Letter to the editor: Biden is the best choice; the alternative is frightening
The election is upon us and millions have already voted. Though we hear that very few Americans remain undecided, we in beautiful blue Vermont should make every last-minute effort to urge them to vote and to choose Joe Biden.
Donald Trump has a natural coalition of the comfortably off who care only about their incomes, religious and “patriotic” zealots, bullies, bigots, racists, haters of all stripes and those he cons with impossible promises. Though Trump lacks a popular majority, it is frighteningly possible that the distribution of his coalition may enable him to win the Electoral College — even assuming that the election is honest. It is equally frightening to think that a significant number of citizens may refuse to vote for Biden because he is not deemed progressive enough.
The damage Trump and his accomplices have already done is too vast to summarize and will continue long after them, even if he loses. If Trump wields power for another four years, the country will truly be unrecognizable. The New York Times does not exaggerate in calling Trump the greatest threat to American democracy since World War II.
We have no illusions about Joe Biden. We wish the Democrats had nominated a strong progressive like Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, for whom we could vote with unalloyed enthusiasm. But this is a year for voting defensively. There is no chance of returning to “normalcy,” let alone recharting our disastrous national course, until Trump is gone; and electing Biden is the way to begin the process.
Refusing to vote for Biden because he will not endorse Medicare for all or the Green New Deal or unconditional defunding of police departments is tantamount to voting for Trump, as anyone who remembers 2016 should know. Voting for Biden does not mean abandoning progressive goals, but letting Trump win by default does.
Biden is decent and competent and respects the Constitution and the rule of law. He believes in science. He understands that the President’s role is to serve the long-term best interests of the country, not to rule by whim, fiat and “gut.” He is willing to acknowledge and learn from mistakes. He will consult and be influenced by reasonable and knowledgeable advisors, rather than an ever-changing coterie of corrupt and ignorant flatterers. He can be moved in a more progressive direction if committed people will do the necessary work.
A country that elects a monster like Trump once, even somewhat accidentally, has made a grievous error. A country that would give him a second term surely forfeits its place among the civilized nations of the world.
Judy and Michael Olinick
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