By Frank Blechman
Several months ago I wrote a column here expressing my concern that expectations for deep system changes were getting so high that elected officials would inevitably fail to meet the advocates’ demands. I worried that candidates and current elected officials needed to put processes in place now so that they could hit the ground running in 2021. “Studies” and drawn out reforms will create more frustration, anger, and disillusionment.
I have been encouraged, however, listening to the speeches coming out of the Democratic National Convention last week. Particularly on Wednesday night, the evening most focused on individual issues, I was pleased to hear speakers saying directly to the audience,
- It’s not about going back to the time before the last three years.
- That approach wasn’t good enough then, and definitely won’t serve us well in the future.
- We need new, bold initiatives to improve our health, our jobs, and our environment.”
[Biden] explicitly outlined forward-looking, bold actions on a wide range of subjects, from jobs to immigration, racial justice to climate change.
On Thursday, Joe Biden made clear that he is not running for President to “cap his record” or “rest on past success.” He is proud of his record in the Senate and as VP, but he knows that the test ahead is tougher than the hurdles already past. He explicitly outlined forward-looking, bold actions on a wide range of subjects, from jobs to immigration, racial justice to climate change.
Of course, words are just words. Promises are just promises. Events tend to override the best plans.
Yet it is our job now to elect those who at least are willing to acknowledge and address the mess around us. And, when they get elected, it is our job to make them do what they promised.