After one year, Biden has failed to unite U.S. and broken key promises
Updated 21:36, 21-Jan-2022
Bradley Blankenship
U.S. President Joe Biden. /Getty

U.S. President Joe Biden. /Getty

Editor's note: Bradley Blankenship is a Prague-based American journalist, political analyst and freelance reporter. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

It's now been one year since U.S. President Joe Biden took office. Biden is a long-running face in American politics, having previously served in the Senate for 36 years from 1973 to 2009 and as vice president under President Barack Obama for eight years immediately after that.

He ran his presidential campaign on being the antithesis to former President Donald Trump. As opposed to Trump's divisiveness and recklessness, Biden pledged to unite the nation and bring stability back to the White House. That is, it was his promise that brought people in after enduring four years of daily drama.

After one year in office, it's clear that Biden is not delivering as promised. His average approval on FiveThirtyEight currently stands at 42 percent as of January 19 and he has fallen through on several key promises. 

The most important issue is that Biden has been unable to manage the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. On the last year's Independence Day, Biden declared success in beating COVID-19, yet there were more deaths in that year than in 2020. The country continues to set new daily infection records and business closures and goods shortages are still happening routinely. 

His strategy has shifted from actual management of the crisis to a PR role, telling states to take a more active role as the federal government ducks out. The federal government has only just now begun to deliver home tests to Americans and updated guidelines for people to wear respirators, also planning to send these to homes. 

A recent decision by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to shorten the quarantine period to just five days has made clear that the administration has accepted defeat on the pandemic front and expects every American to be exposed at some point. Likewise, the Department of Health and Human Services announced recently that hospitals are no longer required to report daily COVID-19 deaths.

Both of these decisions show that the U.S. is essentially throwing its hands up in the fight against COVID-19. This is, as it were, the new normal that Americans can expect – and they are largely not happy with it, as the polls show. 

Biden's signature legislation, the Build Back Better (BBB) agenda, was also killed in Congress by members of his party. This legislation contained many key domestic policy promises that are probably going nowhere now, including subsidies for child care, health care and lowered prescription drug prices. Each of these provisions will cost Americans of almost every walk of life, minus the wealthy, dearly.

Plus, the bill included an extension on monthly payments through the child tax credit, which had cut childhood poverty by about 40 percent, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. So it means that this bill not passing, taken together with increased costs of living due to inflation, could likely see childhood poverty figures reverse by well over 40 percent.

But there were also some key Biden campaign promises that were axed from the BBB, which Americans are not soon to forget. Some examples are tuition-free community college and paid family leave. 

The U.S. Capitol Building at sunrise, in Washington, D.C., the U.S., January 06, 2022. /Getty

The U.S. Capitol Building at sunrise, in Washington, D.C., the U.S., January 06, 2022. /Getty

An August poll by the Pew Research Center found that 63 percent of U.S. adults support making all public colleges free, not just community colleges, though there were stark partisan divides. Polls have also consistently shown that paid family leave is broadly supported by most U.S. adults, regardless of party, and the U.S. is currently the only industrialized nation on the planet to not have it.

Both of these popular policies were cut out because of the bill's price tag, which is, in reality, would have only been a fraction of what the country overspends on its bloated military. They represent even more promises broken by Biden.

There are many more issues to mention, including climate matters and immigration, but foreign policy is another important point to mention. Biden fulfilled his promise of ending America's longest war, the war in Afghanistan, but did so in a manner so poorly planned that it embarrassed Washington globally and left a sour taste in the mouth of most Americans. 

On broken promises, Biden said that he would focus his administration on diplomacy, yet is creating divisive situations around the world – especially with countries like China and Russia. He said he would focus his administration on human rights yet is violating them just like his predecessors, while providing cover for brazen U.S. war crimes, like a recent drone bombing in Kabul that killed 10 civilians, including seven children. 

The U.S. under Biden is following the same patterns of escalation and heavy-handedness as past administrations with no discernible difference. It is ramping up unilateral coercive actions, upping militarization of both Russia and China's neighborhood and engaging in petty diplomatic grandstanding, namely with the boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.

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