D-Day: America needs an FDR moment; has Joe Biden’s life made him the man to deliver?

By Faith Pitsikoulis
October 27, 2020

American democracy is experiencing its most dangerous moment since World War II.

Black Lives Matter protest. Photo on Pixabay.
  • A worldwide pandemic that has hit the United States harder than any other country. 
  • A stumbling economy on the verge of a recession, matched with a downpour of evictions and high unemployment. 
  • Americans lining up for hours outside of food banks. 
  • Racial killings exposing centuries of systemic racism, sparking protests across the country. 
  • Climate change making wildfires on the West Coast worse and increasing the frequency and strength of hurricanes to decimate towns in Southern states. 
  • Philadelphians seeing the sky turn orange from wildfires across the country. 
  • The death of a beloved Supreme Court Justice. 
  • Citizens plotting to kidnap and kill their own elected officials. 
  • Election interference from Russia and Iran, and
  • an unprecedented lack of commitment to a peaceful transition of power from the sitting president of the United States.
California wildfires. Photo on Public Domain Pictures.

The last time America found itself at such a crossroads, Franklin D. Roosevelt took office amid a great depression and a rising Nazi Germany led by Hitler.  FDR’s New Deal provided jobs, constructed public infrastructure, stimulated the economy, protected the environment and aided farmers and other hard-hit workers.  

The major crises we listed show a great need for effective leadership.

Donald Trump has been in charge of our country’s response to these challenges in his first term, so we know his record well.  How would Joe Biden respond to these same challenges?  Biden’s long record allows us to try and determine if his experience has prepared him for these major challenges.  Does Joe Biden have what it takes to build us back better?  Let us examine his experience, and you can decide on your own.


Biden experienced multiple pandemics as vice president during the Obama Administration.  In 2014, the Obama administration deployed U.S. troops and medical personnel in West Africa to build treatment centers and provide assistance during the Ebola pandemic.  Before leaving office, the administration left President Trump a global health infrastructure plan with lessons they learned, mostly designed by one of Biden’s top aides.

Economic Crisis

President and Obama and Vice President Biden meeting with U.S. Mayors in 2009. Photo on Wiki Commons.

In 2009, he was put in charge of unifying Democrats and Republicans to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  It became the biggest economic recovery plan in U.S. history, ending the Great Recession and saving the American auto industry.  A couple years later, Biden brought both parties together again and avoided a government shutdown by passing the Budget Control Act of 2011.  He fought for votes in Congress to pass the Affordable Care Act, guaranteeing protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and access to affordable healthcare for more than 20 million Americans.  

Systemic Racism

After earning his law degree from Syracuse University, Biden became a public defender for underrepresented minorities in East Wilmington.  He later ran for County Council to combat housing discrimination.  In the 1980s, he gave a well-known speech against apartheid in South Africa, condemning the neutrality of the American government.  After the Obama-Biden Administration, life expectancy and high school graduation rates had reached historic highs for Black Americans.  The incarceration rate for African-Americans decreased every year during their administration.  If elected president, Biden will have served with the first Black president and the first Black, Asian American woman vice president.  

Climate Change

Biden introduced the Global Climate Protection Act in 1987 – the first climate change bill in the Senate.  The act developed a national plan to combat climate change and created a task force on global warming.  As vice president, he traveled the country and met with leaders of both parties to effectively implement the largest investment in clean energy in U.S. history.  Included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the plan spent more than $90 billion investing in clean energy, promoting job creation in manufacturing and deploying low-carbon technologies. 

Personal Experiences

Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden in 2019. Photo on Wiki Commons.

The United States is severely divided.  America needs a leader who will bring unity, listen to science, restore relationships around the globe and stop the deaths of innocent Americans at the hands of COVID-19.  Do you think Joe Biden’s experiences will help him meet this moment?  He is a kid from Scranton who grew up in a Roman Catholic, working class family.  He was a decent football player at a university that was not a prestigious Ivy League school. Will those experiences help him lead at a time when religious tensions are high, families are struggling to pay their bills and college students are so badly in debt?

A month after winning his Senate seat in 1972, Biden’s wife and daughter were killed in a car accident.  The young senator took his oath of office in a hospital room where his two sons were recovering from severe injuries.  Biden took an Amtrak train from Washington, D.C.  back home to Wilmington every day, so he could tuck his sons into bed each night after work.  Will those experiences help him lead at a time when thousands of families have lost loved ones, and many Americans are now the only source of income for their households?

Vice President Biden at joint headquarters named in honor of his son Major Beau Biden III on May 30, 2016. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Blakley/ Released).

Biden’s oldest son Beau served in the U.S. Army and deployed to Iraq for a little over a year.  In 2015, Beau passed away from brain cancer.  Before leaving office in 2016, Biden launched the White House Cancer Moonshot initiative.  The plan is a strategy to transform cancer research and double the rate of cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.  Will those experiences help Biden lead as Commander in Chief of the military and determined to reach scientific breakthroughs?

Future of America

Biden’s past is no guarantee for the future, but the former vice president has experienced so many of the challenges that Americans are currently seeing ripple through their communities. He has spent his entire life repairing his own family, faith and future.  If elected, will he be able to repair the future of America?

We have had four years to see Donald Trump’s response to these challenges.  Are you satisfied with the job he has done?  Do you think Joe Biden would do a better job?  You will have your chance to answer on Nov. 3.

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Faith Pitsikoulis

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