America needs a progressive president for several reasons. Before I explain why, it’s important to understand why the ideology and language of a president is important to the health and stability of the nation.
The president has less influence over the legislative process than most people think, and often endorses legislation around party lines. If you analyze legislation passed during each administration, there wouldn’t be much variation from one president from the next.
For example, if Vice President Mike Pence was president instead of Donald Trump, similar laws would have been passed because tax cuts, deregulation of business, and increases in military budget are common Republican goals and would likely have been enacted by other Republican presidential administrations. However, Trump is not your average Republican president.
The most damaging aspect of Trump’s administration is the character shift that this nation has undergone. According to The New York Times, there has been a dramatic upswing in hate crimes against Latinx people since 2016, a common target of hateful rhetoric under the current administration. Attacks against the media have resulted in greater distrust of news outlets, which allows the proliferation of alternative news outlets that spread misinformation. There are many other examples to cite, but in short, the U.S. would be very different under the leadership of a progressive president.
Trump’s misuse of the bully pulpit demonstrates the extent to which presidents shape the nation during their presidency. I believe the United States has been damaged by the Trump administration. The U.S. is a worse place to live for many people now than it was three years ago. The rights of trans people have been threatened, while Muslims and many other minorities face a distinct uptick in hate crimes and discrimination than they did before Trump was inaugurated.
This is why we need a progressive president who can reshape the character of the nation to make it more inclusive, accepting, and tolerant. A president who won’t use divisive and abusive language when threatened politically will be a great boon to this nation. In this presidential race, America must elect someone who will use the powers of the bully pulpit for good. We need a president who will pursue an agenda of equal rights for all and halt discriminatory practices that pervade American society. Ideologically progressive candidates such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have demonstrated greater commitment to protecting the rights of Americans than any other Democratic candidate. They demonstrate a commitment to economic and social equality that other candidates don’t. While some may argue that candidates like Sanders are divisive as well, his well-recieved appearance on a Fox News town hall and endorsement by popular podcast host Joe Rogan shows that a progressive candidate can connect with a wide variety of voters.
Universal healthcare, reducing the cost of college, and universal childcare are policies that will give more Americans the opportunity to succeed without other factors holding them back. Once this is accomplished, perhaps America can live up to the standard that we set for everyone else.
Opinions expressed in columns and letters are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Chips or organizations with which the author(s) are associated.