NPR’s Don Gonyea and Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne Discuss Biden Era Politics

America is at a turning point in the coronavirus pandemic and at a crossroads politically. What will the Biden administration’s path forward look like?

America is at a point of transition in the COVID-19 pandemic and politically. While some leaders in Washington cling to the previous regime, others are gearing up for a new era of progressive governance under President Biden. With a Democratic majority in Washington, what will America’s new normal post-pandemic look like? 

Listen: What will Biden’s America look like?


Don Gonyea is a national political correspondent for NPR. An issue that has endured since the Trump administration and carried over to the Biden presidency is the border crisis. Gonyea says that the influx of migrant children at the border is partly due to the transition of power from Trump to Biden. “I guess you could have expected that in the absence of Trump, you could have expected an increase of people coming to the border,” says Gonyea, adding, “…But you also have to take into account that these things are somewhat cyclical.” He says bipartisan consensus in Congress will be necessary to address and tackle the issue of immigration fully. Until then, Biden will have to implement an ad hoc approach. “…What they’ll have to do at least in the near term is do what they can do through administration policy and executive orders and whatever tools they do have,” says Gonyea on Biden’s immigration plan in the absence of congressional cooperation.

E.J. Dionne Jr. is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, and a university professor in the Foundations of Democracy and Culture at Georgetown University. He agrees with Gonyea that the crisis at the border was, in some ways, predictable. “Something like this was almost inevitable because whatever message got out to would-be migrants … It was clear that Joe Biden was going to be friendlier to immigrants than Donald Trump was,” says Dionne. Either way, he says it behooves the Biden administration to move quickly to find a solution. Another issue plaguing Washington is the culture wars, something Dionne and Gonyea say Biden seems keen on avoiding. Instead, Dionne says, policies with common interests are being promoted rather than divisive issues. “We are talking about some issues that seem to bring people together as opposed to those issues that we seem to yell at each other a lot about,” says Dionne on the recent economic and pandemic-related policy proposals.  

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