Americans are poised to choose the next president of the United States and good decisions require facts. Cable television’s capacity for reliable reporting is questionable. If your choice of news outlet claims to be impartial but regularly devolves to yelling and name-calling, then it’s entertainment, not news. We need facts to compare and contrast candidate strengths and weaknesses.
In 2016, Donald Trump inherited a functional administration with an economy successfully emerging from a recession and providing health care to millions of Americans. The pandemic changed everything although experts believe this should not have been so disastrous for Americans. Compared to other first world countries, proportionally more Americans have died or been infected. The pandemic continues unabated in the U.S. and the fall surge has emerged.
Trump’s pandemic response is widely acknowledged as a failure for him personally and for Americans. He blamed states, when he should have developed a national disaster response with a coherent message supporting the CDC. Conversely, Biden embraces medical and scientific advice, proposes expanded free testing centers and mandating CDC recommended procedures for our collective safety. Trump sporadically halts pandemic relief. Biden promotes immediate congressional action by extending small business loans and direct relief payments.
Trump asked the Supreme Court to repeal the Affordable Care Act, ending medical coverage for 20 million Americans during a pandemic and ensuring those with pre-existing conditions will struggle to obtain insurance. Biden doesn’t support Medicare for all, but he does support improving and continuing the ACA and expanding public health options during a pandemic.
Trump rolled back federal and environmental regulations, and enacted corporate and income tax cuts. The uber-wealthy 1% got richer and more millionaires became billionaires this year due to the bump in pandemic-related industries. The other 99% — average Americans — have yet to see economic gains despite modest tax cuts. Many are struggling. Biden has promised to rescind Trump’s tax cuts to people making over $450,000 annually and raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Americans are protesting police abuse against people of color. Trump initially implemented minor police reforms, however, at the Presidential debate, he incomprehensibly urged a known white supremacist group to “stand back and stand by.” The FBI considers white terrorist groups one of the most urgent, emerging threats to our national security. Biden openly acknowledges racism, but rejects calls to defund police. He recommends redirecting resources to proven programs that maintain standards, support mental health and community monitoring.
Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord contending climate change is a hoax and escalating weather-related disasters across America (fires, floods and hurricanes) are unrelated to climate change. Biden calls climate change an “existential threat.” He will rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and proposes a $1.7 trillion federal investment in green technology research dovetailing with investments in green energy/manufacturing to help the working class who hold those jobs.
Trump supports the Second Amendment and the gun lobbyist National Rifle Association spent $30 million on his 2016 campaign. Biden supports the Second Amendment and wants reform to include universal background checks, closing loopholes, banning assault weapons and improved gun licensing systems.
The contrasts between these candidates regarding immigration, foreign policy and more are stark. Our presidential choice comes down to two elderly white men with very different visions of our future. And notably, if neither can perform his duties during his term, his running mate will become president to carry forward that vision. Mike Pence, 61, is a white, conservative, evangelical Christian and former governor of Indiana and congressman. Kamala Harris, 55, is a woman of color, former prosecutor and Attorney General of California and a sitting Senator who appeals to moderates, progressives and young people.
Remarkably, almost 500 generals, admirals and National Security officials, as well as 1600 multi-faith leaders are publicly backing Biden. For the first time in history, two nonpartisan scientific journals, The New England Journal of Medicine and Scientific American, are backing a candidate: Biden. A cadre of high profile Republicans formed The Lincoln Project to support Biden.
Americans need to vote for the honest, decent family man who lives his Christian beliefs — the rational guy who understands science, compromise, collaboration and chose Kamala Harris: Joe Biden.
• Deborah Craig resides in Juneau. Craig gleaned this information from the candidates’ websites and news outlets notable for fact-based reporting.