It took a global pandemic, but Democrats are finally embracing big government (https://www.npr.org/2021/04/12/985879650/democrats-used-to-run-from-big-government-label-theyre-now-embracing-it). While the party had largely tried to distance itself from titles such as “socialist”, they are now using their majorities in both congressional houses and control of the White House to pass sweeping legislation, drastically expanding the scope of the federal government.
While President Biden campaigned as the moderate alternative to other candidates such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren or Sen. Bernie Sanders, he is now embracing policies that lean further and further left. Since taking office he has already passed a $2 trillion relief package and has proposed a $4 trillion infrastructure bill. Republicans have opposed both measures, but polls indicate that the American public largely supports them. This may change by the time the next election cycle begins, but for now President Biden and the Democrats are confident that the American people have their backs. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) said, "We need big, bold change, and the federal government has to be a big part of it. I believe the American people want it and are ready for it."
Republicans are cautioning that these bills will serve as Trojan Horses, ushering in liberal policies addressing various unrelated issues. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) said, "Joe Biden may have won the nomination, but I think Bernie Sanders won the war over what the Democratic party is these days." Will they be able to slow new legislation before attempting to retake the majority in 2022, or will they just serve as spectators as Democrats check off several items from their “wish list”?
It will be interesting to see how the Republican Party and the American public respond in the coming months. With the pandemic diminishing in many areas, will Americans still want the federal government to intervene? Is the Democratic Party fully embracing its progressive side, or is this only the first step as they move further to the left? Will limited government return, or is an active, centralized government here to stay?
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