A Moderate Compromise

With Election Day less than two months away, many American voters continue to remain on the fence about both candidates. While Democratic nominee Joe Biden holds a lead in the polls over President Donald Trump, it could easily change by Nov. 3.

This year’s election is shaping up to be another intense standoff between parties; although Biden has the support of most Democrats, some more progressives are dissatisfied with his policies and are boycotting elections. We may see a similar situation to the 2016 elections this year–whereas then, many Democrats didn’t vote because they thought Hillary Clinton had a surefire chance of winning, this year they’re straying away from polling centers out of dissatisfaction.

Despite Biden’s lengthy accomplishments during his career as a senator and vice president, many Democrats remain skeptical of his ability to govern the country. With instances of incoherent speaking and a meek demeanor, as well as a moderate agenda that stands in stark contrast to the progressive Bernie Sanders’ policies, 2020’s young Democratic voters are hesitant to vote for Biden, instead considering casting ballots for a third party, or even refusing to vote outright.

Five years after graduating from the Syracuse University School of Law, Biden began his 36-year journey in the U.S. Senate, focusing on a platform that the safety and wellbeing of American citizens were prioritized. Biden sponsored the Violence Against Women Act, which put measures in place to respond to domestic violence, sexual assault and more, and the Global Climate Protection Act, allowing the president to create a Global Climate Task Force to research, develop and implement a national climate change strategy.

Biden went on to serve as Barack Obama’s vice president for eight years, during which he strove to improve the living standards of middle-class Americans, diminish gun violence, expand LGBTQ rights and increase awareness for cancer. He helped implement the Recovery Act, which bolstered the American economy following the 2008 financial crisis. Now that we’re headed in a similar direction economically, his experience is all the more valuable in combating the impending financial crisis presented by COVID.

After emerging victorious from one of the most divisive primaries in the history of the DNC, Biden announced his running mate, Kamala Harris, who also ran for the position of Democratic nominee for a short period. Having experience as both the California attorney general from 2011-2017 and as a U.S. senator for California, Harris’ political experience is apparent. In addition, though she isn’t exactly young, per se, Harris is 22 years younger than Biden, meaning she is likely to better represent the younger generation, as well as appeal to those voters who are worried about the old age of most candidates.

Her background of both African and South Asian American descent would also add diversity to the ticket, something that many Democrats were hoping to see this election. Considering Biden’s age, Harris is more likely to assume the role of president than past running mates, making her policies and experience just as vital to the success of the Democratic campaign as Biden’s are. Depending on her performance in office, it’s also quite likely that she will lead the Democratic Party in future elections as a presidential candidate rather than a running mate.

Biden’s policies may not be the most progressive out of the myriad Democratic candidates, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t progressive at all. When it comes to the climate, Biden plans to ban new oil and gas leases on federal land and end offshore drilling through the Green New Deal. Biden, though not a proponent of Medicare for All, wants to bolster the Affordable Care Act and reform the medical system to mitigate the financial impact of hospital visits.

He also supports universal background checks through the national firearm registry and plans a voluntary buyback program for assault weapons; while for the duration of Trump’s presidency, gun violence has flourished. Biden believes the first two years of college should be tuition free, as well. All of these stances are clear improvements over Trump’s. Though he may not be the best option, it is critical that Democratic voters focus on supporting Biden, as casting votes for third parties or not participating in this election at all will only serve to benefit Trump.

Though both candidates can each be said to have a positive vision for America, Biden’s progressive policies and honesty, as well as genuine care for the needs of the ordinary people, holds a great appeal to an apprehensive nation eager to rebound from a traumatizing pandemic and economic disaster.