New President, Same Mistakes

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Published March 9, 2021
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The Montclarion
Ian Long | The Montclarion

After any presidential election, there is always a feeling of hope that maybe these next four years will be better than the last. Regardless of political party or affiliation, the wish for a better future and better country should be the main goal for any incoming president. While we may have just elected President Joe Biden, his first month in office has made me anything but hopeful.

Each time a new story is put out in reference to a decision by the Biden administration, whether it be about immigration reform or tensions in the Middle East, I find myself humming Tame Impala’s “New Person, Same Old Mistakes.”

President Biden seems to be evading the harsh criticism from media outlets typically seen during the Trump administration by simply being anyone but Donald Trump. On Feb. 22, President Biden reopened a child detention facility for migrant children in Carrizo Springs, Texas. Trump opened many of these facilities during his presidency and was immediately criticized by media outlets ranging from Elle Magazine to The New York Times for treating children like prisoners.

It seems the Biden administration forgot their campaign promises to undo any hard-line immigration reform put in place by the previous administration and instead reopened something that Trump himself implemented. The idea that this detention facility will move away from a “law-enforcement approach” as stated by Mark Weber, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, and instead focus on child welfare is simply unrealistic.

Biden has simply slapped a new sign over the old one and expects the same media who criticized Trump to ignore the fact that regardless of intentions, a child in jail remains a child in jail.

Another “old mistake” within the Biden administration came on Feb. 26 with the authorization of yet another Syrian airstrike aimed to send a strong message to Iranian militants and their supporters.

With promises of bringing diplomacy back to the White House, President Biden has again gone back on his word and continued the age-old American tradition of bombing the Middle East in search of peace.

I am in no way supporting the actions of Trump, but his attacks were widely condemned by the media. Other than a few select newspapers like NPR and AP News, the story came and went and was forgotten almost instantly. Biden has once again escaped the hellfire awaiting him by just being silly, that is, old Biden and not a loose cannon Trump.

There is a pattern developing and it is one that will be increasingly hard to change the further we progress into Biden’s presidency. We need to hold presidents accountable for their actions regardless of their political party.

Simply being different than the last does not allow for the same errors to be repeated. Ignoring and excusing the actions of an administration because “things could be worse” is the worst possible way to pave a better future.

I want to remain hopeful and believe President Biden will take advice from progressives and not turn into another factory model president. However, I am reminded of the lyrics from Tame Impala’s song. “Man, I know it’s hard to digest. But maybe your story ain’t so different from the rest.”

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