The 2020 presidential election is only a couple weeks away and many folks have already decided who they’re voting for, with nearly 30 million people having already cast their ballot. But there are also people undecided on whether to vote at all this year. For undecided voters who are debating whether to vote for Joe Biden, I’m going to be making my case on why you should.
Personally, I'm not a fan of the choices we have this election, or a fan of the two party system in general. Many Americans can relate to feeling disillusioned with the electoral system. But regardless of the feelings we have towards the government, we cannot deny that it does affect the lives of everyday people. So, though I do not view the system as a savior of our society, there are significant ways that lives would be made better or even saved under a Biden administration. It likely will not be a perfect administration, and it likely won’t be an administration of radical change. But there are folks who have been and will continue to suffer under another four years of a Trump presidency, who would not endure that same suffering under a Biden presidency.
The COVID-19 response by the Trump administration has been abysmal. Over 213,000 lives have been lost, yet they continually downplayed the virus. There was never a nationwide mask mandate or a nationwide lockdown like many other countries had. The handling of the virus has been so atrocious that the U.S. has roughly 20% of the world’s COVID-19 deaths, yet the U.S. only holds about 5% of the world’s population.
While Trump has seemed to have no plan to battle COVID-19, the Biden campaign does. Some aspects of the plan include the expansion of free testing, scaling up the response by giving states the resources they need like personal protective equipment (PPE), and supporting the needs of frontline workers so they can focus on giving the best treatment possible, among many other things. There is no doubt that a COVID-19 response that acknowledges the severity of the virus saves more lives than a plan that hopes “Americans will become numb” to the suffering. You can read Biden’s COVID-19 plan here.
Another issue is climate change. Though I personally believe the Biden administration plan could go further than it does, the measures it will take gives us more time and a chance to force real change to save our planet. Environmental regulations have taken a nosedive under Trump, and that will only continue with another four years.
If Trump is re-elected, emissions will continue to rise, companies will be free to completely destroy the environment, all to profit those at the top. As per the IPCC report on the stage of the climate, carbon emissions need to be cut in half by 2030. Though the Biden plan does not currently go far enough (the plan now states it will cut those emissions by 2050), there is much more flexibility for us to force the change that is needed under an administration that believes in the threat of climate change versus one who denies it's even a problem.
Four more years of climate destruction under the Trump administration would obviously exacerbate the crisis, and in the six years we’d have left until 2030 it’d be likely impossible to meet IPCC emissions recommendations. Under a Biden administration, we would have time to devise and execute plans to truly address the climate crisis. You can read Biden’s plan to combat climate change here.
Another important issue is that of human rights for many communities across the United States. The first of these is the LGBTQ+ community. The Trump administration has showed it is not an ally, including the fact that the GOP says it will seek to overturn the 2015 Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. The Biden administration on the other hand supports the LGBTQ+ community and will continue to expand their rights. In the first 100 days of his presidency, Biden would pass the Equality Act, which would make great strides in ensuring folks are not discriminated against based on their sexuality or their gender in healthcare, housing, employment, education, and more. To read the full plan on protecting the LGBTQ+ community, click here.
Reproductive rights are also on the line in this election. After the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Trump quickly announced his Supreme Court pick, Amy Coney Barrett. Her record shows that she has ruled on cases dealing with abortion in a manner that is anti-choice. With the Trump administration themselves identifying with pro-life rhetoric, and a growing effort by the GOP to try to overturn Roe v. Wade, nominating Amy Coney Barrett would secure the conservative majority on the court. And this conservative majority would likely strike down Roe v. Wade if they have the chance.
Joe Biden will seek to codify Roe v. Wade into law, as well as restore funding to Planned Parenthood, end the Trump administration’s gag rule, and reinstate the mandate under the ACA that covers contraception through the public option (while also overturning the ‘Hobby Lobby rule’ that allowed workplaces of faith to deny employees to get contraception using their healthcare). For the complete Biden plan for women’s rights and reproductive health, click here.
The complete bigotry and hate against communities of color — whether it be Black Americans, Arab Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Latino Americans, or Indigenous Peoples — are extremely prevalent under the Trump administration. Not only has the Trump administration enacted specific policies that hurt these communities, the rhetoric being pushed also incites violence through the supporters that feel emboldened by this bigotry. Hate crimes have increased under the Trump administration. Biden will reverse these harmful policies, including the harsh immigration policies put in place by Trump’s team. We cannot pretend that this bigotry is not going to continually affect these communities if Trump is in office another four years. There are plans to address the specific communities’ needs, that you can find on Biden’s issues page.
Getting the monumental change we need will require work on the part of the people, through things like mutual aid, strengthening our communities, and fighting for change at the local level too. Voting Trump out won’t fix all the problems of electoral politics, but many people would have their rights restored or further ensured under a Biden presidency. So if you are undecided on whether you should take the time to vote for Biden, I and the many others who will be incredibly effected by who the next president is ask you to please, vote for Biden on Nov. 3, (or beforehand with absentee or early voting).
For more info on how to vote, click here.