Every presidential cycle is different. Not only are the candidates different each time but so is the country. A candidate who may not be the right person for one cycle may be right in another. At the beginning of the 2020 cycle, my first choice was Joe Biden. Having served in the Senate for decades and having just served as the vice president, I thought he had the experience, temperament and knowledge to right the ship that is the United States.
I like the guy
By now, this story is well known. During his time in the Senate, Biden went back and forth on the Amtrak every day. A lot of people feel they know, “Uncle Joe.” Anyone who has worked on Capitol Hill, where I had my first job after college, knows how popular a guy he is.
Perhaps Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) put it best when he said, “Joe Biden is as good a man as God ever created.” Biden is a genuinely decent person. I would like to see that in the White House.
This is the biggest crisis we face today. In January, Biden penned an op-ed for USA Today, in which he showed how well he understands what needs to be done to stop a pandemic like this. He has experience in this area. During the Obama/Biden years, he dealt with both Ebola and H1N1. Neither turned into global pandemics. We need someone who can tackle this threat. In his op-ed, he wrote:
Pandemic diseases are a prime example of why international cooperation is a requirement of leadership in 2020. Diseases do not stop at borders. They cannot be thwarted by building a wall. We cannot keep ourselves safe without helping to keep others safe as well and without enlisting the help of other nations in return. And here’s the truth — the United States must step forward to lead these efforts, because no other nation has the resources, the reach or the relationships to marshal an effective international response.
On Ebola, he wrote:
That’s how we broke the infection curve on Ebola. In September 2014, CDC projections warned that over 1 million people could be infected if we failed to act. By February 2015, thanks to the leadership of our administration, the number of new Ebola cases was fewer than 400. A few months later, the epidemic was essentially extinguished.
I love Obamacare aka the Affordable Care Act. This is personal to me because as a freelancer writer & consultant, that’s how I have gotten my health insurance since it was passed into law. Biden was instrumental in getting it passed through Congress.
As we move forward, I like Biden’s plans to improve Obamacare. In my dream world, the United States would move towards a system that looked more like France but we don’t live in my fantasy. I like that the plan has a public option portion, something that is similar to medicare. The bottom line: more people would have access to healthcare under a Biden presidency and I like that.
When it comes to foreign policy, you would be hard-pressed to find someone with more experience. From his years leading the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden knows his stuff. The Council on Foreign Relations has a good rundown of his positions. I share most of his views in this area.
We are in a position where international institutions have been weakened and traditional alliances have been frayed. My personal belief is that in order to NOT be the world’s police force, we need to strengthen international and regional organizations. We need a strong NATO to protect Europe from Russian expansion. We need stronger regional organizations in Africa and the Middle East to let local people deal with local problems. We need a strong United Nations to provide a place for disputes to be negotiated.
The U.S. military is overextended right now. We ask them to do too much. Joe Biden understands that. I am confident that a President Biden would rebuild the State Department, refocus American energies on diplomacy and rebuild key relationships with our allies. I don’t think anyone is in a better position than Joe Biden to do these things.
Over the course of my life, I have seen the country make great progress in how we treat the LGTBQ+ community. It is amazing that the country that enacted the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 went ahead and made gay marriage legal less than 10 years later. Biden’s position on issues in this area has undergone a similar evolution. In 2012, he endorsed gay marriage and is widely credited for bringing Barack Obama along. Chad Griffin, formerly of the Human Rights Campaign, said Biden would be, “the most pro-equality president we have ever had.”
The Violence Against Women Act
This is another personal one for me. For too long, violence against women was not taken seriously. While we can see now that the 1994 Crime Bill did a lot of harm and we need to fix that, Biden was a champion of VAWA and remains so.
Gavin Newsom said this week, “If you don’t believe in climate change, come to California.” As the west burns, six tropical storms churn in the Atlantic and we encounter natural disaster after natural disaster, we need a POTUS who takes this seriously. Biden has a plan to deal with climate change. Politifact describes the plan this way:
The new $2 trillion climate plan sets a target for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, which would balance out the emission and removal of greenhouse gases that warm the planet. His plan would make the electricity sector free of carbon pollution by 2035; make all new U.S.-made buses zero-emissions by 2030; set a goal for disadvantaged communities to receive 40% of benefits from “clean energy” and infrastructure spending; and create a net-zero emissions standard for all new commercial buildings by 2030.
I support all of that. Biden would also get us back in the Paris Climate Agreement and would work with leaders of other countries to deal with this crisis.
One of my top issues is reproductive freedom. I don’t think I need to elaborate here. Joe Biden is pro-choice and his administration will pursue policies accordingly and he will nominate judges and justices that support Roe v Wade.
Criminal Justice Reform
It is no secret that Joe Biden’s position here has changed. First of all, I think it is a sign of strength to be able to say, “I was wrong.” I remember when the Crime Bill of 1994 passed. I was working for Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and we were over the moon about it. It is easy to look back and see the mistakes that were made but at the time, crime rates were high and we were super psyched that the Assault Weapons Ban was going to become law.
Now, 26 years later, we are in a different spot. The Black Lives Matter (#BLM) and the advent of cell phone cameras have exposed police brutality in a way that makes it impossible to ignore. Moreover, the U.S. with four percent of the global population is the world leader in incarceration.
A Joe Biden/Kamala Harris administration will work to fix problems caused by the Crime Bill and systemic racism. Part of that is because they both admit systemic racism is a thing where others deny its very existence.
This has been a trying year for a number of reasons. The world faces problems that may not be new but are many. Deadly pandemics. Climate change. Political and civil unrest. Famine. Conspiracy theories. Natural disasters. Economic recession.
I support Joe Biden because his knowledge of the world and how government works will allow him to lead us through these troubled waters to a better future. I support Joe Biden because I believe he is the best person to rebuild the nation. I support Joe Biden because he is the best man for the job.
Note: If you have specific questions, put them in the comments and I will respond.