What does it mean to be a president ‘for all Americans’?

Since the election, and President Biden’s inaugural address, on the left, Democrats are yelling, “YAY!”, and on the right, Republicans are yelling, “Nay!”. Over and over I hear the Republican pundits (maybe not the average citizen) denouncing Biden’s executive actions as being divisive because they are actions not acceptable to Republicans. Things like spending $1.9 trillion to help people struggling with the pandemic (with a provision to make the federal minimum wage $15 an hour!), or revamping immigration to provide an 8 year pathway to citizenship for some 11 million people here illegally (without ramping up border security!), are anathema to the Republican way.

OK, Democrats and Republicans can disagree on these things, and Biden can even work to make them happen, and I claim Biden is still far more of a president ‘for all Americans’ than Trump ever was. This is because Biden is applying an even hand to the tiller. He is not enacting a minimum on property tax deductions (SALT cap) that primarily increases federal taxes in blue states like New York and California, while sparing red states like West Virginia (which has very little in the way of property taxes). And yeah, Trump knew exactly what he was doing with that one. Trump directed COVID-19 funds, at least in part, specifically for political gain. Trump made clear that FEMA help would come to those who pledged their loyalty to him, where as governors that dared to hold a view opposing Trump’s would get little aid and much criticism.

Let us be clear. Blue states, by in large, get less bang for their investment buck in the federal government than red states. Biden hasn’t made it a point to single out red states that are in lock step with Trump, still! He hasn’t made the aid he is signing into law conditional on absolute loyalty to him, or even to the Democratic party. He is trying to lift the entire country out of the mess left by Trump, out of the pandemic, out of the racial bias that permeates so many facets of our life, away from the cripplingly high wealth gap. And that, folks, is what it means to be a president ‘for all Americans’. That is what it means to work to unify the country.

Trump saw everything as a competition of people looking for his favor. Biden sees a sea of people who are hurting. Before you diss the ideas Democrats are proposing to walk this country back from the abyss because Fox, Breitbart, and OANN tell you to, take a look at where these Democratic policies are rooted. They are rooted here, in the heart of America. In the belief that America as a whole does better when all Americans do better.

Biden has surrounded himself with experts. Not professional, um, well… let’s just say they all have brown noses. Biden will listen to ideas that run counter to his intuition. And he will act on the ideas that make the most sense to him, the ones he believes have the greatest chance of success, not the ones that make him most popular. Biden wants America to succeed, and more importantly, for all Americans to succeed. Not just his friends. Not just those that revere him. Not just those that have enough money to get his attention. “Draining the swamp” shouldn’t mean replacing experts with “yes men” (nearly all of them white, and nearly all of them male, by the way). Did you happen to notice how quickly even Trump’s most loyal “yes men” were dumped when they ticked Trump off in one way or another?

Most importantly (at least to me), Biden has pledged to tell the truth. Imagine that! A politician that doesn’t tell at least one lie to the American people every single day (Trump averaged more than 17 per day in office). Hard to imagine, I know. But please….give Biden a chance to prove it is possible.

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