The US Democrats want to reunite the country and overcome the social division. To do this, it is necessary to reunite the own political camps within the DNC.
Translated with DeepL.
Original language: Deutsch
After Bernie Sanders withdrew his candidacy in April, Joe Biden asked his rival for cooperation immediately afterwards. As a result, two working groups were set up to develop recommendations for Biden's campaign. In recent months, six working groups have met and discussed, struggling to find common and valid positions.
Cross-warehouse working groups as an attempt to produce units
Institutionally comparable to the Coal Commission, the working groups were made up of representatives of various interest groups - members of parliament, former ministers, activists, scientists, civil society representatives and think tanks. Together with political advisers from both camps, they debated compromise solutions and developed positions in six areas: Climate change, economy, health, criminal law, education and immigration.
Recommendations of the Biden Sanders Task Force
In early July, the working groups presented their recommendations in a 110-page paper was introduced. The appointment of the working groups can thus already be considered a success. After long negotiations, their various members have been able to agree on compromises in the most important policy areas. And since the working groups were each filled with votes from moderate and progressive democrats, the negotiated positions will in future be supported by all parties.
The call for a Green New Deal and Sander's affair of the heart, the creation of a general health insurance for all citizens*, are not part of the recommendations. However, the progressive camp was able to introduce some of their demands and set social policy accents.
The private health insurance and thus a class system should remain in place. But the public health insurance should at least be expanded. Contributions are to be based on income. In the case of low income or if people are currently losing their jobs because of Covid-19, the state should pay their fees.
In the fight against climate change, Biden has so far only ever formulated the abstract goal of making the US economy emission-neutral by 2050. In response to his critics, the working group recommends medium-term goals and concrete measures. By 2035, electricity is to be produced entirely without fossil fuels. By 2030 all new buildings should be emission-neutral. Within the next five years, 500 million solar cells are to be installed. In order to make the transport sector more sustainable, investments are to be made in a high-speed train and electric cars modelled on California are to be promoted - with preference for domestic manufacturers. The USA is also to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement as soon as possible and meet its international payment obligations in the Green Climate Fund. Since minorities and People of Color bear and suffer the burden of environmental destruction in a serious way, a special program is to be initiated to counteract this injustice. However, the recommendations do not include a ban on fracking. That would have gone too far for Biden. He does not want to mess with the fossil industry. This is the biggest conflict he has with climate activists.
In response to the current economic crisis, the experts* recommend an investment offensive and a state job programme modelled on Roosevelt. The state should boost the economy and create thousands of new jobs through economic stimulus packages and infrastructure projects. In addition, racial and gender discrimination, which is reflected above all in the unfair distribution of income, should be reduced. Equal pay and fair access to government programmes and loans are to be enforced. The minimum wage is to be raised to 15 US dollars per hour nationwide.
The reform of the criminal law provides for the abolition of privately run prisons. Juvenile criminal law is to be softened, the idea of reintegration into society is to be more firmly anchored, and petty crimes are no longer to be punished with imprisonment. A compromise was reached on marijuana: it is to be legalized nationwide for health purposes, while legalization for private consumption will remain the responsibility of the states.
In the education sector, public funding for schools in low-income districts is to be tripled. For students from families with an income of less than 125,000 US dollars per year, public universities are to be free of charge. In addition to imparting knowledge, the value of educational institutions is also seen and recognized in their function as providers of social services, food distribution and health care.
In the area of migration, Trump's misanthropic policy is to be reversed. The entry ban for people from Muslim countries should be lifted. The 700,000 Dreamers - young adults who immigrated to the USA as children - are to be offered protection from deportation again. An asylum procedure in conformity with human rights is to be established. Instead of 18,000 refugees so far, the USA is to take in 125,000 refugees per year in the future and raise this quota continuously. The costly construction of the wall at the border to Mexico is to be stopped. Unauthorized border crossings are not to be decriminalized, but the prosecution of human smuggling is to be prioritized.
Socio-political accents for Biden's election campaign programme
In the end, it is of course up to Biden to decide to what extent he follows the recommendations of the working groups. The coming weeks will show how much of this he will include in his election campaign programme. It can be assumed that he will take over most of the proposals. On the one hand, the compromises that have been found are well acceptable to Biden and convincingly demonstrate how responsible and future-oriented policy can work. They show possible solutions to how the USA can get back on its feet and overcome the enormous damage to health policy and economic policy caused by Trump's government failure. On the other hand, Biden will remain true to his Kurz to reconcile the party and to move into the election campaign with full strength. The cross-camp working groups have laid an elementary foundation for this. They have come closer to each other through the substantive negotiation process and the joint struggle for positions. With this basis, the Democratic Party will start the election campaign in a much more united manner than in 2016 when it officially appoints its presidential candidate at its party conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from August 17 to 20. His name is Joe Biden and he will be a bridge builder and reconciler.