2 Politicians You Should Know
If you’re interested in politics, it is important to familiarize yourself with your country’s political history. It will help you understand how long-term global forces impact local and national politics.
It’s also helpful to narrow down the issues that really get your heart racing, and to learn as much as you can about those specific problems.
2. Joe Biden
After graduating from law school Joe Biden worked in the corporate sector defending large businesses, but he found his true calling as a public defender for poor residents of Wilmington’s East Side. In 1972, Biden took an audacious gamble as a 29-year-old and challenged two-term Republican senator J. Caleb Boggs for his seat in the US Senate.
Biden won the seat, and subsequently became a close advisor to President Obama. He used his extensive foreign policy experience to help shape domestic and international policies, such as the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia and increased funding for our nuclear laboratories.
During the presidential campaign, Biden struggled to present himself as a moderate in a Democratic Party with an increasingly progressive base. He was frequently criticized for affirming his support of the Hyde Amendment, a 46-year-old measure that bans federal funding of abortions. Despite this, Biden won a sizable portion of the Democratic nomination after Bernie Sanders dropped out in early April. Upon becoming the nominee, Biden was able to use budget reconciliation procedures to secure congressional passage of the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion package that provided one-time benefits for lower and middle income Americans; aid to schools, libraries, and local governments; and expanded funding for coronavirus testing, contact tracing, and vaccine distribution.
3. Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage is one of the most consequential politicians in recent British history. He terrified the Conservative Party into Brexit by founding a political party, UKIP, to campaign for a referendum. He later founded a new party, the Brexit Party, to press for a clean-break departure.
The Kent-born stockbroker’s flamboyance, penchant for pints of beer and a laddish culture play well with working-class blokes. His language, clothing and lifestyle appeal to voters who feel left behind by Oxbridge-educated political elites.
In the wake of the Coutts snafu, Farage took to Twitter to call for Rose’s resignation and blast NatWest board members for a “war on woke banks.” He also obtained an internal Coutts report that blew apart the BBC’s reporting and made clear the bank weighed his political views when closing his account.
He’s waging a war on woke banks, but it’s possible he’s positioning himself for a return to politics. He’s already a wrecking ball on TV, and Tory MPs are watching with bated breath to see whether he’ll take aim at their right flank in 2021.
4. Bill Shorten
William Richard Shorten is an Australian politician and former trade unionist. He has been the Leader of the Opposition and leader of the Australian Labor Party since 2019. He was first elected to parliament at the 2007 election, winning the division of Maribyrnong. He served as a parliamentary secretary and cabinet minister in the Gillard and Rudd governments from 2010 to 2013.
He became involved with the union movement in 1994 when he began work at the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) as an organiser. He was eventually elected the AWU’s Victorian secretary and then national secretary. He also worked as a director of the company Australian Super.
He is known for his opposition to climate change policies and for pushing for the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. He has also pushed to reform education policy, particularly the Gonski funding reforms. Shorten was born in Melbourne and grew up in the suburbs of Murrumbeena and Hughesdale, going to Xavier College. He graduated from Monash University with degrees in arts and law.