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Editorial: We recommend Joe Biden for president — and overwhelming rejection of Trump

Editorial: We recommend Joe Biden for president — and overwhelming rejection of Trump

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Joe Biden

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the former vice president, speaks during the first presidential debate with President Donald Trump on Sept. 29 in Cleveland, Ohio.

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Barely two minutes into his new presidency in 2016, Donald Trump spoke these frightening words: “This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.” In truth, he was only getting started on a rampage of mass carnage. The coronavirus death toll on Trump’s watch now exceeds 211,000 among more than 7.5 million U.S. victims that, astonishingly, includes Trump himself, his wife, multiple senior staffers and members of Congress. The nation’s top military commanders are under quarantine. Trump’s gross mismanagement poses a threat to America’s survival and a destabilizing force for the world. Trump’s American carnage must stop, with the Nov. 3 election as the catalyst.

The only option to rid the nation of this menace is for Americans to unite behind former Vice President Joe Biden and send the strongest possible message of rejection to the far-right, racist extremists sustaining Trump’s base. This is a call for moderate Republicans to put their country first: Join moderate Democrats and independents in forming a unified front dedicated to the common cause of taking back our country from a true monster.

The legitimate complaints and concerns moderate Republicans have about Biden certainly must pale in comparison to the jaw-dropping insults, bigotry and childishness they’ve seen and heard almost every waking hour of every day during Trump’s tenure. Biden is a good, decent person and a proven leader with a career in local and national politics spanning five decades. He has powered forward despite immense personal tragedy, including the deaths of his first wife and daughter in a 1972 car crash, and the cancer death of son Beau in 2015. The Republican attacks on his other son, Hunter, have been relentless — mainly because that’s the only major point of vulnerability they can find on Biden’s remarkable résumé. They’ve tried to paint him as a police-hating radical socialist. Such absurdities only underscore their desperation as Trump sinks deeper in national polls.

For every accusation Republicans have about Hunter Biden having used his family name to enrich himself, there are scores if not hundreds of far more egregious examples where Trump and his close family members have enriched themselves in illicit ways, often at taxpayers’ expense and in violation of the Constitution.

For every mocking reference Trump might make about Biden’s senior moments or his stuttering disability, there are hundreds of examples where Trump has mangled his own syntax or tweeted absurdities such as his infamous “covfefe.” Trump never matured beyond the stage of a middle school bully, lowering himself to mocking Biden’s stutter much like he mocked disabled New York Times journalist Serge Kovaleski in July 2016. This is not normal and should never have been tolerated by the American people.

Trump thinks this twisted style of leadership is funny, but the message he conveys to his extremist followers is that it’s open season on anyone they don’t like. Disagree with Black Lives Matter protests? Take up arms and confront them, or maybe even shoot a few like that kid did in Wisconsin. Don’t like immigrants? Take up arms and go kill some the way that guy did at the Walmart in El Paso. Don’t like protests against Confederate statues, mow down a few marchers like that guy did in Charlottesville, Virginia.

When America’s president stands in defense of bigotry, homophobia, racism and sexism, his most extreme followers hear a call to action. When Trump utters the words, “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” he rewards them with a new motto and white supremacist recruiting tool.

Democrats already understand the dangers. Our appeal is directed at moderate Republicans who might still be on the fence. We get the vote against Hillary Clinton in 2016. We get the desire to pack the Supreme Court with conservatives. But the damage Trump has wrought is incalculable in exchange for any perceived benefits.

For those who hold their noses and rationalize their support for Trump on religious grounds, the balance of the Supreme Court has already been tipped heavily to the conservative side. Trump’s work is done there. A vote for him in November would affirm all the other things Trump has said and done that defy every core value religious voters hold dear. This is a man who bedded with a porn star and paid for her silence so voters wouldn’t find out. This is the man who used vulgarity to assert that famous people like him have a right to sexually abuse women. This is a man who struggles to quote even a single Bible verse. He bizarrely thinks Biden could “hurt God.” For him, the Bible isn’t a holy book; it’s a prop for a photo op staged in front of a church after he ordered federal forces to clear peaceful protesters from a Washington park.

America’s “pro-life” president has repeatedly shrugged off the 211,000 deaths that his pandemic mismanagement has wrought. Instead of embracing the simplest of life-saving practices, Trump treated mask-wearing as some kind of socialist plot. It posed such an affront that he reportedly ordered staffers not to cover their faces in his presence. The result: The White House has become the top coronavirus hot spot in the nation’s capital. The president’s own infection was so serious he had to be helicoptered to a military hospital, placed on oxygen and pumped with drugs normally reserved for the most severely endangered patients. Why? Because he wouldn’t wear a mask.

If anyone was naive enough to think this scare would prompt Trump to rethink his foolishness, no such luck. He orchestrated two expensive and life-threatening photo-ops, then unleashed a barrage of tweets and videos downplaying masks and disregarding the death toll. He triumphantly ripped off his own after ascending the White House South Portico, then told people not to be afraid of the coronavirus. He now portrays his own infection as some kind of Purple Heart badge of courage.

Trump is a national disgrace, as a growing list of his ex-appointees and military commanders have affirmed. His impeachment was based on solid evidence that he sought to use his office for political gain by withholding U.S. military aid to Ukraine in exchange for dirt Trump could use against Biden. He divided the nation on racial lines by feeding racism and excusing blatant police brutality. He took a booming economy and ran it into the ground by prolonging the nation’s pandemic exposure long after other developed countries had brought it under control.

Biden is far from perfect and certainly has had his share of missteps. His selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate ensures those missteps won’t be repeated, because she was the one who broke from the pack and called him out, in a nationally televised debate, for a questionable record on race. In contrast to Vice President Mike Pence’s robotic, unquestioning support for anything that comes out of Trump’s mouth, Harris yields to no one when it comes to standing up for what’s moral and decent.

We could go on and on recounting all the reasons why Trump must not be reelected and why Biden is the only rational choice on Nov. 3. Perhaps the best case, though, is to ask voters to assess their own sense of patriotism — that is, putting country before self. They should ask themselves honestly: When has Donald Trump ever prioritized anything over himself? The answer is never. He would risk loyal staffers’ and bodyguards’ lives for a photo op. He would sell his country’s sovereignty to Russia for the sake of an election victory. His moral compass is so skewed that lying is as natural to him as breathing.

Trump’s assertions of business management success are a myth, as his tax records show. Multiple ex-Cabinet officials and senior staffers have openly berated him as incompetent. He is loyal to no one and would gladly throw anyone, including Pence or his own family members, under the bus to burnish his own image.

Whatever this is, it’s the opposite of leadership. American badly needs a reset, which must begin with Biden’s election on Nov. 3.

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