In an interview with “Behind The Headlines,” author and anti-war activist David Swanson discussed the promises that Joe Biden has failed to keep in his first two years in office. Swanson pointed out that although the president’s campaign included many progressive policies, such as reducing military spending, ending the war in Yemen, and taxing the wealthy, he has failed to implement them. He also stated that he does not expect much from Biden’s State of the Union speech, which he believes will feature a mix of anti-Russian and anti-Chinese rhetoric.
Swanson criticized Biden’s failure to follow through on his promise to reduce military spending and move funds to useful projects, condemning the president’s failure to end the war in Yemen, which was among his campaign promises.
David Swanson is a writer, radio host and peace activist. He is the executive director of World Beyond War and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. He is the author of many books, including “War is a Lie” and “When the World Outlawed War.” His most recent publication is “The Monroe Doctrine at 200 and What to Replace it With”, which studies U.S. imperialism in the Americas and explores methods of going about ending it. In 2018, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Biden also promised to provide free pre-kindergarten and college education for those with an income under $125,000. However, Swanson pointed out that Biden has yet to deliver on these promises, despite their popularity. From failing to tax the wealthy to refusing to go forward with a public option on healthcare, the current president has certainly disappointed progressives – if they held any hopes for him in the first place.
As Swanson noted, Biden’s broken pledges underscore the wide gap between the rhetoric of U.S. politics and the reality of U.S. policy. While Biden’s promises were progressive and popular, his failure to implement them highlights the structural issues in U.S. politics.
As an anti-war activist, it is perhaps unsurprising that Swanson spent some time unpacking the role of the military in American society and the lack of accountability and transparency surrounding its spending. The U.S. military’s budget is astronomical, with a black budget of nearly a trillion dollars a year, and the fact that the military is not accountable to the American people is a cause for concern. Congress does not use its War Powers Act, meaning the military is effectively free to spend whatever it wants, and all in secret.
Camp and Swanson also discuss an upcoming February 19 anti-war rally in Washington, D.C. The demonstration has already proven to be controversial, with some speakers pulling out, citing the involvement of certain objectionable characters. While Swanson notes that they disagree with some of the other speakers’ positions, the rally is still a chance to come together and advocate for moving the money from the military to human and environmental needs.
Lee Camp is an American stand-up comedian, writer, actor and activist. Camp is the host of Behind The Headlines’ new series: The Most Censored News With Lee Camp. He is a former comedy writer for the Onion and the Huffington Post and has been a touring stand-up comic for 20 years.