The 2020 election cycle has been a circus, exhausting and irritating us at every step of the way. Voting season is now upon us, and we at the Foghorn are officially endorsing Joe Biden for president of the United States. Voting for the Democratic ticket this election is one solid step we can take toward healing our broken nation.
It is important to vote for Biden because, in the past four years, President Donald Trump has set a series of dangerous precedents, such as the notion that the president can be expected to regularly lie to the public, and that it is acceptable for politicians to spew hate speech. Trump promotes sensationalism, extreme rhetoric, popularity, and uninformed promises, and these practices trivialize the impact of government and undermine the premise of democracy: that our leaders should be firm, and fair, and serve the people. Throughout the past four years, as well as long before his presidency, Trump has been misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, and, largely due to partisanship, faced virtually no consequences for his behavior while in office — even when he was impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress by the U.S. House of Representatives, he was acquitted of those charges in the Republican-majority Senate.
If Trump wins the election for a second term, we, as a country, are saying that his brand of politics is acceptable and the new normal for the United States. A vote for Trump says that you are happy with the way this country is functioning right now — frequent police killings of Black Americans, more than 200,000 deaths (the vast majority of which were preventable) from the coronavirus pandemic, a faltering economy, and systemic human rights abuses at immigrant detention centers. Trump has demonstrated a lack of respect for human dignity, an inability to contend with the basic facts of science, and admiration for authoritarian leaders such as former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. His interests lay with the wealthy and privileged of this nation, and he has tricked millions of Americans into thinking otherwise.
All of us at the Foghorn were too young to vote in the 2016 presidential election, so now, it’s our time to make a difference. Biden and the Democratic Party stand for women’s healthcare and reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, immigrant rights, rights for people of color, have committed to combating climate change, and ultimately prioritize basic human rights for all people. Biden behaves like a human being in politics, in comparison to the joke of a president that we currently have.
Biden has repeatedly emphasized that he believes in the current national health crisis caused by COVID-19 and has a plan to save as many people as possible. In contrast, Trump failed to create a comprehensive plan for combating the virus for nearly a year, admitted on-the-record that he knew the coronavirus was “deadly” even when he publicly lied about its severity, and then contracted the virus himself due to his and his White House’s disregard for basic safety protocol, such as wearing masks. We need to elect someone who will unite this country, listen to and respect the facts, and build a plan for getting our nation out of the gutter. It’s downright embarrassing that we’re still seriously struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic when other countries are mitigating the effects of another wave because they had things locked down from the beginning.
Whatever you do, we encourage you to not abstain from voting. Not voting shows immense disrespect to the people who fought for suffrage for all and is a gross demonstration of privilege — that you can afford not to vote because you believe that you will not be seriously affected by the policies of whoever ends up in office either way. Not voting, or voting third party (because thanks to the Electoral College, we have to deal with a two-party system), is an automatic vote for the majority party. In this election, with so much polarization, any person who could vote for Biden but chooses not to counts as essentially half a vote towards Trump.
Whether you will be sending in your vote by mail ballot this week or going to your local polling location to vote in-person between now and Nov. 3, we at the Foghorn urge you to make a plan. Vote for everyone who is unable to because of their citizenship status, age, or conflicting job and family schedule, and combat how the Trump administration has attempted to suppress voter turnout this election. Ignorance has no place in an election, but empathy does. So recognize your privilege and figure out how you are going to use it for the better. Voting is the most important thing we will do this year. How do you want the first election you have the privilege to participate in to turn out?
Editor’s Note: Two Foghorn staff members are currently working for the Joe Biden for President campaign and the California Democratic Party’s coordinated campaign. Those staff members did not participate in the writing of this staff editorial but edited the piece for clarity.