Heading into the Nov. 3 election, we are in crisis mode. Each day we are inundated with new, depressing messages about the coronavirus pandemic, the economic downturn and the pressure of partisan politics weighing us down as we attempt to float above waters, grasping for a breath of fresh air. Our grievances and futures are on the ballot this year.
We’ve all become alarmingly inured to the phrase, "this is a difficult time," but it doesn’t have to be. We must aim higher, push forward and strive to reach our highest ideals as a country. After four years of lies, tweets and bullying, we’re at a turning point. Will we continue on our current trajectory with protesters pepper sprayed in the streets as they call for an end to systemic racism? Will we walk on eggshells as 45 tramples free speech, calling the press the “enemy of the people?” Will we watch him corral crowds, ignore and counter public health mandates that protect the people he governs?
No more. We need someone to step up to the plate, to follow science and restore trust in our government and each other. We need Joe Biden.
As our sense of identity as a democratic nation increasingly feels fragile and weak, we must look to Biden to chart a path forward.
Empathy cannot be taught — it comes with experience. After four years of tension and panic, we finally have a presidential candidate ready to empathize with Americans. One who knows what it’s like to lose a loved one, to rise from the working-class and take the train home from work. One who knows how to push Americans to become better versions of ourselves — to advocate for all Americans, especially those left behind.
Restoring Faith in Our Democratic Institutions
While Trump’s mendacity erodes our trust in government, Biden envisions an administration that prioritizes truth and science over fiction. While Trump taunts a New York Times reporter with disabilities, Biden works to help others with a stutter like him. While Trump aims to dismantle the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions, Biden hopes to create a public opt-in option to implement incremental change that will eventually reshape healthcare policy for the better. While Trump sides with dictators, Biden plans to restore relationships with our trusted allies.
With profound tenacity, 45 tells tales — about his poll numbers, who is paying for tariffs (it’s us, not China), Americans breathing the “cleanest air in the world,” his inauguration crowd, amongst a host of other pernicious remarks.
It’s no surprise that trust in government is already at a low. Yet Biden’s election bid is centered around the need to safeguard our democratic principles, to reach voters across the political spectrum, uphold the rule of law and serve the public good.
Investing in a Revolution, a Future of Hope and Unity
A vote for Joe doesn’t mean our fight is over — in fact, it is just beginning. It’s no secret that, to many, Biden’s policies and rhetoric are still too moderate to meet the needs of our current crises and it may be true: Biden ran his primary campaign in opposition to Medicare For All. On the debate stage, he has refused to endorse a ban on fracking or the Green New Deal — albeit his Climate Justice plan has uncanny similarities. His leading role in the passage of a 1994 crime bill that helped create our mass incarceration crisis does not inspire hope for his leadership as the nation reckons with the legacy of its justice system. Many rightly fear that a vote for the former vice president is a vote for too little, too late.
But this is the choice we have. Attacks on the press and scientific fact, on our compassion for one another, on the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Americans by Donald Trump’s presidency should make that choice clear. Our democracy is in damage control mode. Now is not the time for idealism to be the enemy of practical change. A Biden win this November may not be a cure-all for our nation's ailments but it is an emergency break on America’s slip-sliding decline into a post-truth fascism. At the very least, it preserves the path towards progress for another day.
Though Biden’s age and mental acuity have been questioned by reporters and citizens alike, he plans to surround himself with competent leaders.
Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California, who defines her role in partnership with Biden, is ranked as the most liberal senator by the nonpartisan website GovTrack. If Biden secures a win this year, Harris is slated to follow him as the country’s first female Black president.
She is capable, well-respected and, like Biden, wants to heal our nation. With her leadership, we can take bigger steps to achieve bigger change.
Our values — rooted in truth, equal opportunity, justice and liberty for all — hang on the precipice of danger as we confront an election unlike any before. This year, we’re tasked with the most daunting crisis of them all: the health and future of our democracy.
We can’t become complacent or we risk permanently staining our founding frameworks.
The clock is ticking — time to move the needle in favor of our demands for systemic change, restore public faith in the policymaking process and ensure all voices are represented.
2020 is not the year we expected. The 2020 presidential election is not between two candidates or even two parties, but about exactly what Biden describes: reclaiming the soul of our nation. Joe Biden may not “inspire” everyone, but he is the candidate for everyone.
Now more than ever, we need leadership. We need peace of mind. We need to fill the void in our empty pockets and more importantly, our empty hearts.
We urge you to aim higher, think bigger and vote for Joe Biden.