"I think he's trying to move us back to some version of what he thought we were or what folks thought we were," political activist Angela Peoples says. "And the reality is, there is no going back. There's only an ability to go forward."
But with so much gridlock in Washington, "How do we transition to a government that actually functions on behalf of the American people?" Democratic political strategist Mike Lux says.
Today, On Point: the "transition candidate," where he's brought the nation and where his party wants to go next.
Jonathan Lemire, White House Bureau Chief at Politico. Host of "Way Too Early" on MSNBC. Author of the upcoming book "The Big Lie: Election Chaos, Political Opportunism, and the State of American Politics after 2020." (@JonLemire)
Show Transcript: Activist Angela Peoples on President Biden's 18 months in the Oval Office
Kimberly Atkins Stohr: So, we’ve been talking a lot about how Biden’s been doing so far. Let’s hear now from someone who voted for him in 2020 – but reluctantly. Angela Peoples is 35-years-old and a political activist and organizer based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
She is co-founder of The South, which describes itself as a lifestyle brand where unapologetic Black culture defines political power. She actively supported Elizabeth Warren in 2020, but after she dropped out in March, Angela said voting for Biden was her only option.
Angela Peoples: But I don't at all think that me casting that vote for him in November 2020 was the thing that was going to enact the vision of the country that I wanted, right? That was basically — how do you say — harm reduction, for lack of a better word, at the very least. Voting for Biden would prevent some of the harm that I knew was going to happen if Donald Trump was the President. But it certainly was not a vote in favor of the future that I think this country deserves.
Atkins Stohr: Now Biden’s been in office for 18 months, Angela isn’t too impressed. She thinks he’s stuck in the past.
Peoples: I think that there's just this nostalgia for a a bygone time of, you know, when people came together in these different situations, and you could put your politics aside on particular issues. It's just not happening. In fact, the country, as well as the political leaders, are more and more partisan. And I think he's trying to move us back to some version of what he thought we were or what folks thought we were. And the reality is, there is no going back. There's only an ability to go forward. But I just don't think that he has a vision for what is ahead of us and who we can become as a country and as a people.
Atkins Stohr: And she’s also upset that Biden hasn’t come through on some big issues he promised to take action on, such as student debt forgiveness. She also says issues involving black women --a voter base - she says - that really came through for him in 2020 — has been forgotten.
Peoples: President Biden made a big to do when he was running for office about Black women, about Black communities and why we should vote for him. And I think that it's important to note that he's not delivered on the kitchen table issues that are important to our community. You know, it's certainly historic to have Kamala Harris as the Vice President and to have Justice Brown Jackson on the Supreme Court. Those are certainly historical things.
But when it comes to the issues that are going to impact the material conditions of Black women's lives, especially — you know, childcare, paternity leave, student debt, you know, voting rights, these are issues that the Biden administration simply has not delivered on. And I think he owes Black voters, especially Black women, more.
Atkins Stohr: Besides her gripes with how much more Biden could be doing, she also has issues with the direction of the Democratic Party as a whole.
Peoples: There is such an unwillingness to accept the new energy and the new enthusiastic blood within the party. And there's much more of an attempt to just keep the same old folks that have been maintaining the status quo for so long. And I do find that to be a bit discouraging. And I think that it's it does not bode well for the future of the Democratic Party.
Atkins Stohr: That was Angela Peoples. She’s a political activist and organizer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
This program aired on July 21, 2022.