Joe Biden should be president

My argument for a Biden presidency will be laid out in two distinct portions: why Biden should be president and why Trump should not. First, I will detail why the current president does not deserve a second term.

     The most obvious place to begin criticism on the Trump presidency is the abhorrent response to the coronavirus. This comes in two forms: his lack of a national plan and his rhetoric. 

     First, his administration has failed, and is failing to adequately supply those on the front lines with proper PPE and testing. This lack of a centralized federal strategy almost certainly cost lives at the beginning of the outbreak. His poor planning is underscored by a continuous campaign of falsities, which are prevalent in seemingly every public appearance he makes. He repeatedly questioned the science on masks and even made fun of his opponent for wearing one. In fact, the first time the president encouraged everyone to wear a mask was July 20th. This sudden volte-face came at an odd time: by July, the U.S. had upwards of 160,000 deaths. These deaths came after the president admitted to downplaying the virus during an interview with Bob Woodward, saying that he knew how deadly the virus was and that he liked to play it down. He likewise suggested injecting bleach into the lungs of patients to cure them. Oh, and he said that the death toll is “very low… if you take the blue states out.” 

     And who could forget the time that he blamed Obama for not having a vaccine ready for the virus that didn’t exist until six months ago. One of the largest problems with this president is not only that he says kindergarten-level things, but also that his supporters listen. If you tuned into a Trump rally recently, you would not see proper social distancing and mask-wearing, but rather, eager, maskless gatherers grouped together like cattle, defying local and state restrictions, only to hear the words of our president further encouraging them to continue. 

     The second major point I’d like to touch on with Trump is his immediate threat to democracy. Trump has angled himself in a way that prevents him from losing. Not in a literal sense, but his unfounded attacks on the validity of the election results mean that he can declare any loss as fake. Here is him quoted in a rally in Nevada: “It’s a rigged election, it’s the only way we’re going to lose.” Add on to this the fact that he has refused, on many occasions, to commit to a peaceful transfer of power (an American tradition that dates back to the election of 1800), and you get a worrying situation come November 3, 2020. 

     A typical pro-Trump argument is the strength of the pre-COVID economy. For argument’s sake, let’s accept this premise, even though it ignores the fact that Trump’s own response to the virus has led to enormous job losses and an economic recession. If you look at the economic picture pre-covid, it is not all the president makes it out to be. Real GDP growth in the U.S. has remained relatively stable since the 2008 recession, median household income was on a steady rise since about 2013, and since Obama’s second term, the U.S. has added about 200,000 new jobs each quarter (this has not boomed nor busted under Trump). The unemployment rate as well has been on a steady decrease since about 2010. In terms of the stock market, yes, it increased during this period. However, the stock market has been increasingly diverging with the de-facto economy for some time. 20 million people lost their jobs in April of this year, yet the S&P 500 had its best month in 33 years. All of this data points to one conclusion: Trump presided over a period of economic growth following the 2008 recession but did nothing to spur it.

United states gross domestic product over the past century – Wikimedia Commons

     Now, I’d like to pivot to why you should support a Biden presidency. 

     A visit to Joe Biden’s campaign website provides a look into what his presidency would look like: common-sense reforms on important issues approached from the angle of facts and data. Rather than playing to his base with buzzwords, Biden is looking to solve real problems. While Trump continuously tries to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, a healthcare program that covers tens of millions of Americans, Biden is looking to expand it, attempting to ensure that poorer Americans never have to worry about going bankrupt due to an unexpected medical cost. 

     This one issue is just a microcosm of the entire situation: Biden has a comprehensive plan, Trump has none. I could probably dedicate 1000 more words just to analyzing all of Biden’s policies (of which there are many). In fact, experts have studied Biden’s policies and what they found should surprise nobody: a recent study by Moody’s found that Biden’s economic plan would create seven million more jobs than Trump’s. 

     Many of  Biden’s critics fear that he will be influenced by far-left individuals and turn the country into what they might call a “socialist” America. To this, I say two things. First, research what socialism actually is before making baseless claims. Second, pay less attention to Trump’s campaign ads and more to what Biden is actually doing. Biden has been consistently center-left on almost every policy issue since he’s been in the senate, favoring bi-partisan efforts to pass legislation. To think that he will suddenly cut loose from this strategy to satisfy the far-left is nonsense. If the far-left were actually a substantial part of the Democratic party, the nominee would not be Biden, it would be Bernie.

Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden walking with supporters at a pre-Wing Ding march from Molly McGowan Park in Clear Lake, Iowa – courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

     If I still haven’t convinced you, let me attempt to appeal to your emotional side rather than your logical one. Donald Trump spews hateful, divisive rhetoric every time he speaks. He said John McCain “was a hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” He refused to visit the Marine Corps cemetery at battleground Belleau Wood, saying, “why should I go to that cemetery, it’s filled with losers.” In a different conversation but on the same trip, he referred to the 1,800 dead U.S. Marines as “suckers” for getting killed. He admits to sexually assaulting women; since the 1970s, he has had upwards of 25 accusations of either rape, sexual assualt, or sexual harassment. He fuels the flames of racial tensions within our country, telling white nationalist groups to “stand by.” 

     Joe Biden is seeking to heal our divided nation. He is the only candidate willing to say “if I lose, I will accept the results.” 

     That fact alone should be enough to guide your hand in the voting booth come November.