American Family Plan first – The Bowdoin Orient

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October 15, 2021

This piece represents the opinion of the author.

Kyra tan

Progressives are caught between nostalgia for the past and a deep loathing for it.

Legislative heroes of the left – Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mark Pocan, Ayanna Pressley – are appropriating the language and rhetoric of a bygone era in American politics for their progressive agenda. One need only look at the Green New Deal or the proposals to reshape the Supreme Court. Both reflect the policies advanced by FDR at the height of its progressive power in the early 20th century.

At the same time, modern progressives, embodied by many Bowdoin students, are just as uncomfortable with the idea that government can be a force for good as some libertarian conservatives. For these students, even the use of federal power by liberal titans like Roosevelt and Johnson must be contextualized by their bigotry and hawkishness. Today, the Hill is seen as a revolving door of lobbyists, hackers, and career politicians, not to mention somewhat representative of the American public. Real change in their eyes can only come from the destruction of the system, which means that there is nothing wrong with disrespect or abstention as long as it is coupled with a commitment to issues. keys.

But let’s all get out of our chairs for a second.

As I write these lines, Joe Biden is delaying passage of a popular, traditional, bipartisan infrastructure bill so that the American family plan – complete with universal pre-k, free community college, time off. family and medical paid and an expansion of Medicare – could pass.

what are we doing? Our president is fighting for real and tangible benefits for workers and instead of coming to his support we sit on the sidelines. We allow the sphere of influence to be filled by languishing moderates frightened by their prospects for re-election instead of rallying under the banner of bidenism, or bidenomics, or whatever we want to call a revitalization of the net. social security.

I am not against the restructuring of our institutions. It has already been done. About a century ago, we decided that senators should be elected directly, and few existing federal agencies predate the FDR. But the US government is not just a mechanism for the will of the people. It’s a complex and dynamic bureaucratic engine designed to curb our worst impulses and reinforce our best ideas.

If we can mobilize for change within the framework of our democracy, we can advocate for a Green New Deal, legislate a modern civil rights movement, and design a social safety net that guarantees housing, health care and a healthy education. quality to all Americans. But that can only happen if we stop treating government as an obstacle to progress.


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