Thursday, April 29, 2021

The President Speaks

 Doug Mills/The New York Times

 I thought President Biden gave a great speech last evening that laid out a plan for the future of America. Let me start there. 

It has been 100 days since Joe Biden was inaugurated. America is a very different place that it was four years ago, but there is hope for the future. 

I reviewed the transcript this morning and continued to be impressed with the attempt at inclusiveness. I was impressed that there were cogent sentences that laid out complex policies without vilifying any particular group. There were invitations to join together and a call for working together restart America. The president laid out a Jobs Plan and called for the Congress to jointly approve the plan to move America forward. 

The president said:

We all know life can knock us down. But in America, we never, ever, ever stay down. Americans always get up. Today, that’s what we’re doing. America is rising anew. Choosing hope over fear, truth over lies and light over darkness. After 100 days of rescue and renewal, America is ready for a takeoff, in my view. We’re working again, dreaming again, discovering again and leading the world again. We have shown each other and the world that there’s no quit in America. None.  (from NY Times)

The president is calling for government to rescue Americans caught in the middle of an economic downturn and COVID-19. how can anyone be against that? Wait, this is still America and people are allowed to dissent.

And how to bring about renewal? I found the following to be especially exciting:

Look, think about it. There is simply no reason why the blades for wind turbines can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing. No reason. None. No reason. So folks, there’s no reason why Americans — American workers can’t lead the world in the production of electric vehicles and batteries. There is no reason. We have the capacity. They’re best-trained people in the world. The American Jobs Plan is going to create millions of good-paying jobs, jobs Americans can raise a family on. As my dad would then say, with a little breathing room. And all the investments in the American Jobs Plan will be guided by one principle: Buy American. Buy American.

As the president pointed out, this is nothing new and it was not invented by his predecessor. The president went on to say:

And I might note parenthetically, that does not violate any trade agreement. It’s been the law since the ’30s, buy American. American tax dollars are going to be used to buy American products, made in America, to create American jobs. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, and it will be in this administration.

I was encouraged by what I heard. Sadly, the opposite side has not proposed solutions, only objections. My view is if you want to object that's fine, but what are you proposing instead? 

The president noted:

I have never been more confident or optimistic about America. Not because I am president. Because of what’s happening with the American people. We’ve stared into the abyss of insurrection and autocracy, pandemic and pain, and “We the people” did not flinch.

I hope the momentum of the first 100 days can continue and that more and more the opposition will decide that there is merit in the ideas. At least there is a plan to discuss and determine the future for America. I still cannot fathom how we can decide against helping Americans in need.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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