All of the views expressed in this post belong to the author and not to Political Union as an organization.
Sure, it’s not my prerogative to tell you what to eat for breakfast, or whether you should buy that chartreuse sweater you’ve been eyeing at Urban Outfitters (chartreuse? really?), or even if you should choose to spend your time studying for your upcoming midterm versus scrolling through TikTok for another hour. People are free to do whatever they please, live their lives however they want. But, based on the type of person you are and the values you hold, I could likely make some safe assumptions about which choices would be the smartest.
Deciding between a blueberry muffin and a bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast burrito? If you’re a vegan, I’d say go for the blueberry muffin. The chartreuse sweater? Not that it really goes well with your complexion anyway, but since you’re an environmentalist, I’d direct you towards some non-fast fashion clothing options instead of Urban. And, if you’re reading this, you’re probably a Northwestern student, so please go study for your midterm.
So…yeah, it’s really not my prerogative to tell you who to vote for. But, if you believe Black lives matter (because they do), if you want to help save the planet from climate change, if you want to protect the LGBT community… if you’re a progressive, I can say with hefty confidence that you should vote for Joe Biden.
It’s kind of baffling to me how many students I know that lean decidedly left in nearly all of their political positions, and yet they are planning to a) abstain from voting, b) write-in a vote for Bernie Sanders, or c) vote for Trump. Cognitive dissonance, methinks. So, I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and my own personal answers to these queries in efforts to convince you that if you’re not conservative, you should be voting for Biden.
FAQ 1: But isn’t Biden just as bad as Trump? I hate that I have to choose between the lesser of two evils, and I just feel like nothing would really change under Biden anyway.
Even if Biden wasn’t your first (or second or third) choice candidate, the political platform he and the Democratic party stand by aligns with the interests of marginalized communities much more closely than that of Trump and the GOP. Voting for Biden doesn’t mean he would be your ideal president--but out of the two candidates running for presidential office, Biden is the much better pick for helping implement progressive policy and keeping our planet clean. There is a lot that could be criticized about Biden’s candidacy, but it’s important to keep in mind that this election isn’t just electing Joe Biden himself, or his VP pick Kamala Harris, but an entire blue administration behind him that stands on a blue platform.
Biden and the Democrats support policies that are crucial to protecting and uplifting underprivileged communities. Biden’s platform protects DACA students, while Trump’s does not. Biden has pledged to rejoin the Paris Climate Accords which Trump has left. Biden wants to raise the minimum wage, ban assault weapons, and forgive student debt at public colleges, all of which are stances that Trump does not share. Biden hopes to enact an Equality Act to protect the LGBTQ+ community whereas Trump has directly attacked transgender rights. Biden has said he will protect the USPS as Trump actively works to undermine it.
Not to mention, our next president will be in charge of appointing countless federal judges to be in charge of our justice system, likely even the next Supreme Court justice (to replace RBG or Breyer, in the event that either of them are forced to retire). Abortions and reproductive rights are currently under threat from the Trump administration, and a second Trump term means the potential for Roe v. Wade to be overturned, which would be a nightmare for many individuals all across the country. The choice is clear: vote for Joe Biden.
FAQ 2: Shouldn’t I abstain from voting as a way of protesting the Democratic Party establishment?
Right now is not the time for your protest vote. People are dying, whether it be at the border in cages, at the hands of police brutality, or from the coronavirus disease that is spreading due to the incompetency of our current president, Donald Trump. It is imperative we get Trump out of office this November, and the stakes are too high not to vote. Trump is counting on your apathy.
If you genuinely want to just abstain from voting or are planning to write-in vote Bernie, I ask you to really look at yourself and think: what is this accomplishing? Are my actions the most productive way to assist marginalized communities who need help and change right now? Is your write-in vote for Bernie really a successful expression of support when Bernie has explicitly told his followers to vote for Joe?
FAQ 3: But… I just can’t get behind Kamala! She’s a cop, and I want to abolish the police!
This is a valid concern. Biden’s proposals to combat police brutality are simply not enough, especially when paired with Kamala’s history as a prosecutor. But, Biden and Harris include police reform in their platform, while Trump has touted his plan for “Law and Order” and is literally endorsed by the former KKK grand wizard David Duke. The Biden plan may not include police abolition, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work to campaign for that in our local communities and states.
FAQ 4: Isn’t Biden, you know...senile?
You’ve been watching too much Fox News if you genuinely think that Biden is senile.
It’s true he has made some pretty embarrassing gaffes while speaking publicly, and it might be difficult to watch him in a debate against Trump. However, I would direct you to the times that Trump has: said he would “grab [a woman] by the pussy,” mocked a reporter with a disability on live TV, encouraged people to inject bleach into their veins, said that Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever,” called Haiti a “shithole” country, called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, and...yeah. I could go on forever.
Also, again, voting for Biden is much more than just voting for him as a singular individual--you’re voting for an entire administration, too, who will be working with him every step of the way!
FAQ 5: I just feel helpless. I need change faster than what Biden can offer.
I know the Biden platform isn’t what it could be, and it’s frustrating. But, I implore you to get involved in local politics! (I especially direct you to my fellow Political Union exec member, Will Secker, and his excellent blog post on why you should care about local politics, which you can find here.) Deep and systemic change doesn’t always happen in just a single revolution overnight. It’s 100% possible to keep your beliefs and your conscience in good check by campaigning locally for the causes you believe in and working to help communities that need support while ALSO showing up to the polls on election day to make sure Trump isn’t in office again.
Pamela Chen is a Weinberg junior studying Political Science, and she serves as the director of the Political Union Public Relations team. She enjoys working with graphic design in her free time, and her favorite food is currently green tea ice cream.
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