The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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Op-ed: Biden is still the best option for college students

Liza Sheehy

In the United States, skepticism has been mounting in recent months about the Biden administration. With concerns about President Joe Biden’s age, frequent criticism over his handling of the Israel-Hamas war and the remainders of a post-COVID-19 inflation scare, there has been growing apprehension over Biden’s ability to handle another term in office. 

However, if we take a step back to look at what has gone on in his term and what alternatives the future might hold, Democrats, and the country as a whole, need to see that another four years of Biden leading the United States is the best path forward. 

Both past and recent policies of former President and current 2024 presidential candidate, Donald Trump, (who is all but guaranteed to win the Republican nomination), should make it pretty clear that electing him over Biden would be a threat to the country. For example, Trump’s foreign policy initiatives are downright dangerous for global security, shown not only by his withholding of aid to Ukraine in an attempt to blackmail the country into helping his 2020 election campaign, but also by his interest in withdrawing from NATO and abandoning United States allies like Taiwan, who he once complained “took our business away.” 

Furthermore, his continued pushing of ignorant travel bans from majority-Muslim countries, veiled as a measure to stop terrorism, is nothing but hateful. His vicious attacks on Jewish people, including his accusation that they were trying to “control [their] politicians”  and that people who didn’t support his campaign were voting to “destroy America and Israel,” are dangerous and antisemitic.

His domestic policy is no better — he has gone past praising authoritarian rulers and dictators to talking about the possibility of being one himself. His appearance on Fox News where he promised to “only” be a dictator “on day one” underscores that he is not afraid to abuse power if he ascends back to the presidency, even if he claims to have the self-control to limit himself to only one day of dictatorship. This dangerous rhetoric was only strengthened by his cryptic posting of a word cloud highlighting how people thought his next term would be a “dictatorship” on Truth Social, an alternative social media platform Trump founded and of which he is currently the chairman

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank with ties to the former Trump administration, has plans for the complete dismantling of the U.S. bureaucracy if Trump is elected. These plans include replacing the bureaucracy with conservative loyalists at the cost of tens of thousands of jobs and the dismantling of anti-discrimination protections. The plans also include hateful rhetoric such as its attacking transgender people as “pornographic” and calling for their arrest.

Additionally, there are dozens of criminal charges surrounding the attempted overturning of the 2020 election and the mishandling of classified documents. Along with civil cases for fraud, defamation and sexual abuse, Trump’s antics make him sorely unfit for a second term. 

But what has Biden done to earn our vote instead of a third-party candidate or another Democrat? The answer lies in his repeated political victories that have often flown under the media’s radar. 

One of Biden’s top achievements in his term so far has been reducing the price of prescription drugs. With the onset of the Inflation Reduction Act, negotiations on fair prices for widely-used medications for diabetes, cancer, heart disease and other conditions started Feb. 1. Another meaningful achievement was a massive bipartisan infrastructure bill, launching 40,000 different projects to repair roads, bridges and railroads around the country. Biden also passed the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science Act that aims to grow the semiconductor industry in the United States. On top of boosting American manufacturing, the Biden administration has aimed to protect worker’s rights by requiring companies to treat gig workers as employees instead of classifying them as contractors to keep salaries low, and has proposed a rule that would vastly expand eligibility for overtime pay. Biden has also protected consumers by cracking down on misleading fees often used by event ticket companies, and his administration has taken aim at corporations like Amazon and Google for their harmful monopolistic practices. 

Biden’s foreign policy track record is solid as well. He has stood by Ukraine as it continues to battle against Russian invasion and has been continuing to pressure a chaotic Congress to continue helping the country fight against its tyrannical invaders. Biden has also stood in support of U.S. allies in Asia. As the Chinese government calls “reunification” with Taiwan a “historical inevitability,” Biden has stood by Taiwan and committed to the island’s defense in the event of an invasion by the People’s Republic of China, who concerningly views the newly-elected Taiwanese President as a “dangerous separatist.”

As well as protecting U.S. allies in Europe and Asia, President Biden has handled conflicts in the Middle East and Gaza as effectively as he possibly can, as shown in  his administration’s efforts to negotiate a hostage release and temporary ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war in November 2023. In recent weeks, U.S. officials have been getting closer to negotiating another ceasefire and the freeing of hostages, and possible peace deals have been considered by both Hamas and the Israeli government. However, Biden’s ability to stop the war from raging further remains limited — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has continued to reject and act hostile towards recent ceasefire negotiations, and his irresponsible actions have even led Biden to reportedly say he was “impossible to deal with.” Elsewhere in the Middle East, Biden’s strong response to Houthi attacks on civilian shipping and Iranian-backed terrorism shows his commitment to the security and safety of the region and is further evidence of Biden’s adeptness in foreign policy.

Biden’s policymaking has also been very important for Northeastern students. One of his biggest continuing achievements has been his effort to cancel student loan debt, which has saved 3.7 million Americans over 100 billion dollars on loans they had been repaying in vain. 

These savings will continue to grow as programs such as income-based loan forgiveness and relief for students who have been under long-term student debt continue to be put into place. Under Biden’s administration, the economy has rebounded from a pandemic-era recession, putting the next generation of college graduates into an economy in which they are ready to succeed. Biden has also shown steadfast support of reproductive rights in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, such as his recent expansion of coverage for abortion and contraception under the Affordable Care Act. His policymaking has even funded a project to modernize Boston Logan Airport, pledging 62 million dollars in September 2022 to add gates, expand its baggage claims and add ticketing and accessibility services to the airport. 

The alternatives to Biden that now remain in the race are nowhere near as equipped as he is to handle the needs of the presidency. Vaccine conspiracy theorist and failed Democratic candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who seems to be more reliant on his family’s name than developing a true platform, has had his campaign carried by a small number of wealthy donors, and the third-party bid he’s staging continues to be marred by bad hires, mismanagement and staff resignations. Dean Phillips, a primary challenger who lost by over 30% to a grassroots write-in campaign for Biden in New Hampshire and by a margin of over 94% in South Carolina’s primary, has shown no ability to lead an effective bid for the presidency, let alone to get his supporters to show up to events

At this point, it’s clear to me that Biden is the only 2024 candidate left who both has a solid platform and a demonstrated track record showing an ability to lead the country effectively. 

Though much of his strongest work often goes unreported in the media, Biden has been able to work across the aisle effectively when afforded the opportunity to. As a leader, he is willing to stand by U.S. allies worldwide, while also ensuring that Americans are not left behind in any way through his strong bipartisan domestic policy initiatives.

Patrick O’Neal is a second-year political science and communication studies combined major, and an executive board member of the Northeastern University College Democrats. He can be reached at [email protected]

About the Contributor
Liza Sheehy
Liza Sheehy, Design Editor
Liza Sheehy is a third-year history, culture, and law major with a minor in Spanish and journalism studies. She is currently serving as deputy design editor for The News. Liza is originally from Baltimore, Maryland and has been designing for The News since spring 2022.
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