Election of the President, 2020
There's one rational choice: Joe Biden
Americans as well as the rest of the world have for 3 1/2 years observed the performance of Donald Trump as US president. That performance has, in a word, been pathetic, which is perhaps not surprising, since he came to the office with no qualifications for it and with no knowledge of the workings of our government or our military services, nor of our relations with foreign nations. No serious presidential candidate, let alone president, has ever known so little about so much.
ELECT JOE BIDEN PRESIDENT
How we got here is not the important question now. It's rather how we correct the disaster of 2016 (which, it must be admitted, was facilitated by the Democratic Party fielding the country's most unpopular politician, Hillary Clinton, perhaps the only Democrat who could have managed to lose to Mr. Trump).
We are in position, with our ballot, to choose between two completely different futures. Let us take a quick look at the alternatives. What will it mean to elect Joe Biden vs Donald Trump?
1. Because our greatest problem – a crisis in fact – is the warming global climate, which if not faced and acted on will threaten all the world's peoples with submerged coastlines, horrendous temperatures, refugee streams in the billions, along with diseases and wars, President Biden will immediately rejoin the US to the Paris Agreement on the Climate and will commit to exceed the goals of that agreement, which are known to be inadequate. President Biden will place the United States squarely among the world leaders on climate action. Mr. Trump yanked our country out of that agreement because he thought corporate profit was a greater good than saving civilization. A continued Trump presidency will clearly continue the policy of climate denial, with disastrous consequences for our country.
2. Where Mr. Trump has worked to destroy the health insurance program adopted in the previous administration, Mr. Biden is committed to improve and strengthen the Affordable Care Act to ensure that every American has health insurance. Trump has had 3 1/2 years to propose the health legislation he had promised but has not delivered. It appears that he does not want a national health plan, and that a continued Trump presidency will see a return to purely profit-based private health insurance, which will leave us where we were: the only major "advanced" country with millions of residents unable to afford health care.
3. For the past 3 1/2 years, "environmental protection" in the US has been in the hands of oil and gas company executives and lobbyists appointed by Mr. Trump. Their mission from Mr. Trump has been to relax every protection for the environment by allowing greater industrial releases of toxic chemicals into our air and waters. They have done precisely that, but under a Biden presidency the damage done by Mr. Trump will be reversed and the primacy of our environmental health will be restored. Medical science has shown clearly that environmental contaminants play a significant role in our country's deteriorating health. A continued Trump presidency ensures further environmental contamination for the purpose of maximizing corporate profit.
4. Our most serious national problem, after the world climate crisis, is the shameful level of poverty in America. Our country has a rate of poverty that is unheard of among the industrial countries (e.g., Europe) that we compare ourselves to. Since Lyndon Johnson's presidency, no major national project devoted to lift the American poor out of poverty has been attempted. Poverty is as much a crisis in rural as in urban areas, though the problems are different. Mr. Trump's solution to rural poverty was to promise to ramp up coal production. But the opposite has occurred as states have retired their highly polluting coal-fired power plants. Urban poverty has not been an issue for Mr. Trump, beyond promising to beef up police enforcement of the laws. The state of our cities is in crisis. Major areas of our larger cities have for a long time been poverty-ridden communities characterized by desperation and the crime that it breeds. While these problems go back to the mid-nineteenth century, Mr. Trump has failed to pay any attention to them. Joe Biden is committed to attacking poverty head-on, while as we have seen, Mr. Trump's economic concern is mainly that the ultra-rich get richer, which was assured by his tax revision of 2017 that favored the wealthy. A continuation of the Trump presidency will result in even greater economic inequality, and no solution to the problem of poverty in the US.
In addition to the few points I've mentioned above, the US has dozens of serious social issues that need to be dealt with. The fundamental problem with Mr. Trump is that he has little knowledge of, and no interest in the social problems of the country. He has no empathy with people who suffer; in fact his only signs of empathy are for himself. His self-centeredness, his need for adulation, appears to know no bounds. We cannot face four more years of this charlatan president. The way out:
H. Paul Lillebo
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