OP-ED: Biden’s First Year in Office

OP-ED: Biden’s First Year in Office

Hannah Steinberg, Clubs Editor, Sophomore

Victorious in the brutal battle for the presidency, Biden was inaugurated as president of America in January of 2021 during a time of great chaos and national divide. His presidency prompted a ripple of positive and negative reactions throughout the United States, some relieved to be free from Trump, and some angered about the new leader. Despite mixed feedback, Biden was not hesitant to begin reforms for “building back” America. In his first 100 days in office, Biden signed more than 60 executive actions, 24 of which are direct reversals of Trump’s policies. Have these policies made movement in our country? Or have they been all talk without a real shift?

Biden has undone a lot of the harm and restrictions that Trump has imposed on America, notably coronavirus, immigration, healthcare, economic, and environmental policies Trump put in place. Reversing these policies was essential, and allows for future improvements and reforms to be made in this country. As far as Biden’s promises go, he has kept them all, though some are still in the works.

Regardless of one’s political standpoint and whether they believe it to be positive, America has felt like a much less limiting place since Biden took office. Laws limiting women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, religions, and more minority groups have been revoked, giving these individuals more rights since Biden took office. One executive order passed by Biden was the reversal of the Trump administration’s ban on transgender Americans joining the military. Biden also established June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, making it a US federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the US, bringing recognition to the importance of this day in America. In terms of the reversal of Trump’s policies, Biden ended the funding for the construction of Trump’s border wall and reversed his travel ban on largely Muslim countries. Both targeted and discriminated against minority groups, deeming them unworthy of entrance to America, a country that is supposed to be a country of freedom for all.

In regards to Coronavirus, a reality that has held our country in a chokehold over the past two years, Biden has taken immediate action. The distribution of vaccines has been a priority and Biden has worked well with the CDC to control the pandemic that has been paralyzing our lives for the past almost two years. Of course, Biden can not control the different variants or the presence of the virus in America, but he has helped ensure the safety of Americans and done all that he can to help us in these hard times. Biden has encouraged and mandated Americans to be vaccinated, distributed millions of vaccines across the country, made stricter mask mandates, compensated those who were put out of work from the pandemic, and more. One specific law he signed was “The American Rescue Plan Act,” economic relief for all the havoc the pandemic caused in the American economy.

Trump damaged our planet with his beliefs that global warming and pollution were nonexistent and undid a lot of what past presidents have done to protect the planet. The harm he did to our planet is irreversible, however, Biden has reinstated the policies that Trump reversed, such as beginning the process of rejoining the Paris climate accord. He is also in the process of instating new laws and policies that protect the environment that Trump was otherwise opposed to. Biden has directed his policies towards achieving the goal of getting the federal government to net-zero emissions by 2050, in an attempt to revive the environment in the grand scheme of things. Through all his policies, Biden is really trying to help and improve the quality of life for the citizens of America. These policies are considerate in that they acknowledge the diversity of socio-economic status, personal identification, etc. across America and strive to help each party.

Biden is just what America needed after the chaos, and insanity Trump’s presidency brought on America. He may not be a president to go down in the books, but Biden is providing the stability the United States needs amid the many crises we are dealing with. I am satisfied with Biden’s first year in office and think he has already impacted America for the better. I am anxiously anticipating the further reforms and policies Biden is in the midst of making, but have trust in his leadership. Thanks to Biden, a lot of what Trump incorrectly believed made America “great again” is gone, and the country is on the path to a brighter future.