Since taking office in January 2021, President Joe Biden has made several moves related to civil liberties that have both aligned and differed from the proposals of Robert F Kennedy Jr and Marianne Williamson.
Biden’s administration has taken steps to protect voting rights, which aligns with Williamson’s ideas.
On June 22, 2021, the Department of Justice announced a new task force aimed at protecting voting rights, following the passage of new restrictive voting laws in several states. The task force is responsible for investigating and prosecuting threats to voting rights, such as voter intimidation and suppression.
Similarly, Biden has proposed a series of police reforms, which aligns with the goals of Kennedy and Williamson to reform the criminal justice system.
In April 2021, Biden announced a plan to address police reform, which includes banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants, and establishing a national registry to track police misconduct. However, this plan has faced criticism for not going far enough, with some advocates calling for the defunding of police departments altogether.
Biden has also issued executive orders to restore the rights of federal workers to organize and bargain collectively, which aligns with the proposals of Williamson.
In February 2021, Biden signed an executive order to support worker organizing and collective bargaining, which includes a call for the establishment of a task force to promote worker organizing and collective bargaining across the federal government.
Additionally, Biden has taken steps to protect LGBT rights, signing an executive order on his first day in office that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation in federal agencies and employment.
This aligns with the proposals of both Kennedy and Williamson, who have called for increased protections for the LGBTQ+ community.
However, Biden’s administration has faced criticism for its approach to censorship on social media platforms, which is an area where Kennedy’s proposals differ from those of Williamson and align with those of some Republicans.
The Biden administration has been accused of working with social media companies to censor and suppress certain viewpoints, particularly related to COVID-19.
In July 2021, the Biden administration announced it was flagging and reporting what it deemed to be “misinformation” related to COVID-19 on social media platforms, prompting backlash from free speech advocates.
Furthermore, Biden has faced criticism from some civil liberties advocates for his approach to immigration policy, specifically the treatment of migrants at the US-Mexico border. His administration has faced lawsuits and protests over the detention of migrants and the deportation of asylum seekers.
In February 2021, the Biden administration faced a lawsuit over the detention of migrant children for extended periods of time, which civil liberties advocates argue violates their rights.
Overall, while Biden’s actions align with some of the proposals put forward by Kennedy and Williamson, there are also notable differences and criticisms. The issues of censorship and immigration policy, in particular, have been points of controversy for the Biden administration.
In contrast to Biden’s approach to social media censorship, Kennedy has proposed dismantling what he calls the “censorship-industrial complex,” which he argues has stifled free speech and suppressed certain viewpoints.
On his website, Kennedy states, “We will therefore dismantle the censorship-industrial complex, in which Big Tech censors, deplatforms, shadowbans, and algorithmically suppresses any person or opinion the government asks them to.”
Similarly, while both Biden and Williamson have proposed police reform, Kennedy’s proposals go further, advocating for a transition away from a punishment paradigm to a rehabilitation paradigm in prisons.
He has also proposed ending the War on Drugs and granting amnesty to nonviolent drug offenders, and shutting down the school-to-prison pipeline.
In terms of immigration policy, Williamson has proposed comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, while Kennedy has not addressed the issue in detail.
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