By Kara Basset
“Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say they need to stand down?” My heart fell to my stomach as I waited for the president to answer the question. Feeling a wave of second hand embarrassment, I watched him stumble on his words. He said, “Almost everything I see is from the left wing, not the right wing.” Wait, did he really just say that? Trying not to scream, I wrestled with the idea that many people actually believe that Trump is what is best for the future of our country.
During the first presidential debate on September 29, my friends and I anxiously gathered to watch the TV. We were nervous, hoping Biden would be able to hold his own and prove that he is the best option to be the next president of the United States. He brought up points that demonstrate the reasons Trump is far from the right person for the job. Stating how Trump has done nothing for “anybody needing health- care,” as well as how he has failed during the coronavirus, not being able “to fund what needs to be done to save lives.” Yet Biden almost didn’t have to speak for that to be obvious.
At one point during the debate Trump even made fun of Biden for “wearing the biggest mask he has ever seen.” How dare he make fun of people for wearing a mask to try and stop the spread of the most dangerous and unknown disease of our time?
Trump has done nothing but look away at the inequality in America in regards to the coronavirus, tweeting after he had gotten it “Don’t be afraid of COVID.” The President of the United States of America told everyone to not be afraid of a virus that has killed over one million people. Where is his empathy? The truth of the matter is that Biden recognizes the many inequalities in America, rather than ignoring them.
Biden spoke of the inequality in regards to coronavirus. He looked directly into the camera lens, and with confidence stated how Trump “ talk[s] about helping African Americans — one in 1,000 African Americans [have] been killed because of the coronavirus. … And if [Trump] doesn’t do something quickly, by the end of the year, one in 500 will have been killed,” and that American citizens “ have to look at what he did, and what he did has been disastrous for the African American community.”
Biden has his own shortcomings. Unlike some of the other favorites in the Democratic Party, Biden does not support “Medicare for all,” which would reduce out of pocket pay for health care. He also had a major role in pushing the 1994 Violent Control and Law Enforcement act through, leading to the mass incarceration of Black Americans. He has made stereotypical comments regarding Indian-Americans, and has also been accused of sexual misconduct.
Yet, Biden’s failures do not compare to those of Donald Trump. Over the past four years, Trump has proven time and time again power is his main political prerogative. Trump has called white supremacists “fine people.” Twenty-six women have accused him of sexual assault. He encouraged the use of violence against Black Lives Matter protests, following the death of George Floyd. He also accepted an endorsement from Joe Arpaio, and pardoned his conviction for racially profiling “individuals suspected to be in the U.S. illegally.”
Biden wasn’t my first choice. But, at least he condemns white supremicists, believes in science, and thinks that immigrants to the United States should be granted citizenship. At least he believes women should be able to make decisions regarding their own bodies, and recognizes the dangers of COVID-19. His stances on global warming, immigration, abortion, and economics will work to create a society that embodies equality. Recognize the difference between a stepping stone, and stepping into quicksand.
Look around. Think about what is best for us and our entire community. Step inside the shoes of someone different than you. Ask yourself how you would feel if Trump was reelected when he stands against everything you are. Think about your brother, sister, mother, or best friends. Recognize that when you vote for Biden, you are casting a vote to stand with the LGBTQ+ community. You are casting a vote to show that Black Lives Matter. You are casting a vote to recognize that women deserve a say in what they do with their bodies. You are casting a vote to emphasize that immigrants deserve to be treated as equal. You are casting a vote for science. You are casting a vote for the future.
Kara Bassett ’21 is an English major with an Education minor who plays on the Saint Michael’s Women’s Soccer team. She chose to write about the upcoming election because “I want everyone to vote and use their voice!”