Editorial | Top 10 issues you’re supporting when you vote for Biden

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Olivier Douliery, Abaca Press | TNS

By The Pitt News Editorial Board

A vote for Joe Biden is much more than just a vote for a candidate. Getting Biden into office is the surest way to advance important policies. Here are our top 10 issues that you can support by voting for Biden.

  1. Student loan forgiveness

It’s probably not surprising that the editorial board of a college newspaper cares about making higher education more affordable, but it’s an important issue, and one that Biden hopes to make a reality for thousands of college students. Back in October, Biden pledged to eliminate student debt for students who attended a public university and whose family income is less than $125,000. This is huge, and an important step in making college education more accessible to everyone. 

  1. Supreme Court reform or court packing

Following Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation, some have suggested that Democrats court pack to flip the court to a liberal majority and prevent essential civil rights cases from being overturned. A Biden presidency would make it much easier to introduce the legislation needed to pack the Supreme Court — but they could just as easily introduce a plan to reform the court in ways that make it more difficult to overturn previous decisions.

  1. Slowing the pandemic’s momentum

The Trump administration consistently played down the pandemic’s severity in the early months. Now it’s November, and while the rest of the world has largely recovered, the United States is still recording record numbers of cases in certain cities. Having Biden and Kamala Harris in office will admittedly not solve the pandemic immediately, but at least we’ve seen that they take it seriously, taking actions such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

  1. Enhancing workers’ rights

Part of Biden’s platform is a plan to advance unions, increase the minimum wage and hold executives accountable for violating labor laws. This plan starkly contrasts Trump’s ideas on advancing workers’ rights, including his noncommittal stance on raising the minimum wage and his restrictions on labor unions.

  1. Environmentalism

It’s no secret that the Trump administration doesn’t care about improving climate change, given that it has rolled back nearly 100 environmental protections over the last four years. Biden has promised to reenter the Paris Climate Accords, and he has a plan to get the United States on track to reduce emissions before the damage to our planet is irreversible.

  1. Immigration policy reforms

Contrary to Trump’s claim in the final presidential debate, Biden did not spend his eight years as vice president building cages at the Mexico border. Perhaps Trump had a point — there was not substantial immigration reform under the Obama administration — but the Trump administration has no intention of improving immigration policy. Biden said he plans to send Congress an immigration reform plan within his first 100 days in office, and it will include a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who currently live in the United States.

  1. Affordable and accessible health care

One of Biden’s goals is to protect and expand the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, to ensure that Americans have access to quality health care. He also believes in maintaining the legality and safeness of abortion services for Americans, which is vital.

  1. LGBTQ+ rights

Trump cannot be considered an ally for LGBTQ+ people in any sense — not after he has repeatedly limited the rights of transgender people, and not after his administration has pushed for the legalization of anti-gay workplace discrimination. While Biden certainly doesn’t have a perfect record when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights, at least he and his views have evolved over time, and he is now an ally of the community. He supported marriage equality in 2012, and he supported the Supreme Court decision that protects LGBTQ+ workers from job discrimination in June 2020. His evolution is reflective of how people can change for the better.

  1. Social justice

While Biden doesn’t hold the most progressive views on reforming law enforcement and combating systemic racism, he does at least acknowledge that these are major problems in this country, which is more than we can say for Trump who has denied the existence of racism in our country. 

  1. Democracy as a whole

Trump has made it clear that he will contest the election results if they’re not in his favor, and refused to commit to peacefully transfer power if or when he loses the election. This is a distinctly undemocratic attitude, and it’s absolutely ridiculous that Trump thinks giving up his elected office is a choice. The best way to ensure that he leaves office once and for all is to ensure that every vote for Biden is legitimate and counted, and that he wins with as large a margin as voters can give him.

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