RBHS responds to Biden’s post-election plans

Jonah Schexnayder, Staff Reporter

Since the conclusion of the 2020 election, president-elect Joe Biden has spoken out about various actions the Biden administration has planned to carry out when he is inaugurated. His topics have included his stance on the Affordable Care Act, the strengthening of the economy in the pandemic, and Foreign Policy & National Security team members. As transition from one president to another occurs, it is crucial that America knows what aspects of the country will change and how.

Students of Riverside Brookfield High School agree on what issues need to be addressed, but opinions begin to vary between them when it comes to how Biden plans to fight these issues. One highlighted issue concerns how to slow down the spread of COVID-19. In response to this, Biden announced a mask mandate discussed by governors that would require wearing a mask in all areas of the country.

RBHS sophomore Liam Schlesser said, “[The mask mandate] needs to happen. It doesn’t harm you and it saves lives, so why not wear one?”

Some students agree that the mask mandate will prove safe and should be enforced as America fights COVID-19, but others do not think the same.

“I don’t think that Biden should have the power to enforce a mandate for the entire country. I personally think that it should be up to each individual state and/or each individual business to decide.” said RBHS senior Charles Buh. “I do agree that masks are the safest and most efficient way to combat COVID-19 but I think that sets a bad precedent for the future and the amount of power the president has.”

Biden’s stance on mask-wearing is confirmed further by his public opinion on the topic as a whole. He believes that wearing a mask or not should not have been a political issue, as it is a patriotic duty to wear one. His repeated standpoint and promised enforcement has grown controversial with those who do not want to wear a mask.

“I don’t agree with this,” said RBHS sophomore Carroll Creedon, “it’s unconstitutional, and it infringes on my First Amendment rights to speech, assembly, and association as well as my rights to liberty and the ability to make decisions about my health and bodily integrity.”

Although fighting back against COVID-19 has been a large topic, Biden has also spoken publicly about how to rebuild the economy after the pandemic. He has talked of investing over $300 billion to strengthen schools, infrastructure, and create over 3 million new jobs. One point of interest has been that it is said that this plan will likely prioritize towns of color.

“I think that a lot of people from those towns need that opportunity to be more fair to them, because right now it is more difficult for people in those towns to get a sustaining job.” Schlesser said. “This would give them that opportunity to get a job and have a more safe and easier lifestyle.”

Creedon said, “We’re putting one group over the other. Americans should be seen and treated as equals, even if people didn’t think so in the past.”

Response to Biden’s promises for the future also vary when it comes to his stand against climate change. When going over National Security Team members, it was announced for the first time in presidential history that a seat will be for a climate envoy, who will work full-time to fight climate change. The current holder of the position will be John Kerry, most well-known for serving as Senator for Massachusetts. Students differ on whether or not they think this position will last after Biden’s presidency.

“I believe that this will be a running trend in the future as people will begin to realize that climate change is a prominent threat to our environment.” said Buh. “It is important to continue to conduct research to find out more about how we as a nation can combat against it.”

“I think [the continuation] depends on who becomes President after Biden.” said Creedon.

As of December 6, Biden has focused a large amount of his public speeches towards how he plans to rebuild the economy and livelihoods of the country. Diversity within RBHS opinions will likely remain varied up until next year when Biden’s plans are carried out and the effects are seen.

“For the first time in 4 years we have a president that wants to unite both sides of this country and work with people that have opposite views, not against them,” Schlesser said.

“I wouldn’t say that America is back because America has never left.” said Buh. “America thrived under President Trump and I hope it continues to under President Biden.”