I’m Voting For Joe
Election Day is just weeks away and I’ll be voting for Joe Biden for President as quickly as I can.
I’m particularly concerned with Covid-19, healthcare, the economy, race relations and women’s rights, the climate, the Supreme Court and our democracy.
The US has 4% of the world’s population but 1/4 of the coronavirus infections, meaning other countries are doing a much better job of handling the virus than the current administration is. That’s really no surprise since our president is discouraging mask wearing, when masks stop the virus’s spread. He is also reluctant to use presidential powers to produce more protective equipment. Joe would do better!
Trump is trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act right in the middle of a pandemic while Biden wants to make available an option into Medicare. Since being forced to give up their private insurance in favor of Medicare can make people feel disempowered, I think Biden’s public option is better policy than Sanders’ Medicare for All. An abrupt end to private insurance that collapses the industry would also plunge many families into unemployment. A public option allows a voluntary and smooth transfer toward a public system.
COVID AND THE ECONOMY
The economy won’t heal until we reign in covid. Theaters and indoor restaurants are largely open but people are avoiding them. Comparing economies that opened up quickly (like Georgia) with those that stayed closed (like California) sales and profits were nearly identical as people bought what they needed and avoided shopping off-line.
Today the US economy is in danger of plummeting says (Trump-appointed) Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. The Democratic House just passed a bill to boost small business and aid unemployed Americans but they cannot get Trump or Republican Senators to bring the bill into law. Biden and a Democratic Congress would.
A HEALTHY MIDDLE CLASS
Since the 1980s we have seen a huge redistribution of wealth from the middle-class to the top, largely due to firing workers and replacing them with automation (the biggest cause of job loss now), offshoring work and union busting. Outsourcing also leaves employees without benefits, and much poorer as a result.
Meanwhile, tax cuts for billionaires with 83% going to the top 1% was the only major legislation Trump passed in four years. Worse, he has recommended paying for it by cutting Social Security and Medicare.
Biden would roll back the 2017 tax cuts for billionaires to pay for infrastructure and education — investments that would immediately put money into worker pockets and strengthen the economy in the long run. Biden also wants a $15-per-hour minimum wage.
Moody’s ran the Biden and Trump plans through their model and concluded that in the next four years gross domestic product would be 4.5% higher under Biden than Trump policies, meaning an additional 7 million jobs. Goldman Sachs similarly found a 3.7% gain in GDP.
People are more likely to spend money and boost sales and profits if they have money in their pockets. Bringing money back down from the wealthy into the pockets of average Americans would boost the economy.
Biden would also use proceeds from the 2017 billionaire rollback to fund spending on affordable housing and clean energy.
The cost of climate change will soon be enormous with losses of property and lives due to fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, extreme heat and drought.
The early signs of climate change are already showing up with stronger fires and hurricanes, and more of them.
I live in California where just weeks ago an enormous fire came within 4 miles of my home. Past fires have taken the homes of my friends. Air quality has also been horrid lately and the unhealthy air permeates the entire West (check purpleair.com during fire season). My grandmother, mother and I have lived in California almost our entire lives and we have never experienced fires like we’ve had in the last three years. Scientists predicted all this but it’s coming sooner than expected.
If you don’t like wearing a mask for covid just wait, scientists predict we won’t be able to leave our homes without masks in the future.
RACE & GENDER EQUALITY
Trump will not condemn white supremacists, he won’t adequately fund the tracing of white supremacist terrorists, and he says there are fine people among the neo-Nazis. White supremacists claim Trump as one of their own and hate crimes are way up since he took office. And Trump protests any protests declaring that black lives matter.
Meanwhile, even as Trump charges Biden with defunding the police, Trump defunds them at the federal level and by refusing to help fund state and local governments. (Almost all money in state and local governments go to education, healthcare and public safety.) As Biden says, justice and policing are both important but we must move toward fair and just policing.
Trump is also set to confirm a Supreme Court justice who seeks to remove the right of women to control their own bodies. She even sounds hostile to birth control.
SUPREME COURT of the United States (SCOTUS)
Wealthy interests are salivating to stack the courts with conservative jurists who will block legislation that benefits the people. Sitting conservatives consistently:
- rule against class action lawsuits, which equalize the power of the people with the power of wealthy interests.
- rule in favor of corporate rights over worker rights.
- rule in favor of corporations to pollute the people’s air and water and damage the climate.
They even insist that corporations are people with more rights than actual people, like the religious conscious of Hobby Lobby trumping the consciences and bodies of actual women who need birth control. Or, corporate “people” have a lot more money to legally bribe politicians than any actual person does.
A 6-3 majority could end the Affordable Care Act as early as June. This same majority may eventually end Social Security and Medicare, too, and anything else that selfish interests don’t want to help fund. In fact, this SCOTUS may deem any legislation wealthy interests dislike as unconstitutional.
That explains why conservative Senators are rushing to seat a 6-3 conservative majority right now. And why the Senate has done pretty much nothing for months but stack the lower courts with conservative jurists. They’ve got to please their big donors!
The only thing that could stop this is a Democratic President and Senate threatening to seat (or actually seating) a 7-6 liberal majority if the courts insist on voiding the people’s will.
As SCOTUS works to bind democracy Trump is doing his darndest to bind it too. Trump disobeys every rule he can find, yet democracy’s rule of law needs rules. He leaves us thinking there is no truth, yet truth is needed to check politicians.
He wants to be president for life and to be worshiped like North Korea’s leader.
Trump is also working to undermine democratic elections by asking his voters to vote twice and telling them to swamp polling places, hoping to intimidate those who come to the polls. He’s working to create confusion while counting on the newest SCOTUS to declare him the winner if there is confusion. And he won’t commit to accepting election results, instead telling the Proud Boys to stand by to raise civil unrest if he loses.
In other words, Trump seeks to hold power through cheating and violence, not through the democratic process.
Four moves mark democracies moving to authoritarianism and Trump pushes each of them:
- Attack the press (“Fake news!”)
- Attack the independent judiciary (get justices on “your side” and attack judges who go against you as “biased”)
- Attack intelligence services (attacks the FBI, CIA)
- Weaken democratic norms (fair elections, checks and balances, emergency wall funding)
Hmmm, Trump’s done it all.
In light of Trump’s attack on democracy, Trump as Putin’s puppet deserves it’s own heading since he does so much that helps Russia and hurts Western democracies.
- Dismisses allies as worthless
- Cozies up to dictators
- Advocates withdrawing troops from strategic outposts and active theaters
- Wants to end NATO (long-time Putin goal)
- Hurts trade and friendships with European democracies
- Trusts Russia over US intelligence
- Offered to partner with Putin on cyber security
- Held private meetings with Putin (Russians allowed, but no Americans)
- Shared classified info with Russia
- Threatened to withhold military funding from Ukraine as they fought off Russia
You can debate whether Trump is bought by wealthy interests but it doesn’t matter since he is a wealthy interest who never does anything but that which benefits himself.
I’m ready for a uniter not a divider. I’m ready for someone who will work to heal the soul of our nation. Heck, I’m ready for someone who will wear a mask.
And if you are a Trump voter I’m wondering if you would be upset if Biden won. I’ve asked a couple of my Trump-voting friends (one is a huge fan) and neither of them would actually mind that much if Joe won.
And to everyone: What say you?