subverting the executive orders from former President Trump and establishing the basis of a Biden presidency. While many on the right have criticized Biden’s use of executive power, one has to consider that many of the orders that he has signed solely reversed many of the former president’s policies that were easily reversible due to a lack of permanent establishment in the house and the senate. Furthermore, Biden has been immensely successful when it comes to his distribution and investment in a COVID vaccine. As I am writing this article, not only have I received my own first dose of the Moderna vaccine, roughly ⅓ of the country has as well. Not to mention the fact that a 1.9 trillion dollar aid package was passed, distributing financial support to businesses and citizens after a long stretch of government ignorance. 

An important distinction, as well, with the Biden presidency is the lack of publicity that it is receiving from the media. With the Trump presidency, there was always something to report on. Biden is, in a lot of ways, blissfully boring when it comes to policy. There are some exceptions (I’ll get to them later, hang on), but by and large it has been a quiet presidency. When asking around about the perception of the Biden presidency, I received very similar answers to that of Matty Klous from Salesianum, who commented on the fact that he has heard very little about what President Biden has done over the past 2 months. Although he commented on how his overall perception is somewhat positive, it is very interesting to hear the lack of overwhelmingly strong outrage or support for the president. 

Now, with all of that said, President Biden has not been perfect. Many have criticized the fact that he did not directly keep his campaign promises. He promised $2,000 checks, citizens got $1,400. He promised a better corporate tax structure on the first day and still has not formalized anything. He promised no deportations in the first 100 days, which he went back on. Naturally, many critics, especially from the left, have somewhat justifiably characterized Biden as someone who is unable to keep his promises. 

So, what do you think? Has Biden been an effective president? After writing this article, I tend to follow the belief that, overall, the simple acknowledgement of the global pandemic and crippling economic crisis is a win regardless of policy. The fact that, in nearly a 50/50 split senate and house, Biden was able to pass one of the largest aid bills in American history to get direct help is nothing short of amazing. Plus, of course, the vaccine. Now, with an infrastructure bill possibly coming to fruition, and rumors of a second stimulus, Biden’s presidency could be off to an even better start. Biden is not perfect, but the fact that this country lacks Trump as its president, things are on a much more positive path.