Biden’s Pie In The Sky Speech
As President Joe Biden spoke before the United Nations General Assembly last week, he had a lot on his mind. From a pandemic to human rights and social justice issues; from climate change to the end of a 20-year war, Biden talked about the world being at an “inflection point in history.”
In many ways that is true, but we will have to wait until the history on these years is written to find out how our children and grandchildren will view them.
One point Biden made was a shift after the end of the war in Afghanistan:
“… as we close this period of relentless war, we’re opening a new era of relentless diplomacy of using the power of our development aid to invest in new ways of lifting people up around the world,” Biden said.
He talked about not wanting another Cold War, this time with China, or a world divided into rigid blocs, but rather the idea that “to deliver for our own people, we must also engage deeply with the rest of the world.”
Wonderful. But finding a balance that does not put Americans at risk or put our interests on a back burner — as we have seen from prior presidential administrations, including the one in which Biden served as vice president — will be more difficult than Biden might hope. Deep engagement with the rest of the world cannot take precedence over the wellbeing or economic security of those in the United States.
Meanwhile, it might not be up to us whether the world begins to divide into rigid blocs, nor do we wield the influence among other nations we once did. That, too, is a reality Biden will have to face.
Speeches before the U.N. tend to have a pie in the sky tone, where dramatic optimism can push reality aside.
Surely Biden understands the real world and his own responsibility to Americans will make his task over the next few years a bit more complex.