If we were to travel back in time, 220 years to be exact, to the moment Thomas Jefferson won the highly contested election in 1800, we would be quite surprised at the insight we could retrieve. Jefferson, a Democratic-Republican, won the election against the Federalist incumbent John Adams. The political climate was a little similar to the way it is now— minus the raging pandemic and overwhelming racial tension— with both parties fervently against the other and overall partisan tensions high. But in a profound and revolutionary way to alleviate a new nation, Jefferson declared that he wanted to not only “retain the good opinion” of those who support him, but “conciliate that of others by doing them all the good in my power.”
This is the principle that those who pride themselves on being an American hold close to their heart. We believe this is the principle of a good president. A good president will vow to do away with partisanship for the overall good of this country, and this is why we are endorsing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for this year’s presidential race: a man who has already vowed to be a president to all.
Still, the choice to endorse Biden was not done lightly. The main matter at hand was not who to endorse, but whether we should endorse at all. We rattled with wanting to remain as impartial as possible while still wanting to take a firm stand. Ultimately, we decided that we are living in a time where it’s important to be on the right side of history and assert our core values. President Donald Trump has pushed America around to make way for him and his party’s interests, and we need a capable person in office to try to salvage what is left of this country.
One of the critical reasons Biden gets our endorsement is due to his ability to show empathy and unify people of all walks of life. A man who has lost his first wife and two children, he regularly takes the time to grieve with people publicly. He has met with the family of George Floyd and visited Kenosha, Wisconsin after the racial unrest. On the other hand, Trump has been a tool for division ever since he started pining for the presidential spot. He has called the Mexican people drug dealers and rapists, issued a ban of multiple Muslim-dominant countries, consistently referred to immigrants as illegals, disrespected women by calling them a number of derogatory terms and even questioned where former President Barack Obama was born. The American people and the press have been subject to his onslaught of insults and tantrums for the past five years, and it’s about time we reconvene to a state of decency and decorum.
Biden is not only promising professionalism, but a bold agenda that will address some of our most pressing issues today. When it comes to healthcare, he is committed to working towards universal healthcare for all through measures like updating the Affordable Care Act. He is a man who believes in climate change and science and has proposed a plan that will lower our carbon emissions, work towards using entirely renewable energy and tackle environmental racism. On racial justice, Biden has done the bare minimum of easily denouncing white supremacists and showing support to the families of those affected by police brutality— something that our current president struggles to do.
Trump has always boasted that this economy which he has facilitated is one of the best in history, but that is no longer the case due to his mismanagement of the global pandemic. On his watch, our international allies have wandered, gun violence has raged and over 225,000 Americans have died due to his inability to respond quickly to a pandemic that he had knowledge of months before it ravaged us. He has used his power to pardon his high-ranking friends, to attack protestors and the press and even to downplay the pandemic and politicize the act of wearing masks. Trump has failed us, and he will continue to fail us if he is re-elected this November.
This is not to say Biden is faultless. In 1991, he failed to support a Black woman, Anita Hill, as she argued her case of sexual harassment to the Senate. He sponsored a 1994 crime bill that contributed to mass incarceration. He also once opposed gay marriage and supported legislature barring members of the LGBTQ community from joining the military. After more than 40 years in politics, Biden definitely has some skeletons in his closet. But unlike our current president, he owns up to them. We aren’t crazy about Biden, but we are crazy about having a better leader. We need someone that will allow themselves to be held accountable, and that is Biden. He may not be the president we want, but he surely is what America needs right now. We hope that if elected, he will “retain the good opinion” of those who support him and “conciliate that of others by doing them all the good in his power.”
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.
Featured photo from Wikimedia Commons via David Lienemann.