Even if you’re disappointed to have yet another old white guy as president, even if you’re angry that Bernie (or Warren, or Kamala, or anyone else) isn’t getting the nomination, even if Biden was never your choice, he is still light years ahead of the malignant orange tumor sitting on the WH steps for the past four years.
Please read this:
Are they absolutely everything we want immediately? Maybe not. Are they a solid Democratic agenda anyway? Yes they are. Are they better than Trump?
His Violence Against Women plan is lengthy, detailed, and pays specific attention to violence against Native, lesbian and bisexual, low-income, disabled, rural, transgender (especially trans women of color) immigrant, domestic abuse victims, and other vulnerable women. He calls for replacing and expanding Obama-era policies and funding for campus sexual assault programs that DeVos trashed, and for providing money for culturally specific services that are sensitive to the diverse backgrounds of survivors. He also notes that sexual assault, while it predominantly affects women and girls, needs to be taken seriously and addressed for people of all gender identities.
His gun safety plan is forceful and lays out several steps for banning assault weapons, taking existing weapons from offenders, closing gun purchase background check and other legal loopholes, addressing the intersection between domestic violence and weapons ownership, and reducing or eliminating weapons and ammunition stockpiling.
His plan for tackling climate change and creating green jobs is also lengthy. He makes the connection between economic, environmental, and racial justice. He pledges to immediately rejoin the Paris Agreement and restore American leadership on the issue in pushing for even stronger climate standards, make climate change a central part of our trade, international, and justice goals, demand a worldwide ban on fossil fuel subsidies and tax breaks (!!!) and if the Green New Deal is passed, to sign it, as well as for the U.S. to achieve 100% clean energy and zero percent net emissions by 2050.
His healthcare plan is decent. It offers an immediate public option for all Americans regardless of private, employer, or no coverage, and generous new tax credits to put toward the cost of coverage. It strongly protects abortion rights and federal funding for Planned Parenthood, as well as rescinding the “gag rule” that prevents U.S. federal aid money from being used to provide or even talk about abortions in NGOs abroad. It attacks generic and drug price gouging. It calls for doubling the capital gains tax on the super-wealthy (from 20% to 39.5% paid on capital gains by anyone making over $1 million) to help fund healthcare reform. He also has a separate plan on the opioid crisis in America, and on older Americans and retirement, including the protection and re-funding of Medicare and Social Security.
His immigration plan is lengthy and detailed. He apologizes for and acknowledges the excessive deportation that occured during the Obama-Biden administrations, pledges to do better, and attacks Trump’s current inhumane acitivities on every front. The policy of children in cages, indefinite detention, the metered asylum system, and the Muslim Ban are gone on day one. In this and his LGBTQ plan, he notes the vulnerability of LGBTQ refugees, incuding LGBTQ refugees of color. He proposes streamlining of visa applications and prioritizing the immediate reunification of families. It also specifically states that ICE and CBP agents will be held directly accountable for inhumane treatment.
Speaking of which, his LGBTQ plan is comprehensive. It pays attention to multiple intersectional issues, down to the high rates of incarceration among trans people of color. (He also notes the rates of violence against trans women of color particularly.) He calls for a complete ban on conversion therapy and the discrimination against HIV-status individuals, as well as removing the ban on blood donation from gay and bisexual men. He will remove the transgender military ban immediately. He calls for funding for mental health and suicide prevention among LGBTQ populations.
His plan to empower workers calls for raising the federal minimum wage to $15, as well as indexing this to median hourly wages to ensure that working-class and middle-class wages grow closer to parity, and implementing strong legal protections for unions. He expresses support for striking workers and to empower the National Labor Relations Board in workplace advocacy. Farmworkers, domestic workers, gig economy workers, and other non-traditional labor groups are included in this. He will restore all Obama-Biden policies related to workplace safety and regulation.
His plan to restore American dignity and leadership in the world calls for immediately investing in election security and reform, restoration of the Voting Rights Act, immediately restoring White House press briefings and other Trump refusals of information, tackling criminal justice reform and systematic racial discrimination, calling for campaign finance reform, and basically blowing up all the stupid things the Trump administration does on a daily basis. It also calls for an end to all ongoing wars in the Middle East, restoring the Iran nuclear deal, and new arms control treaties with Russia, among general repairing of international alliances.
His plans for K-12 education and post-high school education call for greatly expanded funding across all levels of 2-year, 4-year, and other educational options. There will be no student loan payments for anyone making under $25,000 a year; everyone else will pay a capped amount and be completely forgiven after a certain period. Public servants qualify for up to $50,000 in loan forgiveness. This is not total loan forgiveness for everyone, which is obviously important for me and many of us, but it’s acceptable to start with. Additionally, his wife is a teacher and has a proven track record of calling for education investment and supporting public school funding.
His plan for housing addresses the needs of formerly incarcerated, LGBTQ, veteran, low-income, sexual assault survivor, black and Hispanic, and other vulnerable populations at risk of losing housing. It calls for a tax on companies and corporations with in excess of $50 billion in assets to fund comprehensive new housing initiatives, including $100 billion in accessible and low-income housing development. It includes extensive investment in public transportation and a high-speed rail system. This ties into his plan to repair infrastructure and invest in new technologies across the country.
His plan for criminal justice reform calls for the end of mass incarceration, the decriminalization of marijuana, the automatic expunging of all cannabis convictions, and an end on jail sentences for drug use. It highlights systematic institutional racism and the impact on black and brown people particularly. It calls for an end on all profiteering and private prisons. It focuses on reintegrating offenders into society and funding the needs of people released from prison. It proposes to “expand and use the power of the U.S. Justice Department to address systemic misconduct in police departments and prosecutors’ offices.” It broadens funding for social services and other programs for people who are otherwise placed into the prison pipeline.
There are more plans, which you can find here. These are the ones I read top to bottom. I am not by any means a Joe Biden fangirl; he was not my first choice, my second choice, or really anywhere on my list. However, having carefully read through his policy documents, I can say that:
- He has at the least a good team of advisors who are keenly aware of the political climate, and is willing to both restore Obama-era standards and to improve on them where necessary. Obviously, all politicians’ promises are politicians’ promises, but this is a solid Democratic platform with obvious awareness of the progressive wing of the party.
- If progressive legislation is passed in the House and Senate, he will sign it, including the Green New Deal.
- He represents a clear and definite improvement over Donald Trump.
- Is he everything we want? No. Are his policies better than I was expecting? Yes. I advise you to read through them for yourself. It has made me at least feel better about the likelihood of voting for him.
- I realize it’s an unsexy position, especially on tumblr, to advocate for an old centrist white man. I’m not thrilled about having to do it. However, speaking as someone who was very resistant to Biden and still doesn’t agree with all of his previous legislative track record, that’s my consensus. He is a candidate who broadly aligns with values that I care about. His policies represents a concrete end to the damage of the Trump administration and gets us on the right track again.
Joe Biden, if he is the Democratic nominee, will receive my vote on November 3, 2020. I urge you to consider what I’ve laid out above and join me.
From Tumblr ; 3/12/2020