Image courtesy of the Biden Campaign.
By The Sewanee Purple’s Executive Staff
The Sewanee Purple endorses Joe Biden as the next president of the United States of America. The Purple’s endorsement is not a highly sought after one by presidential hopefuls, and likely only controversial in the Facebook comment section. Nevertheless, we as a staff feel that this election is too important to not make our opinion known. We encourage everyone to vote for Joe Biden and to vote against Donald Trump.
With the election just one week away, the Student Post Office sent an email to students on October 26 alerting them that the SPO has several absentee ballots that have yet to be picked up. We encourage all students to retrieve their ballots and make sure to vote regardless of who they may vote for. We want all students to exercise this fundamental right.
As college students in our early twenties, we will be the inheritors of the catastrophe that is the Trump Administration. At the risk of sounding crass: Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi will be dead soon, so will Donald Trump, so even, too, will Joe Biden. For people our age, this election has consequences. It has consequences for the climate, for the courts, for the economy, for racial justice, for education, and for democracy itself.
Donald Trump, a broken and vindictive man, is unfit to lead this nation. This is a nation that has profound problems – long before Trump, and long after him – but Trump has made all of those issues shine in starker contrast. He has acted like a tin-pot dictator and flirted with white supremacists. He has insulted and ridiculed our military heroes and public health professionals. He has used his office for his and his family’s personal financial gain. He has eroded public trust in American government, and American democracy. He has actively sought a foreign government’s aid to interfere in a U.S. election. Twice. He has proven himself disloyal (see: his marriages and his cabinet). He has lied repeatedly, recklessly, and with abandon. He has misled the public and proved himself completely inept at combatting the coronavirus pandemic. This is just an abridged list of the failures of this failure of a man. He is not the person to do the job. He is a reality TV show host and real estate charlatan who is out of his depth. It is time for him to go.
That is why you should vote against Donald Trump. But why should you vote for Joe Biden? Because he has a plan to help boost the cratering American economy. Because he will treat the coronavirus seriously. Because he acknowledges the very real and sustained threat of climate change, and is committed to achieving a 100% clean-energy economy by 2050. He has committed to making four-year colleges and universities tuition-free for all students whose family incomes are less than $125,000 a year. He acknowledges the great flaws in the American healthcare system, and will work towards a public health insurance option. Biden, unlike Trump, does not have his head in the sand about American history, and understands that there are deep inequities in this country due to race.
Joe Biden is not a perfect person, nor a perfect candidate. He has clearly had some problematic past positions in regards to criminal justice, foreign policy, and women’s issues. Biden voters should be willing to admit these flaws and push Biden to follow through on his current positions and platforms.
That said, those on the left who hoped for a Bernie Sanders nomination should vote for Biden, and enthusiastically. Too many people’s actual lives depend on it. Biden is running on the most progressive major party platform in recent history. His commitments on energy, the climate, education, health care, and labor constitute large strides in achieving progressive goals. This is not the time for accelerationism, or a left-wing politics that splits hairs ad infinitum to find the most virtuous viewpoint. Again, people’s lives depend on your vote. Who is more likely to listen to the left? Biden or Trump?
Conservatives with a conscience should also vote for Joe Biden. Biden is by all accounts a deeply religious man devoted to his family. He has always been a pragmatist focused on compromise. He is not an “antifa” leader or a puppet of the “radical left.” He is a lifelong public servant with the institutional knowledge to bring America back to a semblance of normalcy. Conservatives should also vote for Biden because of the irreparable damage the Trump Presidency has done and will do to the Republican Party and conservative politics. As Republican Senator Ben Sasse said recently, “in the future, the debate is not going to be, you know, ‘Ben Sasse, why were you so mean to Donald Trump? It’s going to be ‘What the heck were any of us thinking that selling a TV-obsessed narcissistic individual to the American people was a good idea?’ It is not a good idea.” Selling out your principles and your country for four (or eight) years of judges you like, a modest and unbalanced tax cut, racial grievance, and an imaginary idyll of the 1950’s won’t be worth it in the end.
No one in this country should be content any longer to have it governed by a race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot. We should no longer be content to be governed by a man with no sense of decency, no respect for others, no desire to learn and grow, and no will to do what needs to be done. Trump styles himself as a strongman and desires to be an authoritarian, but in actuality he is a weak, delusional, ignorant egomaniac desperate to be in the spotlight. He does not care about you, and he does not care about this country. He can not do the job.
While running for president and even since his election, Trump often uses a song written by Oscar Brown, titled “The Snake,” for immigration fearmongering. In particular, he loves the line “You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.” The song better refers to Trump than his intended targets. We’ve all known damn well he was a snake. Let’s not take him in again.