Rasmussen: Accountability goes both ways

Columnist Olivia Rasmussen urges Liberals to stay consistent with their messages of accountability while America’s leadership shifts to the left.

Olivia Rasmussen

Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are America’s newly elected leaders. As some people held their breaths on Inauguration Day because of the potential for violence and chaos from right-wing extremists, others sighed in relief that Donald Trump was finally leaving office. While the celebration of a fascist traitor being voted out of office is rightful, some Liberals think that an administration change alone fixes America’s deeply rooted systemic issues.

Instead of continuously advocating for systemic change like affordable health care and housing and defunding the police and racial justice, some Neoliberals believe that like a swift wave of a magic wand, our problems have vanished because Democrats are in the White House. This is a major problem. This is how nothing “fundamentally changes,” which is a platform that Biden ran on to appease rich donors.

We need fundamental change to address the growing dangers of the climate crisis for a habitable future for younger generations. We need fundamental change to productively solve the health care crisis instead of people dying because they can’t afford medical help or going into thousands of dollars of debt from a trip to the hospital. We need fundamental change to help the housing crisis and our nation’s vast income inequality issue, where working American’s are living paycheck to paycheck or working multiple jobs just to survive. We need fundamental change to dismantle systemic racism, police brutality and racial injustice that is continually plaguing our society.

A corporate Democrat is no different than a Republican. The corporate elite is literally two sides of the same coin and they are funded by billionaire donors who use spineless politicians like ventriloquist dummies. It is a vicious cycle to fall into the trap of assuming a politician is morally better than another because of their political affiliation. Many Liberals do this. Some Liberals also only pay attention to a politician’s race, gender or sexual orientation instead of looking at their policies, stances and past.

Brunch Democrats,” who are primarily white and part of the middle-to-upper class, enjoy focusing on identity politics above anything else. While it was a historical moment for Harris to become the first Black woman vice president, we also need to hold her accountable for her past like we do for every Republican. As Harris currently champions herself as an advocate for criminal justice reform, we must also be mindful of her history as a prosecutor.

Commentary from law professor Lara Bazelon in The Appeal cites multiple sources of Harris’ criminal justice background, saying, “As attorney general, she weaponized technicalities to keep wrongfully convicted people behind bars rather than allow them new trials with competent counsel and prosecutors willing to play fair,” which resulted in a man being put on death row and another who will die in prison. According to Bazelon and Harris’ prosecution history, “She championed a law that went after the parents of chronically truant children, laughed when asked if marijuana should be legal, and supported a system that locks up people who are too poor to post exorbitant money bail.” NPR poses the question, “Is Ms. Harris essentially a political pragmatist, or has she in fact changed?”

Performative activism is another problem often seen among Liberals. Slapping a Black Lives Matter and a LGBTQ+ pride flag sticker onto the missiles former President Barack Obama used to drone strike innocent civilians doesn’t make his actions moral. Obama achieved a lot of great things for multiple marginalized communities during his presidency but Liberals act like they can’t see the blood on his hands. This kind of rhetoric is reverberated through the credulous and steadfast support of Biden and Harris too. Biden is proactively signing executive orders that are progressive and are correcting some of Trump’s disgraceful failures, but we still need to hold him and his administration accountable at all times because if we stop doing that our voices will not be heard. Rejoice when change is actually being made, but don’t start ignoring politics because different people are in office.

It is hypocritical to criticize Trump or Republicans in general while completely ignoring the wrongdoings or empty promises of other politicians simply because they have labeled themselves as Democrats. Stop worshipping politicians and start holding all leaders accountable with the same level of scrutiny.