OPINION: Joe Biden is the right choice for America on Election Day

Former+Vice+President+of+the+United+States+Joe+Biden+speaks+with+attendees+at+the+Presidential+Gun+Sense+Forum+in+Des+Moines%2C+Iowa+on+Aug.+10%2C+2019.+%22Joe+Biden%22+by+Gage+Skidmore+is+licensed+under+CC+BY-SA+2.0

Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden speaks with attendees at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum in Des Moines, Iowa on Aug. 10, 2019. “Joe Biden” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Jordan Parker

This is the second time I’ll be voting in my life, the first being the 2018 midterms, and the first time I’ll be voting for a candidate for president of the United States. 

Throughout the duration of this president’s term, I’ve taken the time to evaluate him on his performance and I understand this could be the most important election of my lifetime. After evaluating Donald Trump these past four years, I’ve concluded that his performance as president has been possibly the worst this nation has ever seen. 

When I say “the president of the United States,” I imagine someone with strength, dignity, compassion and knowledge of the problems facing our world. Donald Trump has none of those. 

However, over the course of his nearly 50 years in public office, Joe Biden has proven to have all of those things. That is why this Nov. 3, I have chosen to cast my vote for Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden, Jr. 

Biden arrived on the senate floor in 1973, just after a car crash had killed his wife Neila and daughter Naomi. He was sworn in as a senator at his son Beau’s bedside, which launched the beginning of his political career. For the next 47 years, he served as a senator from Delaware until he was chosen to be former President Barack Obama’s vice president in 2008.   

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Throughout his career, Biden has made numerous contributions to the American people. As chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he advocated for the additions of Dianne Feinstein and Carol Mosely Braun because it was an all-male committee at the time. 

In 1994 Biden sponsored the original Violence Against Women Act, which has led to a significant decline in intimate partner violence, from 2.1 million victims in 1994 to 907,000 in 2010. Continuing with his advocacy for women’s rights, Biden oversaw the confirmation hearing for late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who became only the second woman in United States history to serve on the court. 

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Biden made notable contributions to America’s health and economy as vice president as well. He helped pass Obamacare, which guaranteed health care coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions and for 20 million who were previously uninsured. In 2009, he led America out of the Great Recession by implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which helped save the auto industry in America as well as help rebuild a broken economy.

Although Biden has a laundry list of accomplishments, he is not without his flaws. He infamously authored the 1994 crime bill, which although led to a decline in violent crime, also led to the incarceration of more Black people in the U.S. However, he recently admitted his fault for supporting the legislation. Biden has made mistakes, but what is important is that he has learned from them and is working to correct his previous behavior.  

Within a 47-year political career, you can make mistakes you aren’t proud of. However, people have this knack for not forgiving someone when they’ve admitted to their wrong. The 1994 crime bill might be the biggest political mistake of Biden’s career, and now he is ready to make amends for it. So stop it with the “Joe Biden is just as racist as Donald Trump” talk. It’s ridiculous and it’s phony. 

If Biden is elected, he will pass a criminal justice reform plan that will prevent crime and offer opportunities for all, eliminate racial disparities, ensure fair sentences, offer second chances and reduce violence in our communities, as well as support survivors of violence.

Some examples of this will be ending mandatory minimums, ending the federal disparity between crack and powder cocaine, decriminalizing the use of cannabis as well as expunging all prior cannabis use convictions and ending all incarceration for drug offenses in order to divert individuals to rehabilitation.

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In addition to that, Biden is far more prepared and willing to fight against climate change as he will seek to pass the Biden Climate Plan if he is elected. The Biden plan will ensure the U.S. achieves a 100% clean-energy economy and reaches net-zero emissions by 2050, stands up to global polluters who harm communities of color and low-income communities and rallies other countries to join America in the fight against climate change, something Donald Trump has failed to do. In fact, Donald doesn’t even believe in science, sometimes claiming that it will eventually get colder.

If you want to talk about racism, how about when President Donald Trump called white supremacists “very fine people?” If that doesn’t satisfy you, take a look back to when he referred to immigrants from Mexico as rapists, criminals and drug dealers. That is not someone who should sit in the oval office. Rather, it sounds like someone who should rot in a hole.

His actions happen to be just as racist as his words. In January 2017, Trump signed the first executive order which discriminated against Muslims and refugees. Then during the George Floyd protests, he ordered that workplaces stop racial sensitivity training, while calling the exercise “racist.”

Beyond the policies, Biden is a man of exemplary character. He doesn’t tweet like a baby when he doesn’t get his way, he doesn’t fan the flames of hate and bigotry, make false promises to the American people about healthcare and he certainly hasn’t cost the lives of over 220,000 people during a pandemic while refusing to listen to the nation’s infectious disease experts. No, those are things that Trump has done.

Meanwhile, Biden has pledged to listen to experts such as Dr. Anthony Fauci in order to get COVID-19 under control, which is leadership we desperately need if we are ever going to see the end of this terrible virus. 

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Most importantly, Biden’s story gives me hope. He knows that the soul of America can be restored if we unite together again. There shouldn’t be any red or blue, there should be united. Of course this nation has never come close to living up to its founding ideals such as “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Under Joe’s leadership, though, I feel that the tensions can be eased as we look toward the future of this country. 

Folks, on Nov. 3 you have a choice. I know that there are those of you out there who haven’t cast a vote and may be thinking of not doing so. That would be a mistake. Some of you may be lifelong Republicans who can’t stand the idea of voting for someone who doesn’t represent your ideals. Maybe there are some of you moderates out there who have voted for both parties in the past, but aren’t particularly pleased with your choices this time around.

No matter what the case is, there is no excuse to sit this vote out. 

This might be the election that will set the course of American history for the next 50 years. This will be the election that decides whether we win the battle with climate change. This will be the election where our economy is rebuilt instead of destroyed. This is a choice that represents good versus evil. 

When you vote, you should think of your future and your family’s future. 

Donald Trump is a reality TV show host that has turned the American presidency into a joke. He is a racist, misogynist homophobe and xenophobe that needs to be sent packing. This is our chance to reject Trumpism. 

In America, hate should have no home. It is time that we elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as the 46th president of the United States. So please, put your political beliefs or whatever has you second guessing aside, and do what is best for America for the next four years.