Poma: I Was Undecided. After Weeks of Research, I’m Voting for Biden.


Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden speaks at Kingsbury Hall on the University of Utah Campus on Dec. 13, 2018. (Photo by: Justin Prather | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Sasha Poma, Assistant Opinion Editor


Over the past few weeks, I’ve kept an eye on the presidential candidates so I could make an informed decision about whom to vote for. The task of choosing the right man for the job while simultaneously keeping my conscience intact was difficult but ultimately fulfilling. Now, after weeks of research, I feel confident enough in my choice not to be swayed one way or the other for flimsy reasons. I determined that Joe Biden is the nation’s best choice for president. Despite his numerous faults, he still shows the potential to turn the nation around, unlike President Donald Trump.

Joe Biden understands how a proper COVID-19 task force should operate. This is especially crucial as we stare down the second year of the pandemic. As I’ve stated in a previous article, Biden has developed a long-term approach to managing the coronavirus. His core goal isn’t simply to administer a vaccine as fast as possible but to properly prepare for future national emergencies.

Biden also plans to “modernize” the immigration system and provide a roadmap to citizenship rather than using scare tactics the way Trump has. Why do I trust him, a white man, with this job? Even when he’s shown ignorance about race and class issues in the past? His running mate, Senator Kamala Harris, is a child of immigrant parents. She can and should advise Biden on developing an immigration system that welcomes rather than deters people seeking opportunities in the US.

Biden has also shown, through debates and interactions with the press, that he has the maturity to handle the nation’s most powerful and prominent role. That is, admittedly, a low bar, but Donald Trump doesn’t seem to take his job seriously at all. That’s clear from his Twitter threads about COVID-19 alone. The presidential debate debacles and Trump’s spread of harmful misinformation about the virus after his own COVID-19 diagnosis showed me that he’s ignorant about the severity of the pandemic. He’s focused on bringing down “the radical left,” but that is not America’s biggest problem.

That said, I respect and acknowledge that Trump has done good things in his presidency. Poverty decreased under his administration, for instance, and he implemented the stimulus checks that helped people across the nation struggling early in the pandemic. My process of deciding how to vote did not involve actively looking for reasons to hate the Trump ticket. The media has taken Trump’s words out of context before. In some cases, I’ve felt bad about the fact that people bash him just because he’s Trump. But that doesn’t mean that his presidency was without many deep flaws.

I also understood going into this that Biden is not perfect either. He’s far from it, actually. I cannot excuse some of his actions any more than I can excuse some of Trump’s. But I can’t in good conscience be complicit in sustaining and extending the power of a man who doesn’t think I, a US-born child of immigrants, should be a citizen. I can’t be complicit in a second term of a president who falsely believes that COVID-19 is no worse than the flu. I can’t be complicit in the reelection of a man who was on trial for impeachment and claimed it was a hoax.

Rather than undo everything the Trump administration has done as Trump has done with the Obama administration, I hope a Biden administration will keep what works and implement new ideas as appropriate. Neither a purely left nor purely right administration is effective enough to create a functional society. We shouldn’t focus on polarizing our politics more than they already are.

I also hope that there is a peaceful transition of power should Biden be elected. Trump has insinuated in the past that this might not be the case, which is alarming. Now he’s saying he’ll accept a peaceful transition but is stirring the pot by saying that the election won’t be fair, which is also upsetting to hear and likely untrue. On that note, no one wants a repeat of the electoral upset that happened in the 2016 election, when Hillary Clinton lost despite leading in the polls and winning the popular vote. At the time of this writing, Biden has a 9.9 point lead over Trump in national polls, but that could change in the coming weeks.

For the sake of our national integrity and wellbeing, undecided voters need to research and choose a candidate. With the sheer number of hot-button issues at stake, everyone who can vote needs to use their ballot wisely to ensure their voice is heard.

I want my vote to mean something rather than be done on a whim, or be something I didn’t do at all. I want my vote to have as much research behind it as possible so that regardless of who wins, I can say that I did what I could to ensure a bright future for our country. No one should take voting lightheartedly, especially in the age we live in. We have an enormous impact as voters, and I hope that this election — and a win for Biden and Harris — will open the door to the change the US needs and deserves.


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