'The future is bright': Guardian US readers on their hopes for Biden's presidency

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Rachel Obordo
·8 min read
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<span>Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AFP/Getty Images

One week after the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States, we asked Americans how they feel about the election result and what their hopes are for the next four years.

‘Biden and Harris can show that we have a genuine desire to overcome the problems Trump has exposed’

I’m a Democrat and a secular humanist and voted for Biden and Harris. I believe in making the world a more equitable place. For 12 years, Donald Trump has pushed a racist agenda that has divided us, starting with his birther attacks on President Obama. Having exposed the rifts in our country, I believe Biden and Harris can show that we have a genuine desire to overcome the problems Trump has exposed.

The pandemic has shown us the fragility of our lives and how we need to work together to solve problems. I hope the Green New Deal can be implemented. The food industry is an example of how broken we are, and how we can make meaningful, just and environmental changes. Trump built a wall to keep people out, but agriculture depends on undocumented migrant workers. Every aspect of the food industry depends on immigrant labor, from harvesting to planting.

There’s also the pandemic and racial inequality, and the need to engage with people to understand what the Black Lives Matter and defund the police movements are. Biden needs to meet with the leadership of these movements. Joy Feasley, 54, arts worker, Philadelphia – voted for Joe Biden

‘The future is bright’

I proudly voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. My belief is that they will get the virus under control, provide immediate financial relief to everyone in need, reopen/open small minority-owned businesses, get the kids back to school (at least part-time by the summer months), and get everyone to continue to wear a mask.

My concern is the pushback from the GOP and the lingering bad blood from the Trump era. We have to find a way forward together and heal the divide.

I am especially elated we African Americans played such a huge role in electing Joe and Kamala. The power of black voices is growing stronger and I truly believe if we are to save the American democracy it will be because of African Americans. We hold fast to the American idea that all of us are created equal, entitled to justice and you cannot wish us away, as much as you would like to. We will beat back white supremacy and render their whole movement impotent through love, determination and fight. The future is bright. Robyn McGee, journalist, Los Angeles – voted for Joe Biden

‘It’s just more of the same’

The Democrats and the Republicans are as one. If you’d lived through [2020’s] horrifying fire season, you’d vote Green, too. If we don’t do something about this right now, we’re all doomed.

I’m not buying the “Uncle Joe” routine – it’s just more of the same. I have very few hopes for this administration. The corporate sponsors made it very clear. People want commonsense gun reform; a Green New Deal; an end to corporate tax loopholes; and Medicare for All, but they’re not gonna get any of it.

The most important thing that needs to happen is that the media needs reform. Some news channels spend every night spewing hate propaganda, often about each other. I’m from the UK, so imagine turning on Channel 4 News and having Jon Snow spew vile drivel at you for two hours about Sophie Raworth. It’s insanity. John, 47, commercial property developer, San Francisco – voted for Howie Hawkins and the Green party

‘We should cancel student loan debt that is crippling an entire generation’

I voted Biden/Harris, not because I like them, but because I honestly only wanted to see the “orange one” out of office. I believe Biden could do significant things for everyone but it’s hard to not see them in the pockets of lobbyists. I personally will not be putting hope in any Biden basket until I see significant changes.

I’d like to see universal healthcare; navigating a Covid-19 mass vaccination; more unemployment opportunities, especially for gig workers and people paid under the table; and consistent stimulus checks so we can all stay home and kill the spread of the virus. I also think he should cancel all federal and state student loan debt that is crippling an entire generation from any upward mobility (I have been living in a house with five roommates since I left high school); and pass significant environmental bills to protect wild areas and return land back to indigenous people.

Oh, and please can we paint the White House something a little more uplifting? Maybe a nice lavender or at the very least some shade of gray? Katy, 32, manager of a tattoo studio, Oregon – voted for Joe Biden

‘The administration should be careful about what they mess with’

I voted for Donald Trump. I don’t like him as a person, but I believe that good politicians don’t exist and that instead of voting for a personality you should vote for policy – I agree and support his policies on things like immigration, abortion and economics. I think that Joe himself is a weak person that will be easily influenced by the far-left members of his party. I think that the Biden administration should be very careful about what they mess with. If they’re smart, they won’t touch guns and they won’t even mention the word “reparation”. There are still over 70 million people, myself included, who voted for Trump that they shouldn’t forget about, even if they have marginalized and alienated them. Liam Cawood, 18, student, Georgia – voted for Donald Trump

‘We need to rein in corporations’

I voted Harris/Biden but it wasn’t a decision that I felt at ease with, because of Biden’s background and circle of influence. I felt that Kamala grew up in such a way that would give her some kind of somatic sense of what would support a large portion of people in our country who have not had care in a big way. They both seem to speak to care for all.

My greatest hope for the next eight years – because I think that’s the minimum time it would take the administration once it sets this intention – is to rein in corporations. We are far past a point where technology influences people. As far as I can see it, as long as corporations have legal entity status like people, and corporations are driven by resource accumulation, we will continue to remove power, voice and decision-making from people, which will self-perpetuate systems that are harmful. Isa Stewart, 28, works at a non-profit, New Mexico – voted for Joe Biden

‘My expectations are low’

I chose not to vote. The US has two capitalist parties and no working-class ones. This is seen most clearly in the lack of socialized medicine. However, in the past four years, the Republicans have moved towards neo-fascism, and the Dems have become the main capitalist party. I would vigorously support a labor party if I felt there was one. My expectations are low. [Biden’s] embrace of progressive cultural issues helps disguise the fact that the Dems’ only political program is maintenance of the status quo. Joy, 68, retired, Louisiana – chose not to vote

‘I hope the two parties can move towards the middle’

I learned a lot from this election. Joe was not my first pick as I wanted Kamala. After he won the primary and was nominated I realized that Joe was the perfect candidate all along. I didn’t think about the mess our country was in. I wanted a female Potus. I’ve learned that you have to think hard and long. You cannot always have the candidates your heart wants. It’s bigger than your own needs and concerns, and this election needed a leader that would not be starting from scratch. Joe is ready for this role in every way and was ready to take on this mess from the second he won the election. I’m relieved and confident and trust him with our country and even my own life. Kamala is the perfect VP, by the way.

My hopes are that the two parties can move towards the middle for human’s sake. Covid is the enemy, not red v blue. I hope that Joe can reach the hearts and minds of the people left on the fence, so to speak. Get them to climb down on to his side – the side of democracy, truth and fairness.

I’m concerned that the hate left in people’s hearts will not fade away and Joe will be hindered by the rift. And lastly, Joe has to bring back the trade unions to our country. Gayle, 55, San Diego – voted for Joe Biden