My Turn: How can I vote for Biden? Let me count the ways

Top view thirties retro writers desk with typewriter on old wooden background table top.

Top view thirties retro writers desk with typewriter on old wooden background table top. mactrunk

By JOHN GUENTHER

Published: 09-18-2023 4:17 PM

A letter writer recently responded to a column by John Bos in which Bos asked Trump supporters to tell why they would vote for Trump [“Will vote for Republican whether indicted or not,” Recorder, Sept. 7]. The letter stated, “I would ask the same thing about Joe Biden and Democrats.” Being a Democrat, I wish to reply.

Joe Biden is responsible for passing some important legislation that will allow the government to negotiate drug prices, infrastructure legislation for beginning the repair and improvement of our ailing infrastructure, which was once the best in the world and which will help in the fight to save the planet and humanity from the worst effects of climate change while creating jobs.

His administration would have done much more, including possibly an immigration solution, if it were not for the obstruction of Republicans in the House and the Senate.

Democrats, while they could and should have done more to protect the working classes from losing ground since the 1970s, are obviously the better choice than Republicans whose policies have always advanced the interests of the rich. Democrats have not been as attentive to the working class as they should have been. But they have not actively worked against working class interests, unlike the Republicans.

Democrats are at least slowing down the complete capture of our government by corporate power, a process only advanced by Republicans. These corporatists have no interest in developing infrastructure that makes the United States work for all of us and they have an interest in a smaller, weaker middle class and a larger poorer population.

Biden has reinforced the alliances of the United States with other countries in Europe and around the world. These alliances are crucial to the maintenance of democracy, and democracy is essential for all men and women who want to live with self-respect in a free society rather than as oppressed members of totalitarian societies such as exist in China and Russia.

I do not claim that Biden and the Democrats are innocent of all manipulation of the truth. Anyone can see that absolute honesty has never existed in government, that a certain amount of corruption is inevitable. It will always be possible to drag up cases by which any administration can be critiqued.

However, the Trump administration, by any objective measure, holds the record for misleading our citizens by incessant lying. Among these lies are some that make Trump responsible for the unnecessary deaths of thousands of our citizens due to his self-serving response to the COVID-19 pandemic. His lies about his loss to Biden and the illegal parts of his behavior after the election have put in question the very foundations of our democracy and undermined the ideals of the Founders of this country that conservatives claim to uphold.

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By his rhetoric he is responsible for rising violence against innocent people; in particular, Blacks, Asian-Americans, gays and Jews. This should be enough reason to never support Trump and to vote for Biden. Even if the election of Biden meant a worsening economy for you as an individual, all moral principles mean that this is a sacrifice worth enduring rather than subjecting others to Trump-incited hate and violence.

However, a worsening economy is an unlikely outcome of Biden’s election. To the contrary, employment is at historic highs; wages are up, and inflation is being brought under control, an inflation partially due to the insatiable and incentivized efforts of corporations to increase profits at the expense of workers and consumers, but that was also at least partly caused by the money spent to prevent a collapse of the economy, and to prevent many more people entering poverty due to the pandemic. This period of inflation should be seen as worth the suffering that was avoided.

As for immigration, what is required is an overhaul of the entire immigration system, but there will be no real solution possible without an improbable multinational effort. In any case, Trump’s flagrantly immoral policies should have been anathema to all morally sensitive people and certainly offered no real solution while being harmful to our self-respect.

Will there be any adequate policies, any real solutions implemented under Biden? Not without a Democratic congress. But our behavior toward immigrants will be marginally more humane and kinder and less morally offensive.

The letter writer responding to Bos’ column gives, as reasons for supporting Trump, unfounded criticism of Democrats, stating “the last three years have been nothing but chaos, failure and incompetence,” which is an obvious falsehood and provides no positive reasons for supporting Trump.

The writer attempts to brush aside Trump’s corrosive effects on our society with the statement, “But I’m not supposed to vote for Trump because he sends mean tweets,” is a rhetorical ploy and understatement of the evil Trump has wrought. I don’t know the writer, but if Trump is reelected, they may be a person who will hope that a certain past American culture is being preserved.

If that happens, it will be against the wishes and interests of the majority of our citizens, especially our children and grandchildren and of all other living things.

John Guenther lives in Greenfield.