The United States’ massive relief package is more than a technocratic policy. It’s a democratic triumph.
There is a lot of debate right now about the meaning of U.S. democratic leadership on the world stage. In light of recent events, any pretension to that role on President Joe Biden’s part can easily seem hollow. Former President Donald Trump refuses to leave the stage. The shadows of the disputed election and Jan. 6 still hang over Washington. Republicans are as obstructive as ever. The battle to protect U.S. voting rights will have to be fought one gerrymandered and voter-suppressed district at a time.
But democratic leadership requires not just the rule of law and the observance of constitutional propriety. It requires more than just reasonable behavior on the part of all the major parties. It also needs to be demonstrated, simply put, by enacting popular policies when they are needed. Democracy is measured by how rapidly and forcefully it responds to crisis, particularly when that crisis hits those with the least security and the least influence. The urgency of those who are most hard up must be visibly felt within the political system. There are moments when democracy consists precisely in ensuring that obfuscation and procedure do not stand in the way.
On this all-important metric, the Biden administration is delivering. The $1.9 trillion stimulus package to address the United States’ ongoing social crisis, forced through by means of reconciliation in the teeth of Republican opposition, is a true example of democratic leadership in action, one that Europe would be well advised to follow.
Read the full article at Foreign Policy