The Valley Star officially endorses former Vice President Joe Biden for the 2020 presidential election.
The urgency of a backsliding American democracy makes the choice clear: Joe Biden must become the next president of the United States of America.
It is the only way to save the country from the fascist immorality of the hate-filled demagogue, President Donald J. Trump. There was no hand wringing, no great debate or prolonged deliberation among the Valley Star’s editorial board, only a somber resolve.
For the last four years, the Republican party has imploded, refusing to do its job — protect democratic institutions. The GOP abandoned the role of guardian, instead allowing extremists like the Tea Party and QAnon to warp their ideology in exchange for a larger, stronger, far-right base and more power. Weeding out unfit political candidates, while providing ones who keep faith with democratic processes, is a fundamental role of political parties. Republicans failed to do this. It is not surprising that these abuses of power led to the election of someone so unworthy of the office as Trump.
Trump has undermined democratic institutions at every turn and proven incapable of performing his duties. He failed at almost every major undertaking and promise: he failed to build a promised wall on the southern border; failed to get Mexico to pay for it; failed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act; failed to alleviate wealth inequality by creating a tax plan akin kleptocracy; failed to bring the nation together by refusing to condemn white supremacists several times; failed to keep America’s place on the world stage, making himself an international laughingstock; failed to respect veterans, instead calling POWs “losers”; failed to address climate change, calling it a hoax and rolling back protections; failed to protect American democracy from foreign attack; failed to prepare for a pandemic costing over 210,000 American lives; the list goes on.
Trump has placed in his cabinet people who are antithetical to the positions they hold undoing much of the progress Americans fought for over the last 50 years. Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education, undermined her own department and harmed those in her charge by behaving so egregiously that the government has had to sue her several times to get her to do her job. Ben Carson, secretary of housing and urban development, rolled back protections for the poor by removing tools for data gathering, and weakening the Fair Housing Act of 1968 created to address the racist wrongs of red lining, a form of government-sanctioned segregation. Following his lead, cabinet members (many who were fired or left in disgrace) have arbitrarily changed long standing protections, ignored procedures, broke the law, profited from their positions and undermined institutions that protect the lives of Americans. These protocols are the unwritten guardrails of democracy, insulating it against abuse now destroyed by Trump and his acolytes.
Like the snake oil salesman of the Old West, Trump has peddled a ruinous elixir to the American people with the intention to distract the “suckers” with tweets and lies while fleecing them for as long as possible. That elixir of incompetence, ineffectiveness and noxious division is the Trump brand. Four years of poisoning has not inoculated the American people against his failings, which have culminated in the deaths of over 210,000 Americans due to COVID-19, more than 17,000 of whom are Californians.
The numbers for coronavirus infections continue to rise while the president decries masks, hosts super-spreader events across the country and pushes herd immunity, which could lead to the deaths of millions. The economy is in a slow spiraling depression and racist QAnon conspiracy theorists are running for office in the wake of the Trump presidency. He has even tried to cast doubt on the American vote, declaring it rigged if he loses. Neither the country, nor the frail democracy it enjoys, can endure four more years of the Trump administration.
Biden is not perfect. In many ways he is a disappointing reflection of the lack of vision of the Democratic party, and, for many, a symbol of the status quo. It is not about the things that Biden lacks, but about what he can do for the country. Biden believes in climate science, intends to protect American elections from outside forces, has publicly acknowledged the need to address systemic racism, and most importantly, has not built his political career on divisive bigotry. This November is about the deadly, emergent tragedy that is currently in process in the White House. Trump and Trumpism are the greatest threats to the United States. Voting for Biden is the only choice for Americans who want to save this union from the hands of a fascist and his ideology of science denial, racial division and magical thinking.
Dislike Biden, be unimpressed with his policies, but know that Trump has supported despots and praised them for their suppression of the news media, the murder of drug offenders, and used his office to abuse the powerless. He will only get worse.
This vote is about halting the uprooting of America. It is about stopping the country from falling under the uninformed fist of a minor despot who destroys the nation’s institutions and values corporate profit over the lives of his countrymen. This vote is about more than the economy because the country is more than the economy. This vote is about safeguarding the great experiment of American democracy which Trump has begun to destroy. Democracy does not always end at the speed of a bullet, often it atrophies first.
Criticize Biden while casting a ballot for him on Nov. 3, be uncomfortable with him, but vote for him. A vote for anyone else is a vote for Trump. While the medicine may be a bit bitter, know that it is the only cure for the disease that is Trump.