Why you– yes, you– should settle for Biden


Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Biden smiling at a campaign stop.

Ansley Kopp, Asst. Managing Editor

The phrase “2020 election” is enough to send some people going on tangents at seemingly three hundred miles an hour, on and on about policy after policy. The generational difference between political ideologies is more evident than before— and, notably, Generation Z is on the fence. Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, it doesn’t matter. You need to put up your Biden signs and your Biden flags, and bubble in his name on the ballot. Some may wonder, “Why? They both suck.”

To put it quite frankly, Donald Trump is going to destroy this country as we know it. “Ah, a bold claim, you extremist!”

Yes, yes it is. Perhaps James Mattis, Trump’s former Secretary of Defense, can say it better for me: “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us.”

Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been abysmal, and that’s being nice about it. According to Bob Woodward, an investigative journalist, Trump knew as early as February that the coronavirus was much deadlier than the flu. However, in a Tweet on October 6th, Trump explicitly stated that the coronavirus was less deadly than the flu (Twitter has since flagged the Tweet for misinformation about COVID-19).

He has lied multiple times about things including, but not limited to: the virus going dormant in warmer weather, the number of cases going down in May, the outbreak being temporary, the pandemic being under control, and the virus being harmless. America has documented roughly 7.79 million cases, and approximately 214,500 deaths, according to ongoing case tracking efforts by the New York Times. To rephrase: Donald Trump’s lack of a coronavirus response is killing us. Even though he was recently infected with the virus and received an experimental treatment that no one else would normally have access to, he continues to downplay the virus at this very moment in time.

Back in early March, when people, particularly in Milford, were beginning to really become afraid of this virus, a particular conversation I had with a close friend comes to mind. We spoke about the virus, how long we thought it would be until school was shut down, and we specifically talked about how crazy it was that it might be coming to Milford, MI, of all places. As members of this small-town community, we never think something dangerous is actually going to come knocking on our front doors. The problem is, a lot of us have this idea: “It’s never going to happen to me.” We’ve all had that thought, whether we feel bad about it or not. It’s a rush of thankfulness— a little voice that says, “Oh, that’s awful, but thank God that it didn’t happen to me, and that it isn’t going to.”

This new coronavirus is infecting people in China, and they have to quarantine? That sucks, but… 

Oh, the coronavirus is in America now, and several people have gotten it? Oh, no! I hope they get better. It won’t happen to me.

It’s in Michigan, but it won’t happen to me.

My aunt got it, but it won’t happen to me.

My friend got it, but it won’t happen to me.

My teacher got it, but it won’t happen to me.

See, we all contribute to an apathy epidemic of sorts, which is worsening the current global pandemic. We think, “Oh, he’ll eventually fix things, and it’ll be fine. And even if he doesn’t, I’ll still be fine.” The reality is, Trump is not stepping up on restrictions anytime soon. In fact, he recently contracted coronavirus, and less than two weeks later, he’s holding an in-person rally. If infection rates continue trending the way they are, truthfully, you are highly likely to be personally affected by this virus in some way.

Not only is there all of this “virus stuff” to contend with, but Trump has also refused to denounce white supremacy during the latest presidential debate— when explicitly told to do so, he sidestepped the question entirely and told white supremacist group, the Proud Boys, to “stand back and stand by”. Additionally, a whistleblower has recently made accusations that several women under the custody of ICE were forced to undergo hysterectomies. For those on the fence, no one needs to spell out that Trump is a terrible president. But when it comes to Biden, many (especially Gen Z-ers) are thrown off by his seemingly moderate record. Is he too far left, or is he not leftist enough? From my friends and family alike, I often hear this phrase: “If I don’t vote, or encourage people to vote, what difference does it make?” 

Here’s the reality: Biden may not fully repair the country, but he is a start. He’s committing to setting aside $30 billion for a racial equity plan. He’s planning on putting the United States back into the Paris Climate Accord, something Trump chose to leave. And, most importantly, he has a plan to kick the coronavirus to the curb, which, in detail and put into action, we haven’t seen from Trump. It includes things like free, widespread testing, contact tracing, support for the immunocompromised or at-risk, vaccine development, and providing real, up-to-date developments on the virus. And yes, Biden has accumulated a lot of controversies through his time as a Senator. Yes, his chosen running mate Kamala Harris’s record as a district attorney is riddled with contradictions. But we need to think about what exactly he is up against.

Do I consider myself a staunch Biden/Harris supporter? No. No, I do not. I was a fan of Bernie back when he was in the running for the Democratic nominee. Compared to my past stances, this is a moderate one to take, and it’s one that could be viewed as traitorous to those who have shared similar views as me in the past. The reality is, though, that there will be no “perfect candidate” that some of us hope for, no matter what side we’re on, and the time to begin repairing America isn’t coming later under ideal circumstances, it’s coming now. This is not just an election, it’s life or death.

And I’m here, begging you to choose Biden— if not for anyone else’s sake, then for yours.