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Awards Radar Endorses Joe Biden for President

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It’s hardly good business to be overtly political, but then again, some things are more important than money. I fully believe that the upcoming election is the most important one in memory, not only for what it can do, but also for what it must avoid. Now is not the time to sit on the sidelines, nor is it the time to fall back on any old retorts about both parties being bad. There is a clear choice in the 2020 Presidential Election that more closely resembles good versus evil than we’ve ever seen. The choice is between a wannabe dictator in President Donald Trump, who has tarnished America’s standing in the world, and Vice President Joe Biden, a career public servant who seeks to pull us back from the brink. We need to revolt against Trump’s failed policies and lack of leadership. With no reservations, Awards Radar (as well as myself, Joey Magidson) endorses Joe Biden for President.

Joe Biden has dedicated his life to helping others. He shows empathy, the exact opposite of our current President. Where Trump has only known privilege and thought of what benefits himself, Biden has known pain and sacrifice, allowing it to define his commitment to service, but never to define himself. Overcoming a debilitating childhood stutter, losing his young wife and baby daughter in a horrific car crash, being ready to reject a career in the Senate to care for his surviving sons, Biden is who we hope our leaders are on the inside. Is he perfect? Of course not. He’s prone to gaffes, has a long Senatorial career that includes some positions and votes that haven’t aged well, and as an older white male, doesn’t represent where the Democratic Party is headed. At the same time, this is a man who gives his personal phone number to children dealing with stutters, inviting them to call when they’re struggling. He displays empathy, something the current President can’t even conceive of. At a time where there’s unimaginable loss in the nation, we need a Consoler in Chief as much as a Commander in Chief. In that former category, there may be no one better equipped for the position than Joe Biden.

Why Biden, beyond his personal traits? As someone who voted for Elizabeth Warren in the Democratic Primary and considers himself more liberal than most, Biden still represents the most progressive candidate ever to be a realistic option for President. Now is hardly the time to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Is Biden as progressive as I’d prefer? No. Does he represent a world of difference from Trump? Of course. Student Loan forgiveness is on the table. Improvements to the Affordable Care Act is on the table. Protection for women’s health and LGBTQ rights are on the table. What Trump would take away, Biden would protect.

If Biden still isn’t your cup of tea, just remember who Donald Trump is. Don’t forget about the kids in cages. Don’t forget that he thought there were very fine people on both sides of that neo-nazi rally in Charlottesville. Don’t forget that he intentionally downplayed the impending COVID-19 pandemic in order to save political face. As hard as it may be, think of all the victims of COVID, dying alone in hospital rooms, unable to be with their loved ones in their final moments. Donald Trump has blood on his hands, a body count surpassing 200,000 that should have only been a fraction of that. Incompetence, indifference, and self-centeredness has led him to prove to be the worst possible leader for any time, but especially these times. He appeals to the worst in society. Trump has replaced the dog whistle politicians normally blow to attract racists with a bullhorn. He says the quiet part out loud. We used to think that a man like this was a joke, not the leader of the free world. We can make him a joke again, but only by electing Joe Biden.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Democratic presidential nominee, left, and Senator Kamala Harris, Democratic vice presidential nominee, wear protective masks while holding hands outside the Chase Center during the Democratic National Convention in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. Biden accepted the Democratic nomination to challenge President Donald Trump, urging Americans in a prime-time address to vote for new national leadership that will overcome deep U.S. political divisions. Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

To hammer home the importance of this election, I’d like to quote Aaron Sorkin‘s just released film The Trial of the Chicago 7, which includes this back and forth bit of dialogue:

Abbie Hoffman: In 1861, Lincoln said in his inaugural address “When the people should grow weary of their constitutional right to amend their government, they should exert their revolutionary right to dismember and overthrow that government.”

William Kunstler: So how do you overthrow or dismember your government peacefully?

Abbie Hoffman: In this country we do it every four years.

I’m not the only one who feels this way. Other members of Awards Radar are speaking up as well, so here are some other statements on why we’re supporting Joe Biden for President:

Robert Hamer 

If there is one positive outcome that we can attribute to the presidency of Donald J. Trump, it is that his ascendance to the highest elected office in the United States has shattered many longstanding myths held by those who have no living memory of the Great Depression or the rise of fascism in Italy and Germany in the 1930’s. We can no longer coddle ourselves with fanciful assumptions about how “it can’t happen here” or boast of an exceptional commitment to freedom and equality that allows us to be complacent about our long-gestating societal failures.

Nations do not collapse overnight. They do not suddenly find themselves under the heel of authoritarian rule with no warning. In just under four years, we have witnessed, with terrifying speed and success, how President Trump has consolidated power, packed the judiciary with unqualified extremists, brought the Republican Party in lockstep with his cult of personality, shattered norms and practices ensuring good faith in our civic processes, committed numerous human rights atrocities, and has energized the most pervasive source of domestic terrorism in the United States. No matter what happens on November 3rd, the devastating consequences of our petulant refusal to vote for the supposed “lesser of two evils” in 2016 will be felt for decades, and much of the damage will be irreparable.

But it can get worse. A lot worse. And there is a very real chance that Donald Trump could be re-elected if we are complacent again, especially since he is mobilizing every arm of the government to disenfranchise “undesirable” voters and engineer a victory for himself despite his broad and consistent unpopularity. Republicans in Congress have made no secret of their desire to rush through the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett out of a sincere belief that she can deliver for them an electoral victory for Trump by judicial fiat similar to Bush v Gore twenty years ago (oh look, another election where left-wing malcontents insisted the Democrat was “just as bad” as the Republican nominee… how did that work out for us?).

I do not know if Joe Biden will rise to the occasion and lead us through the multiple crises we are facing in this new decade. I certainly hope he will. What I do know is that he is our only hope of ensuring the American experiment does not end in failure within our lifetimes. He is our only hope of addressing the literally existential threat of man-made climate change, our only hope of reversing the South’s attempt to reinstate Jim Crow voter suppression schemes, our only hope of protecting the existing health care coverage of millions of Americans and perhaps even joining the rest the world in finally guaranteeing health care as a human right, our only hope of slowly restoring some measure of credibility with an international community that has largely come to view us with pity and contempt, and our only hope of reducing the grotesque levels of income inequality brought about by Reagan-era magical thinking.

If you live in a swing state, vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. If you live in a blue state, vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. If you live in a red state, vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Don’t just vote for them – ensure Democrats are elected at every level, from the U.S. Senate to your state legislature to your district attorney. Check the status of your registration, and check it often, especially if you live in the South. Vote as early as you can, if your state allows it. If you’re voting by mail, ensure you can track your ballot and that it is received by the relevant election authority. If you plan to vote in person, make a plan and get there early to account for possible (likely) long wait times. And for goodness sake, wear a mask when you’re in line.

But whatever you do, do not sit this election out. Do not assume Joe Biden will win based on betting markets and Nate Silver graphs. Do not stay home because he doesn’t “excite” you enough. The stakes are too great for nonparticipation. 

Kendall Tinston 

When I was 16, I began experiencing periods so severe that I was unable to live a normal life in the midst of them. I faced bouts of vomiting from the pain, and had missed multiple days of school because of it. Luckily, my family and friends directed me to a reputable gynecologist who prescribed birth control. My periods were cut down to four per year, and my quality of life was restored immediately.

Unfortunately, not every teenage girl or woman has the resources or support that can get her appropriate care. Planned Parenthood has been supplying women with little to no means with resources, including birth control, since 1916. The organization has granted women a safe place to gain better control over their reproductive safety for over 100 years.

Donald Trump has attempted to discredit, and abolish, this organization during his entire term as president thus far. Whether its appointing officials and judges who are anti-Planned Parenthood, attempting to defund the organization, or forcing Planned Parenthood out of Title X, he has shown American women that their safety is not important to him. Title X provides birth control and other reproductive care to citizens that cannot afford it on their own. In February 2019, the Trump administration put in place a ruling that prohibits organizations under Title X to support, or perform abortion. With Planned Parenthood being a beacon of hope for women who need an abortion, they were forced out of Title X this way.

This bears the question: where do women go for assistance if they do not have health insurance, or have nowhere else to turn? Why are older white men being granted permission to dictate what women of any age do with their own reproductive system? What happens to the teenage girl who cannot get out of bed because she is sick monthly, and her family doesn’t support her seeing a doctor?

Joe Biden has already spoken up and vowed to repeal the ruling the Trump administration has placed on Title X. This alone will allow women in need to get the help they deserve once again, regardless of their financial status. What’s more, Biden believes in a woman’s right to choose in regards to abortion, and he supports sexual education that highlights science based preventative options. Joe Biden has sworn to not oppress women’s reproductive health initiatives, including Planned Parenthood. Joe Biden will restore what Donald Trump has taken away from women in the United States over the last four years. Joe Biden has this woman’s vote.

Steve Prusakowski 

I remember when my daughters first heard Donald Trump speak. We were watching the news together when the newly announced candidate for President appeared on screen, spewing some of what would soon become his trademark venom. He was a complete turn off for both my wife and me. I do not recall what he said in that instance, probably because since then the volume of his ugly comments has reached numbing levels. Whatever the words, they were so vile that even my daughters noticed (5 and 8 at the time), asking me, “why would he say something like that?” I did not have an answer. The only reassuring sentiment I could come up with was that even though he was running for President, no one would vote for him. Trump had been a punchline for years and his words are only going to reinforce that image. Boy was I wrong. Wrong about a lot of things, I guess. 

The day he “won” the election was one of the saddest in recent memory and I have not had the best of decades. Growing up I was always told that The United States was a great country. Suddenly, I began to question that. “Make America Great Again” became a self-fulfilling prophecy – something about the country broke along the way and now we need to fix it. We had higher standards. We HAD standards. But now, they seem to have been set aside only to be replaced with fear, greed, and hate.

The nation was never divided like this before. Most right-wingers would say that this division happened on Obama’s watch. The funny (more sad, I guess) thing about that stance is that they never mentioned that until Trump jumped into the race. I never felt that “division” or even heard anyone speak of it before. Suddenly division is everywhere. It is as if some people were hiding behind the mask of civility tolerating Obama until someone embraced their anger. Donny Trump did that, freeing people their shackles of faux unity. The unexpected hate inside them was uncaged and has run wild.

I will not get too deep into why I support Joe Biden besides saying this. There is an old adage “dress for the part you want.” Right now, I am not sure what part the US wants, but I do not like it one bit. That must be addressed. Biden is the leader we need now. A man who wants to unite and help people live a good life, instead of a guy who gages our happiness by the stock market numbers (and if they are poor blames someone else anyway). We can be a country that prospers while we have compassion. We can protect the environment while we build wealth. We can have law and order while we have justice. We can protect the people of the nation while not hiding crucial information out of fear and incompetence. We can work toward equality while we unite instead of divide. Joe Biden can do that. 

Do I agree with everything Biden and Harris bring to the table? No, I do not. And that is a normal reaction-  unless you are in a cult or something. When I assess their message and goals, I see a team “dressed” to keep the well-being and success of our nation the top priority. Poor and rich, every color, every sexual orientation, every religion. They are dressed for the part, and an important one it is, LEADER TO ALL AMERICANS. 

For a while after my daughters’ first viewing of Donald Trump on television, we started to mute or pause whenever he spoke. We never knew what would be said and did not want our daughters to be exposed to the foul messages or worse the explicit comments. Since then we have changed our approach. This is their future more than it is mine. They need to be exposed to the mistakes made so they can avoid them I’m the future. Instead of “protecting” them from his words, we pull the curtain back a bit to expose them to his dark words and messages. We then address their questions and observations while assuring them that the name-calling and other nastiness is not presidential, appropriate, or in line with their faith. You may be surprised to know that they do not like him. Kind of sad. I grew up respecting all my Presidents, but Trump broke that streak. You earn respect. He has not earned mine or even my daughters. Let’s put someone in office who we can respect again. Close the divide. Fix the nation. This is not only about the stock market. It is about the future. Vote for Joe Biden. 

Catherine Springer 

The number of reasons to vote for Joe Biden over Donald Trump are immeasurable. I couldn’t even begin to list all the many things about our current President that I find vile and intolerable. But, to be fair, most of the things that pop into people’s heads about what they dislike about this President, the lying, the manipulation of media, racism, choosing extremist judges, being anti-gay and anti-immigration, wanting to roll back environmental protections, lower taxes on the rich, over-spend on the
military, etc….ALL of these things we’ve seen before. We are a two-party system, and the two parties share different sets of ideals, different agendas, different values. I have lived with the fact that Republicans want different things than I do, they believe in different things than I do, they look at things differently. That’s what politics are all about. You win one, we win one. I have lived through Republican presidents and I’ve reveled in Democrat presidents. This is the nature of our Republic. But what is different about THIS president, from all other presidents in my lifetime, Republican and Democrat, is that this man has made a MOCKERY of not only the presidency, but of that very Republic we have grown to love and respect. The combination of his total buffoonery and sociopathic narcissism has caused us to become the laughingstock of the world—and that’s truly a first.

My father was a career diplomat, who worked for the State Department, serving all over the world, representing this country, under Republican and Democratic presidents, for over 30 years. No matter what our political leanings were, my father and his colleagues served the ideal of the United States of America, and his ultimate boss and example was the President. I was always taught to respect the office,
no matter who sat in it. My parents shoved me to the front of the crowd when President Reagan came to Berlin and I got to shake his hand. I was 11 and it was the greatest day of my life. My parents are life-long Democrats, but it was the greatest day for them as well. We may have disagreed with policies or agendas, but the leader of our country deserved respect—and always got it.

We are the leaders of the free world and the world looks to our President for that example. And this President has destroyed not only our standing in the world, but our legacy, our image, our financial status and our influence. NOBODY takes us seriously anymore. Our allies don’t trust us, our enemies laugh at us. This is SO much bigger than we realize. This President is in bed with the Saudis and the Russians, he cozies up to dictators because he wants to be one. And, worst of all, he is violating every
law associated with the behavior and activities of the President and nobody is holding him accountable. He is robbing taxpayers blind and putting the money in his own pockets. He is using his office as the world’s biggest reality show. The world sees this. The world sees how we have a leader who laughs at his own supporters, who breaks every law of our constitution and sense of decency, who disrespects the free press, and, mostly, doesn’t care about any other country, person, corporation or entity unless
there’s SOMETHING IN IT FOR HIM. The rest of the world can see it…why can’t we?

George Will, one of the most conservative voices that exist, warned that we can survive four years of Trump. The world will understand that we tried something “new” and we recognized it failed miserably. It will take some work, but we will be able to repair things. But if we re-elect a carnival barker who has conned his country, betrayed his allies, broken every law, lacked empathy or any sense of decorum and
has literally destroyed 244 years of building the greatest democracy the world has ever known, then that is ON US. There will be no coming back from another four years of Trump. Respect yourself. Respect your country. Respect your world. Vote for Joe Biden.

Casey Tinston

“Love it or leave it” is a sentiment I’ve often heard in reference to America, but I can’t sit back and watch my world burn and call it love. This administration’s incompetence amid the COVID-19 pandemic means I’m also not allowed to leave, for the record—even if I wanted to. That isn’t what I want. What I want is to see the country I grew up loving restored to a standard of basic human decency; a standard that Donald Trump’s presidency has not only allowed, but empowered the hateful to betray so publicly. 

Love means stepping in when you see the object of your love taken hostage and self-destruct. It means taking a real look at the systemic violence and injustice that has always been a part of the fabric of our history and taking actual steps to do better. My love for the potential of this country, and for the people in it who deserve to be protected rather than exploited and marginalized and murdered, means that I will not just write about it. I will sign petitions. I will speak out to my loved ones as well as strangers. I will protest. I will take action. Most importantly, I will vote. 

Our country is in crisis. The loving thing to do is not to accept the current climate unquestioningly. That is not patriotism, and it is not love. The loving thing is to take every step we can to demand the best for ourselves, each other, and our future. It is no longer acceptable to avoid politics in polite conversation. It is not acceptable to condone anyone’s vote for a man who has brought nothing to the table but ineptitude, bigotry, corruption, hate, violence, ignorance, and death. That is Trump’s America. I will vote to do better. I will vote for Former Vice President Joe Biden. I hope you will too. Honestly, we can’t afford to do anything less. 

Abe Friedtanzer 

I remember actively following the 2000 election when I was in middle school. I was a firm Gore supporter, and was naturally disappointed when he conceded to Bush more than a month after Election Day. I am usually aligned with the Democratic Party on most issues, but I believe that’s how I would vote this time even if my politics were different. Trump has degraded the presidency at every opportunity and shown a heinous disregard for anyone’s interests that are not his own. Even if Biden is not the candidate some would like to see elected, he represents a polar opposite to the egotistical, disrespectful, and self-serving man who currently holds the office and refuses to condemn white supremacy, among many other unforgivable flaws.

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[…] me on a number of levels). Obviously, we’ve done our part to help with that course correction here and here at Awards Radar, but now that it’s done, the nation can begin to heal. Plus, we can […]



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