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The election of a new administration is a time for reflection on what our national priorities should be. Informed by your religious worldview, what would you hope would be the priorities of the Biden/Harris administration in their first year of office? Do you have any particular policy or legislative proposals you would like to see advanced in 2021?


Full Citation for this Article: Editorial Board, SquareTwo Journal (2020) "Readers’ Puzzle, Fall 2020: What Should Be the Priorities of the New Administration?," SquareTwo, Vol. 13 No. 3 (Fall 2020), http://squaretwo.org/Sq2ArticleReadersPuzzleFall2020.html, accessed <give access date>.

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COMMENTS: 6 Comments

I. B. Kent Harrison

I would like to see:

1. Fewer politics, conflict with Republicans, less concern with increasing the minimum wage, less concern with packing the Supreme Court.

2. More emphasis on reducing the deficit and on entitlements. There is too much danger of inflation.

3. More acknowledgement that man-made climate change is real, and that we need to move on it, while being financially responsible.

4. A big push on developing non-fossil fuel energy sources; I am thinking of nuclear fission and fusion, solar power, geothermal power, in particular. Nuclear fission reactors can be made very safe with current technology; the main problem with them is disposal of fission products. Nuclear fusion would be wonderful if we can get to the point where energy output exceeds energy usage.

5. Less emphasis on going to Mars.

On another note, Biden has appointed noted geneticist Eric Lander as his science advisor and has made him a member of the cabinet.  I say hoorah! after the science goofs that Trump made.

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II. Ralph Hancock

I hope for little from the Biden administration. The democratic party is a fragile coalition whose only direction and momentum comes from its left-wing ideologues. The President’s whole purpose must be somehow to give the left base enough to keep it on board, while not so much as to make the essential madness and destructiveness of this ideological base so evident as to begin to alienate more moderate or non-ideological elements of the party.

From which I conclude this revision of my hopeless attitude: one can hope that the administration fails in this balancing act – an act which must eventually fail, unless a majority of the country really buy into the madness of political correctness-cancel culture, endlessly divisive racial politics, and open borders. And one can hope that, once this failure is clear, and that the radical wing of the Democrats’ is really their only star and compass, then a majority coalition of Americans will see their interest and their dignity in another approach. But this would require leadership to arise in the Republican party that could match former President Trump’s in contempt for our leftist elites, but without Trump’s vices and petty compulsions – that is, a leader (or someone approaching a statesman/woman) who could match Trump’s patriotic gut instincts, but with some ability to articulate just what it would mean to “make America great again.” It just may be possible.

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III. Savannah Eccles Johnston

My hopes for this administration are a renewed commitment to refugee resettlement and passage of comprehensive immigration reform. President Trump set 15,000 as the goal for refugee admissions in fiscal year 2021. That is a historically low number. For example, President Bush averaged 80,000 admissions a year! My hope is to see Biden keep his campaign promise to allow in 125,000 refugees a year. People don't generally want to leave their home country for a strange new land where starting over so often means leaving behind career, family, and memories. Refugees should be viewed accordingly as people who have been forced away from everything familiar just to stay alive. They deserve shelter and a chance to contribute - not suspicion and rejection.

Our current immigration system creates its own problems. It is so difficult for a poor person to immigrate legally to the U.S. that parents are willing to entrust their children to coyotes and break U.S. law just to give those children a chance at a future safe from rampaging gang violence, hunger, and climate catastrophe. Why not prevent this humanitarian disaster (and reduce the power of human smuggling operations along the border) by making immigration to the United States easier, thereby disincentivizing the costs of breaking immigration law? There is room and plenty to spare in the United States. Besides, we desperately need immigrants to keep up economically with China and to pay for bloated programs like Social Security. What about the Dreamers? They are Americans in everything but documentation. Give them a pathway to citizenship and thus a chance to succeed in the only country many of them have ever known.

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IV. Stephen Cranney

There's a difference between what I would like to see advanced and what I would like to see advanced *given the on-the-ground* political realities. Obviously, there are more conservative policies that just aren't going to happen with this administration. However, from the left Biden has an opportunity to take advantage of the supermajority support he enjoys on signature fiscal democratic issues like higher taxes for the wealthy and a more robust safety net for families. However, he could easily blunder his political capitol on not-popular, largely symbolic "woke" issues, or subsidizing very particular demographics (especially if doing so is actually regressive, like student loan forgiveness) that leave others footing the bill.

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V. Rachel Zirkle

My hope for the Biden/Harris administration is that through their examples and policy agenda, our country can find common ground and lay aside the divisive rhetoric that’s become mainstream. It should not be acceptable to belittle or demean others, yet that seems to have become par for the course among politicians. I hope that the bar is raised for kindness and tolerance in public office, throughout America. I’m grateful for knowledge of the restored gospel that teaches that good people are found among every party, belief, ethnicity, and race. I pray our country’s leadership can practice those truths and we as a nation can follow their examples.

I am also hopeful that public education can become a priority. I believe the COVID-19 pandemic exposed some gaping holes that have long existed in our education system. Instead of limping back to the old normal, this would be an ideal time to revamp the education system as a whole. With increased resources, training, and support, I would love to see policies directed to lift the public education system and to change the necessity of having to live in specific zip codes to go to a top-rated public school.

Also on my wish list of improvements in America would be legislation passed to support families and unpaid care labor. The current debate about whether child care, for example, is considered infrastructure, seems to be a step in that direction as far as getting the conversation started. I hope to see the unpaid work women do to keep the country running recognized for what it is on the national stage.

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VI. VH Cassler

I have been severely disappointed in the Biden/Harris Administration for what I consider several serious mis-steps in the first 100 days. First, there was apparently very little thought put into forecasting what the administration’s rhetoric would produce in terms of border crossings. Even the Washington Post is reporting a near-20 year high for border crossings since the election. The border states are overwhelmed, and that means both migrants and states suffer. This tragedy was entirely preventable. I hold the administration accountable.

The second mis-step was the utterly cavalier attitude towards women’s sex-based rights, as represented by the DOE guidance U-turn on day one of the administration, as well as the complete lack of concern for the validity of single-sex only spaces in places where women are physically vulnerable. The proposed Equality Act could have carved out an exemption for such places, but the administration did not care to lead on that issue. This is a serious betrayal of women voters who supported Biden’s candidacy.

The third mis-step is the purposeful acceleration of the fraying of our democratic institutions, such as the effort to expand the Supreme Court and the rejection of even minimal safeguards for the electoral process, such as identification for voters. We have to have identification to even get on a plane or drive a car or open a bank account, but we need not have any identification to vote? These stances will unravel citizens’ faith in our republic even more than it has already unraveled.

On the other hand, I am happy to see a renewed emphasis on support for working mothers, who have so obviously borne the brunt of the pandemic. I hope those efforts are successful, and I applaud them.

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