EDITORIAL: Biden for president to right a dangerously wrong White House

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In this image from video, Jill Biden is joined by her husband, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, after speaking during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)

The veritable encyclopedia of reasons to choose Joe Biden as U.S. president over Donald Trump grows longer every day, sometimes even by the hour.

Biden’s long-demonstrated honesty, integrity and experience, however, remain the most critical reasons why voters should choose the former vice president to right the rudderless nation, adrift among growing crises.

It’s impossible to lead anything, especially a nation, without trust. Trump has destroyed any possibility of credence.

The president, and those around him, are prodigious, staggering liars. Trump himself has repeatedly demonstrated alarming levels of narcissism, corruption, and malfeasance that would vastly outweigh any shining accomplishments during his first term, if there were any. There are none. Trump’s term in office is littered with the political debris of hubris and immorality.

He and his administration have systematically sought to discredit the media with provably false claims of “fake news.” He’s done this to clear the way for gaslighting his gullible or complicit supporters.

Trump’s tenure has played out exactly as The Sentinel and almost every other newspaper predicted it would.

He has galvanized his reputation as being a coy racist, inflaming the nation’s racial woes. His simultaneously extolling and eschewing white supremacists and racism is dangerously taken as a wink by a growing number of organized and lone-wolf bigots and terrorists. 

Trump has magnified the nation’s immigration problems, often because of his racist rhetoric and deeds, but also because of his malfeasance. After four years, the unsolved national problems remain DACA residents, refugees, temporary workers and millions of residents with U.S. jobs but no immigration credentials. The United States is no closer to solving those issues than the day Trump was sworn into office.

Trump has compounded the looming global warming crisis, both for now and by endangering the near and distant future. The science and the evidence have called for accelerating the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Instead Trump has worked to undermine already insufficient attempts to reduce emissions, and he has sabotaged future efforts. That catastrophic news comes on top of systematic and widespread threats to the environment, and damage to critical ecological systems, which farmers and ranchers depend on.

Trump has successfully enriched the wealthiest Americans, while at the same time middle-class Americans have lost net financial ground. Even before the pandemic crisis, the poorest Americans have become even poorer as wage disparity widens. Endless trade wars, spiraling health-care costs and mushrooming housing prices have made the majority of Americans poorer than they were four years ago. His legacy is a staggering national debt that threatens the economic viability of the nation for generations.

Trump has upended critical alliances between the U.S. and other democracies, weakening united fronts against unscrupulous nations like Russia and China. At the same time, he has overtly flirted with corrupt dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-Un, emboldening them to pursue actions and directions that undermine American interests around the globe.

Trump has repeatedly worked to scuttle the Affordable Care Act, exacerbating its weaknesses at the expense of the American public. He has treacherously worked to undermine hard-won victories over insurance companies to prohibit discrimination against consumers with pre-existing conditions. In the nearly four years since his election, Trump has never provided his  “better” plan, which he has promised since before he was elected. There is no plan.

Trump is still an immediate threat to the nation’s economy and the personal health and finances of every working American during the pandemic crisis. Rather than provide leadership, strategy and resources, Trump has conferred confusion, deceit and chaos. Now, he is directly responsible for creating a deadly virus hot spot in the White House, needlessly and selfishly endangering the lives of those who protect and serve him in his role as president, for the sake of political photo ops and self-aggrandizement.

Trump is anathema to every quality Americans laud from past leaders. He is a bully, a coward, a liar, a racist, a cheat, a misogynist, a patsy and a fraud. 

FILE – In this Jan. 4, 2017 file photo, Vice President Joe Biden, left, watches President Barack Obama, center, at Conmy Hall, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. Democrats hoping to create a surge of enthusiasm behind Joe Biden’s presidential bid will look to Wednesday’s convention headliners to broaden the party’s focus from a rebuke of President Donald Trump to a message of change. Former President Barack Obama has top billing for the third night of the all-virtual Democratic National Convention. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Biden is none of those things. Above all, he is trustworthy. He is demonstrably compassionate, genuine and gracious. America has known Biden for almost 50 years, and he is exactly as he has always been, decent. He’s someone we have disagreed with regarding policy, but we have never doubted his intentions or veracity.

He would need no other qualities to stand tall over Trump’s failed attempt at political leadership.

But he offers much more.

This is far from Biden’s first rodeo. He has vast experience in all aspects of the federal government. He and President Barack Obama successfully led this nation through the last economic crisis, which was handed to them before they even took office.

Biden was instrumental in helping craft economic policies that not only pulled the United States back from the brink of an economic cataclysm, but a plan that rebuilt the decimated economy in less than eight years. The plan created more sustained, critical job growth than at any time in U.S. history. Real numbers don’t lie.

Rather than surround himself with fearful sycophants, Biden has already shown how much wiser a leader he is by naming Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. Success comes from challenges by like-minded collaborators, something Trump’s White House achingly needed.

Rather than undo progress made in creating truly affordable and attainable health care, which every large democracy but ours has achieved, Biden has offered a pragmatic plan to finish the job. The nation must step around the Republican congress and Trump, which have undermined a public option. 

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., arrive to speak at a news conference at Alexis Dupont High School in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Biden is ready to restore credibility and trust with our foreign allies, a critical priority that will allow the world to push back against powers like Russia and China, seeking to capitalize on Trump’s foreign policy weakness and confusion. It is not a partisan position that these nations do not have American interests at heart in any way.

Biden can continue to pursue policies and legislation that allow working-class, middle-class and poor Americans to get a share of the incredible wealth amassed in the nation since the bottom of the Great Recession. Small businesses must get the same attention that the White House has lavished on select big industries. The government must simplify regulations, but we cannot sacrifice public safety nor the future of the planet to allow for corporate profit margins.

Biden underscores that we must return to basing critical decisions on scientific data and expertise. The nation is currently run by a man who actively undermines his own credible, scientific experts. Trump is a layman with dubious reading and comprehension skills, who says publicly he knows better than vastly more educated and experienced scientists, whom  he appointed as his own advisers. 

The nation needs to push away from making life-and-death decisions based on the quackery and impetuous greed of the White House. The Trump administration is a collection of dull obstructionists, who don’t understand that assembling windmills and photovoltaic grids create far better, and better-paying jobs, than toiling in lethal coal mines. While it’s true that Trump can’t get there from here, the green-energy jobs are real. These industries have converted once-skeptical giant power companies into passionate participants, because green solutions make good financial sense.

More than anything right now, Biden can lead the nation through and out of the current pandemic. First by restoring trust in the government that we depend on to protect us. Second, because the effect of the pandemic will far outlast the current crisis.

On that front and others, the nation will need a principled, trustworthy and experienced leader. The nation urgently needs Joe Biden.