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Biden or Just Biding our Time? Frack No to Fracking & What Wall Street Wants

President Elect Joe Biden has recently begun releasing his picks for cabinet positions in his new administration. Setting aside the serious concerns for the moment around whether or not a Republican controlled Senate will even allow for Joe Biden to appoint his cabinet picks, and have a functioning government, what do Joe Biden's picks say about his vision for the next 4 years in America? And how does that compare to what Americans want?

Joe Biden appears to be picking his cabinet members based on the idea of being an anti-Trump president, with a liberal dose of returning to the Obama years. An anti-Trump style President is certainly a welcome change; the experience of the new cabinet picks in comparison to the incredible incompetence Of Trump's picks, shows Biden is looking for expertise, not loyalty in his cabinet and administrative members. This is a very promising sign for those who want government officials, not gangsters.

Less promising are the return to the Obama years. For many Democrats this might seem like a wonderful return to better days, but we must recognize that this is simply another form of the delusion that the Republicans have chased, in an admittedly much more virulent and extreme form in the MAGA movement under Trump. While we certainly need competence, we also need boldness, we need bravery, and a willingness to fight and to push the bounds of what we think possible for our government to deliver for us!

The challenges facing America in the next 4 to 10 years will simply be unprecedented. We are in the midst of a pandemic, and a global recession, as well as a massive levels of income and wealth inequality, rising tides of authoritarianism, and looming above all, the giant, proverbial, and perhaps literal, tsunami of the climate crisis. These challenges take more than a return to the good old days, no matter how wonderful they seem. These crises require new thinking and bold action, and unfortunately it does not seem like many of these cabinet picks are going to have that vision and boldness.

We should be concerned when a Secretary of the Treasury pick (Janet Yellin) is loved by Wall Street. And while John Kerry is certainly an amazing step up from the farce of having climate deniers in charge of climate policy, as was the case under Trump, getting back into the Paris climate accords cannot be considered as anything more than the 1st small step on a very long and arduous, but also exciting, road of change.

We should find it very concerning before even embarking on this path, that the Biden administration has made it so clear that they are against major policies, like banning fracking, even when only 36% of people currently support that position.

In swing states recent polling has found:

  • Nearly 1 in 3 Republicans support a ban on fracking.

  • Independents are evenly split on banning fracking.

  • Moderates support a fracking ban 51 to 35.

  • Voters under 35 support a ban by nearly 3 to 1.

  • Support for a ban is strongest among people with middle and lower incomes.

  • Nonwhite voters support a ban by more than 5 to 1.

Ultimately this reticence for bold thinking on an issue that Biden has touted as one of his big areas of action, with such deep support among key areas of his base, should give us pause. But rather than be discouraged, we should see this as opportunity for us to take the competent members of his cabinet, who know how to operate the levers of government, and force them to move those levers through organized, collective action. We must create the outside pressure in order to push the administration into responding with the bold action that is needed! None of that is even possible without competent people in charge. Nonetheless, this will not be easy, it will take enormous work and perseverance. It may even take an election or two of driving out intransigent Democrats, until the point sinks in.

We will not be able to look to our politicians for salvation of our democracy, we need to do it ourselves through organizing, and creating community and solidarity together. We can join together to bring attention to the issues of the masses, by exerting economic power in a way that gets the attention of the elites who rule this country, and care for nothing but money. Join us every Tuesday in growing solidarity as we fight the powers of division and oligarchs who threaten to undermine our democracy. Don't Shop on Tuesdays!

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