The stakes this year are far graver than any we have faced since 1864.
The election of a President of the United States is a national choice about the future. It affects, in many ways direct and many more indirect, the lives of everyone living in the United States. After four years of Donald Trump’s erratic, abusive presidency, democracy itself is at risk; the people of the United States must elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to rescue the country from disaster.
The only legitimate public official is the one that works as a servant of the people. Holding high office does not elevate one above the public; it means the public is the higher rank, to whom the office-holder must report. Taking the oath of office is not the recitation of words; it is an act: it serves only if the person taking the oath understands that he or she must be, at all times, a servant to all of the people, without discrimination and foregoing all self-interest.
In January, Donald Trump was briefed on the extreme infectiousness and lethality of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. He was told that without immediate, comprehensive action, millions would die. We now know, from his own words, as spoken during an interview with Bob Woodward, that he understood this information, and that he lied to conceal it. As a result, more than 230,000 Americans have lost their lives.
South Korea confirmed its first case on the same day as the US—January 20. South Korea acted quickly and comprehensively, using CDC guidance Trump rejected, and prevented tens of thousands of deaths. If the US had acted as South Korea did, there would be fewer than 3,000 deaths. We are now surging toward 100,000 new cases per day, and worse: 2,000 deaths per day.
Trump is wrong on COVID, so wrong that he has created a mass-death experience that could kill more Americans than the Civil War. He is wrong on race, wrong on democracy, wrong on climate, wrong on how to treat refugees and their children, wrong on the rule of law, wrong your basic rights, wrong on your health, and wrong on your family’s right to decent wages for decent work.
Think about what his deliberate, terroristic cruelty toward immigrants seeking safety from harm really means. How could someone who does that to the most vulnerable people ever be trusted to protect or serve you and your family?
Trump has sided with foreign attackers against the intelligence agencies sworn to serve you. He has sided with murderous dictators against international peace and security and refused to even utter the slightest complaint, let alone respond with strength or with crippling sanctions, when he learned that Russia was paying bounties for the murder of US soldiers.
While 233,000 Americans died from a pandemic he refused to fight, Trump lied about his taxes, lied about business interests and bank accounts his family keeps in China and elsewhere, lied about the more than $1 billion he owes, and sought to monetize the Presidency—an office that belongs to you, not to him.
If we get to a rate where over a three day period 110,000 new cases are being confirmed, we will be seeing 1 in 1,000 Americans diagnosed with new COVID cases every 3 days. If it comes to that, 8,250 of those 330,000 people would be likely to die—from 3 days’ worth of infections.
The United States is at risk; tens of millions of people’s lives have been upended by an incompetent, unwilling, uninterested, and cruel President. The President is not a ruler, but the nation’s highest public servant. He owes direct and constant allegiance to the rights and wellbeing of every human person whose lives are affected by his decisions.
Joe Biden is a decent man. He is empathetic, and spends real time with people, just because they need to connect with someone whose job is to serve them, because it makes a difference. Kamala Harris has spent her life working to ensure our system of laws recognizes, represents, and protects, the humanity of all people.
To be free from the ongoing process of multifaceted degradation that now afflicts the United States, its people need to elect Joe Biden as their next President and Kamala Harris as their next Vice President.
- They will develop a serious, science-based plan to combat COVID.
- They will work to make sure the structure of the US economy is fair to all people.
- They will restore US leadership on the world stage, for peace and security and in confronting planetary emergencies like climate disruption, biodiversity collapse, and the escalating risk of pandemics.
- They will never tolerate or condone terrorists putting public servants or America’s communities at risk.
- They will ensure the United States welcomes and honors humanity, and that it provides rescue and respite to those fleeing violence and persecution.
- They will honor all five freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment, and the equal right of all people to full protection of the laws.
The United States will lose too much time and see too much death and devastation if Donald Trump is reelected. Even if you agree with some of his ideas or policies, please consider: the future of republican democracy, and the very right to life of hundreds of thousands of Americans, requires the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Let’s get started building back better, together.
UPDATES—November 7, 2020
Shortly before 11:30 EST, the state of Pennsylvania revealed the vote margin was wide enough that Donald Trump could not catch up. The state, and the 2020 election were called for Joe Biden, who had accumulated at least 273 Electoral College votes.
It is also true that with yesterday’s 132,000 new confirmed COVID cases, the United States has reached that terrible threshold where 1 in 1,000 Americans have been diagnosed with COVID in 3 days.
Van Jones spoke for the decency in all of us, when he reacted to the news of the historic Biden-Harris victory. We share the video here as one of the most eloquent ways of marking the importance of this election outcome.
UPDATES—November 10, 2020
On Episode 5 of Earth Intelligence, Don Shelby, Myra Jackson, and I, discuss the significance of the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris—how it restores America’s role as a force for good, in the defense of human rights and democracy, and as a global leader in shaping the sustainable future.
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