Lyla Bhalla-Ladd '21
In just 18 days, the American people will vote and potentially elect their 46th President. This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, the election may not be decided until Thanksgiving or later because of an influx of mail-in ballots. Furthermore, Donald Trump’s recent refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power may elongate the election process. Only in the case of an absolute blowout would this election be confirmed by November 3rd.
This election reminds me all too much of 2016, especially in reference to Bernie Sanders supporters. Many Democrats blame the “Bernie or Bust!” write-in voters for the current bust of a president. Today, we are in a similar situation. With the current Electoral College system, any vote not for Biden is for Trump. So, even though I might write-in Elizabeth Warren in a perfect world (which we are far from), practically, Biden is my candidate. Every citizen who has come out of the past four years with their lives and rights unscathed has a responsibility to represent Americans who lost their rights, and even their lives, due to Trump’s gross neglect and biases.
Let’s face it: Donald Trump is a disgrace to this country, in theory and in practice. He is a product of white privilege and daddy’s money; he cannot run a business, much less a country. Trump, if reelected, will continue to protect himself and those within his same demographics. As a Liberal, of course I’m more likely to support the Democratic nominee. But, there should never be a candidate, like Trump, whose reelection could lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans. Trump was given a chance to support our country through this pandemic, and he failed us. He betrayed and lied to us in our time of need, and he mocked us in our demand to take COVID seriously. Trump works for nobody but himself.
I don’t want to spend much time talking about how wildly incompetent Trump is, given that a popular critique of Biden supporters is that we don’t actually support Biden, we just don’t like Trump.
Let’s talk about “Settle for Biden.” This movement is largely made up of young liberals who understand that while Biden may not be the ideal candidate, he is the only one who can push Trump out of office. When Biden’s sexual assault claims came out, I stalled in my support of the Democratic nominee, and I stand by that pause. I, like many women upon hearing this news, felt I was forced to now choose between two rapists for president. I still today cannot fully support a man with sexual assault allegations. Whether a man is convicted or not, I believe women. In light of these allegations, I resonated with “Settle for Biden.” However, the narrative that Democrats are “settling” for their candidate will not attract undecided moderate voters, and thus I believe this language is dangerous.
Biden’s ticket is not just about one man running for President. The reason to elect Biden is his cabinet. Biden will usher in a new wave of the most progressive cabinet America has ever had. Biden’s personal faults should not deter Democrats, or anyone, from voting for him.
If the pressing dangers of Trump’s reelection are not enough for you to vote against him, I leave you with one final thought: environmental policy. Biden has a plan for an 100% clean energy economy and wants to reach net-zero emissions no later than 2050. If you vote for absolutely nothing else, vote for Biden’s commitment to protecting the planet.
In such an unprecedented race, there is no room for stalling or undecidedness. We are on the brink of fascism if Trump stays in office. Vote for a return to democracy. Vote for Biden.
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