Soter: Utah Needs Joe Biden in the White House

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Maya Fraser

A Biden campaign sign in a Salt Lake City resident’s lawn (Photo by Maya Fraser | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Theadora Soter, Opinion Writer

 

For months now, journalists at the Daily Utah Chronicle and around the nation have been working tirelessly to provide you, the public, with the information you need to vote confidently, compassionately and on time for the 2020 election — which is now less than two days away. Apparently, time flies not only when you’re having fun but when your nation is descending into polarized chaos, leaving citizens confused and rightfully angry. Now, journalists are running out of time. The nation is running out of time. So this is my final call to the few of you who haven’t yet filled out your ballots — vote for Joe Biden. America needs him, and Utah needs him.

Utah is infamous across the country for its deep red political landscape and its predominant religion — Mormonism, the Christian doctrine of which is centered on kindness, generosity and love. Given the state’s conservative politics, it’s no surprise that Trump is currently up 10% in Utah polls. But when we take the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints into account, it makes absolutely no sense.

If my life-long home is the place of Christian values I know it to be, how can a Trump victory in Utah even be a possibility? Voting for Trump directly contradicts the humane values that make our state what it is. We have seen this in the president’s actions time and again over the last four years. We saw it when he locked innocent children in cages at the Mexican border. We saw it when he tear-gassed American citizens exercising their right of free speech just so he could take a blasphemous, knowingly hypocritical picture. We saw it in his disgusting treatment of women. And we even saw it when he mocked the LDS church — while fighting for their vote no less. This constant “nastiness” and manipulation should prompt all Utahns to ask themselves, is this someone we want as our leader?

Or do we want someone like Biden? Someone who has been in the White House before. Someone who has a general sense of compassion that is independent of a person’s race, gender or religious affiliation. Someone who will pull us together with his grace and respect, not push us further apart as Trump has and will continue to do if we reelect him.

Morals aside, Utah needs Biden to deal with the major crises we’re facing right now — crises the current administration has perpetuated. For one thing, Utah is breaking record-high COVID-19 case counts regularly. We need a leader who has a plan to stop this rather than exacerbating the problem like Trump has done for the last eight months. Trump has dismissed and minimized the fatal coronavirus by promoting comically inaccurate cures, lying about the severity of COVID-19, spreading conspiracies rather than scientific facts and encouraging racism against Asian Americans while discussing the virus. He has sought to minimize the importance of mask-wearing and social distancing and put us all at risk as a result. We’re seeing the consequences of his dangerous rhetoric here in Utah. On the other hand, Biden has a science-backed plan to stop the spread of COVID-19. With him as our leader, there might be a light at the end of this hellish tunnel.

In addition to a wealth of super spreaders, Utah has abundant natural resources that need to be protected. When Trump cut protections for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, he threatened those precious natural resources and perpetuated Utah’s deathly air pollution problem. This cut was no surprise given that Trump does not believe in the science behind climate change and has no plans to address it — except to make it worse. And he has succeeded in a plethora of ways, from taking the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord to putting money-hungry fossil fuel executives in critical environmental protection positions.

A great irony is that Trump’s lack of climate action has been said to protect the economy. However, his administration’s reckless environmental decision making will only be harmful to the economy in the long run. We are certain to see devastating economic effects in Utah as global warming threatens our billion-dollar ski industry. And the state’s poor air quality already costs the government nearly $1.8 billion a year in healthcare costs and decreased tourism and economic growth.

The Trump administration’s concerning inaction on climate change will be devastating for the state, the nation and the world as a whole — which gives us just one more urgent reason to vote for Biden. His ticket has a climate plan based on science and the positive restructuring of our economy, both things that Trump has unfortunately never offered us. If he remains in office, the problem will only escalate.

So please, please vote Biden when you head to the polls this Tuesday. As Utahns and human beings, we need him to replace Trump before it’s too late.

 

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@SoterTheadora