By Jamie Filias

Freshman, GW

President Biden has had a very busy and eventful first 100 days in office. He has pursued gun control policy, signed several executive orders, approved a giant spending package, overseen the expansion of the welfare state, and implemented backwards immigration policy. It has become abundantly clear—after only 100 days—that Joe Biden is not as moderate as he promised during his campaign. However, conservatives acknowledging the President’s accomplishments may be helpful for the future of our country’s discourse. 


One area where Biden has exceeded many Americans’ expectations across the aisle is in his COVID-19 response. Since the start of his term, Biden has been successful in purchasing hundreds of millions of vaccine doses from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson to fight back against the COVID-19 pandemic. The President has also pushed for and approved the $1,400 stimulus checks that Republicans have been advocating for months. Even though his $1.9 trillion stimulus bill was packed with useless spending that will further inflate the U.S. dollar, that small portion that makes up the stimulus checks is going towards rebuilding our economy. Even though small businesses are in trouble—and I have seen this first hand since I work at two restaurants in my hometown—this stimulus package is helping those businesses catch up and make up for lost revenue. It was also great when President Biden paused federal student loans by directing the Department of Education to allow borrowers to stop making payments towards student loans. This can be very helpful to those drowning in debt and losing money due to government mandated lockdowns


Beyond Biden’s short list of strong policies, one of his messages was well-advised in the current divisive environment: unity. While President Biden has failed to unify the country — mainly due to his partisan policy and rhetoric—at least he has put that message out during a time when political discourse is as heated as ever. The rhetoric has been particularly radical from progressive and far-left members of the Democratic party. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez falsely accusing Senator Ted Cruz of attempted murder, Representative Maxine Waters calling to chase Trump cabinet members out of restaurants and gas stations as well as Stacey Abrams calling the Georgia voting bill “Jim Crow.” Biden himself is guilty of going too far as he has said that Mitt Romney was going to put black people “back in chains,” said “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump then you ain’t black,” and that he would beat up Donald Trump if he was in high school. With that said, far-right Republicans are not innocent either, as some have made fun of Biden for falling on the steps of Air Force One, and also mocked the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Both sides are guilty of going too far with their rhetoric.  


Even though Joe Biden’s presidency has not precipitated widespread national unity, no president will. The reason is simple: the two parties’ underlying views of the role of government, culture, the Constitution, and fiscal responsibility are nearly irreconcilable. Just because he has not accomplished the impossible goal of nationwide unity does not mean he has not been a success, however. Pushing the message of unity itself is a success, especially in a time of polarization. Most politicians don’t spread this message and that’s why Biden should be commended for it. Most conservatives and liberals appreciate the notion and sentiment of civil discourse that Biden is striving towards which may have been a large contributing factor to his 2020 victory. 


If we want Biden’s message of unity to become a reality, we as fellow Americans need to put civic duty before partisan politics. We must look across the aisle and acknowledge the good ideas both parties have. Even though unity can never truly be accomplished, Americans can always seek to understand other viewpoints and beliefs in order to have a better and more peaceful country moving forward. Sometimes we have to rely on ourselves for peace in this country rather than the language of politicians; however, Joe Biden should be commended for his push for unity.


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