An unenthusiastic vote for democracy

Rational thought outweighs centrism’s shortcomings.


by Sidney Clarke

Allow me to be candid: Joe Biden is not the democratic nominee I had hoped for. His lackluster centrist policies invite debate into decisions where its welcome is long overstayed. If his conventional stance on health care wasn’t enough to lose my support, his policies regarding criminal justice certainly would. In short, he looks far too much like the rich, old, white men who have been running this country since my knowledge of its history begins.

However, my personal reservations pale in comparison to the acute, catastrophic possibility of the Trump administration winning a second term. In the past four years, Trump has done fine work undermining the civil liberties of the American people and little else. His hypocrisy began with the Muslim travel ban, which barred refugees in 11 countries from entering the United States and reared its ugly head again in his choice to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. Trump has used his first term as president to systematically eradicate whatever semblance of social responsibility the federal government once held. This he has done to “fulfill [his] solemn duty to protect America and its citizens.”

Though it may be possible to unravel four years of executive damage, experts are saying eight might be insurmountable. The 2020 election holds historic value, and Trump’s supposed second term in office will have a longer-lasting impact than his first.

Among other things, the stakes of this election entail the possibility of a 7-2 conservative majority on the Supreme Court. In his first term, Trump won a 5-4 conservative majority through the additions of Kavanaugh and Gorsuch. In the next four years, he may have the opportunity to replace both Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away last week, and 82-year-old Stephen Breyer.

Trump’s history of inaction and ineptitude regarding the pandemic further makes the 2020 election critically important. For the first time in 175 years, the “Scientific American” has endorsed a presidential candidate: Joe Biden. In their own words, “The evidence and science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people — because he rejects evidence and science.” Other countries in Europe and Asia have responded to the virus through adequate testing and tracing. Trump, on the other hand, continued to oppose a $25 billion bill for that very purpose through this July. President Trump displayed hostility toward even the simplest safety precautions. Although widespread mask wearing might save the lives of upwards of 66,000 Americans, Trump mocked the idea. He intentionally opted not to wear a mask at local events and goaded anti-mask governors in Florida, Arizona and Texas.

Biden hasn’t yet earned the adoration of some younger voters. In fact, it wouldn’t appear that our specific concerns are of great importance to his campaign. His leanings have gradually embraced Medicare for All and student debt cancellation, but still a large number of 20- to 30-year-olds are discouraged from voting at all. However, in this case, apathy is not only unacceptable but a blatant display of unrecognized privilege. In theory, elections broadly impact our country, but the 2020 election in particular will shock members of less advantaged communities. For the sake of those most vulnerable to the whim and folly of executive powers, for the next four years and for the future, vote Biden.