Bernie's Exit & What's at Stake in Nov.; a Choice Between our Better & Lesser Angels
Sen. Bernie Sanders did the right thing Wednesday in exiting the race for the Democratic nomination for President and offering his support to former Vice-President Joe Biden. Sanders had little chance of defeating Biden, but he had won enough delegates to continue his campaign right up to the nominating convention. However, he understands that this contest is far more important than any one individuals's political ambitions. As Biden has said repeatedly, this election is about saving America's soul, about defining what this nation stands for. And if you think that's hyperbole, you truly haven't been paying attention.
Some of Bernie's supporters, especially younger voters, say that they aren't energized by Joe Biden's relatively moderate positions on issues such as health care and student loan forgiveness. And it's true that Biden isn't as progressive as Sanders on a variety of issues, but neither were the majority of Democratic voters, even the party stalwarts who vote in primary elections. Moreover, Biden's platform is substantially more progressive than Barack Obama's in 2008 or Hillary Clinton's four years ago, and, as the campaign wore on this Spring, Biden embraced positions that were closer to Bernie's such as making public colleges and universities tuition-free for many students. And, Joe Biden will continue to reach out to Sanders and his supporters, but the election is now between Biden and Donald Trump, and America has rarely seen such diametrically opposing visions of our future.
Many voters cast their ballots based on their view of how the President or his party has handled the most recent crisis whether that's related to terrorism, health care, the most recent mass shooting or the economy. And how Americans judge Trump's performance during the Covid-19 pandemic will certainly impact the 2020 election. However, there are also deeper philosophical issues at stake this year and they will define the nation for years to come. Biden vs Trump is going to be about what we want America to be, about our better or lessor angels.
1. Will we embrace and celebrate our growing racial, religious, cultural and gender diversity, or treat it as a threat to be feared and resisted.
2. Will America reclaim its role as leader of the free world and support alliances and international institutions that advance peace, security, trade, human rights, and protecting the global environment.
3. Will we protect and strengthen the social safety net for the most vulnerable among us or continue to lavish tax breaks on society's most fortunate.
4. Will we support the rule of law and reject the dangerous authoritarian impulses of populist charlatans.
5. Will we restore honor, dignity, and respect to the Oval Office, and renounce lies, bullying, and childish twitter tirades.
6. Will we again endorse experience, knowledge and competence as prerequisites for responsible positions within our federal government or continue to employ in-laws and sycophants.
7. Will we demand that public policies be based on facts, research, and science rather than the puerile impulses of a narcissistic man-child.
8. Will we protect the planet's biodiversity, oceans and climate for future generations, or fall victim to the false dichotomy of growth versus the environment.
Of course, Biden and Trump will also debate the minutia surrounding various public policy issues, but in the end voters will be left to decide what kind of country they want to live in, what kind of nation they will bequeath to their children.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content