Politics | February 23rd, 2022
Has Biden Kept His Promises to the Young Electorate?
By: Jaylin Alleyne
2020 felt like a year of change for many people across the country. For what felt like ages, former President Donald Trump’s time in office was finally coming to an end. Citizens felt as though a new future was on the horizon. President Joe Biden spent his candidacy touting promises for minority communities, hinging on the desperate need for change. Alongside Vice President Kamala Harris, the campaign went to great lengths in order to gain trust in vulnerable communities that would be essential for their victory in the 2020 election.
Almost two years later, many people feel as though no real changes in the areas that they thought would be prioritized have been made. Summer Johnson, a first-year biology student attending Florida A&M University, is one of the many students left confused and disappointed.
“It is extremely frustrating for many reasons. Biden made a point to do different charming appearances to gain the trust of the minority and now it just feels as though it’s some sick joke,” Johnson said. “I am also a first-time voter which I was initially excited for because it is stressed in the media that if you vote you are a part of the change that you want to see. It feels like that excitement did not amount to any type of progress the public promised.”
“COVID-19 is still running rampant across the country”
Biden and his team made a plan that was intended to drastically decrease COVID-19 cases across the country, including a nationwide testing board and guaranteed reliable, free COVID-19 testing. With sites like the Biden Promise Tracker holding him accountable, the POTUS has increased testing and reached the milestone of 100 million administered vaccines within 50 days. Unfortunately, the lack of enforced mask mandates have brought the nation’s safety into question.
“COVID-19 is still running rampant across the country and it looks like there is nothing slowing it down. I understand that there is more to his job than what meets the eye but in the same breath, this isn’t what I voted for,” Johnson said.
While it is only halfway through Biden’s presidency, some students choose to keep hope. So far in his presidency, Biden has established new fuel economy standards and reversed the transgender military ban.
“When Joe Biden announced his candidacy for POTUS there were a lot of promises that were made that he has yet to fulfill,” Allyson Christian, a second-year criminal justice major at FAMU, who voted for Biden said. “As someone who is into politics, I know that it’s not as easy as people think it is to pass bills and keep up with promises with a society that runs off checks and balances.”
Christian believes one of the biggest promises that have not been kept yet is dispersing student loans to families with incomes less than 125,000. President Biden promised to lessen the $1.7 trillion student loan debt crisis via debt cancellation and reformative student loan programs. Unfortunately, a lot of progress has yet to be made. While he has taken the initiative to pause debts during the pandemic, collections are set to resume in May. Many are confused and concerned on how they will be affected in the future.
“At the end of 2021, we as Americans learned that the proposed bill had been stalled due to unforeseen circumstances. As a college student, I do understand the frustration of it all, but I know it is not entirely President Biden’s fault,” Christian continued. “I’m hoping to receive money in the future around the time I graduate but I know I’m just going to have to wait and see what happens.”
“A lot of the promises that were made weren’t any promises that he wanted to do but promises that we wanted to hear”
Politicians are commonly criticized for creating a facade to garner a larger electorate. Citiyana Amsalu, a second-year political science major at Towson University, says that the jarring contrast between Biden and his predecessor may give reason to why he hasn’t been as proactive with his policies.
“He was giving the bare minimum but that is what was expected because his opponent was Trump. This not keeping promises ordeal isn’t anything new, he is a politician and all politicians do so,” Amsalu said. “A lot of the promises that were made weren’t any promises that he wanted to do but promises that we wanted to hear.”
Many young voters are dismayed that what they feel as a powerful moment has slowly become anticlimactic. With their future in his hands, Gen Z is anxiously awaiting the change they voted for.