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  • Rebecca Branle

47 Years Prove him Worthy of Being 46

Our lives are living records.

Every day, with every interaction, we leave behind evidence of our character. That evidence acts as clues, clues to how we'll care, clues to how we'll listen, and clues to how we'll lead, if given the chance.

The evidence of Joe Biden's character isn't the sensational, polarizing kind that makes newspaper headlines or TV leads. It's the kind kind. The kind that's too gentle and too good to spread like wild fire on social media. We don't talk about it often, but it shouldn't be ignored.

Joe is the guy who gives his phone number to kids with a stutter.

Joe is the guy who writes personal letters to parents who've lost children, who follows up with phone calls, who shows up at funerals.

Joe is the guy who, back in his senate days, took the train home every night so he could tuck in his kids at bedtime.

Joe is the guy who listens and then follows through, who crosses party lines to get the job done.

Over and over again, for 47 years, Joe has been this guy.

Maybe you're shrugging your shoulders, doing that smug laugh. Maybe you think you're clever when you parrot the president and call him "Sleepy Joe."

Maybe you're using the word track handed to you by conservative (non) think tanks. Maybe you're saying, "He hasn't done anything in 47 years."

Maybe you twist and turn yourself into a pretzel to call this good man bad. Maybe you quote conspiracies and lies to try to make him one of the bad guys...but you can't. Because the bad guys hand us evidence. Their lives, like Biden's, leave behind clues, but their clues look a lot different than Biden's. Trump's own words are the weapons we use against him. He's haunted by indiscretions available on tape, in writing, and in full view of the public. Half of us take it in with eyes wide open while the other half turns quickly away, ready to claim they didn't see; they didn't know.

But I know.

I know about the Howard Stern tapes and Jeffrey Epstein tapes and the legal documents detailing the rape of a 13-year-old at Epstein's house, and the pulling out of his ex-wife's hair, of raping her, and the marking of housing applications with a C if the applicants were black, his way of making sure the application was denied. I know about The Central Park 5, the Birtherism, the over 500 children still separated from their parents because his sloppy government can't find them, because they didn't maintain records, because they didn't care. I know about the Access Hollywood tape. The white power tweets. I know about the unpaid taxes and the secret Chinese bank account. These aren't Giuliani's compromised conspiracy theories; they're logged in our legal system and on our computers, in ink and on video, available for public perusal. I know all about him. I'll vote against him.

But I'll also vote FOR Joe. Because I know all about him, too.

I know that because of legislation he spearheaded, women are safer. 63% - that's how much cases of domestic violence have gone down in the years since he worked on the very first Violence Against Women Act in 1994 - you know, that pesky bipartisan piece that Mitch McConnell won't bring up for vote because the NRA really wants to keep guns in the hands of the violent. Because, to 45's administration, money is more important than lives (what's that you say about being pro-life again, Mitchy?).

Women are also safer because of his hard work as a VP, lobbying both sides of the aisle to get the votes needed to pass the Affordable Care Act. You know, the one that Trump is trying desperately to dismantle, during a pandemic. Women, children, babies, men...we're all safer because our preexisting conditions are protected; because we can work for small businesses that don't offer healthcare and still afford to provide coverage for our families. Because we can start businesses and have coverage. Because we can freelance and have coverage. Because we can be working hard to get by and have coverage. Abortions dropped by 36% during Biden's tenure as VP and in 2016 he launched a Cancer Moonshot initiative to accelerate efforts to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancers. This, friends, is what pro-life looks like. It looks like caring more about human life than the profits of the pharmaceutical and healthcare lobbies. That's why Trump wants to throw out the ACA, because Big Pharma has big checks waiting bigly for him when he does. It doesn't matter to him if you die while he's cashing out.

Speaking of money, Biden oversaw the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009. Back then it was the biggest economic recovery plan in our country’s history, and, thanks to Joe's leadership, it helped rebuild the economy and save the auto industry, lifting us out of the Great Recession and handing Donald Trump a thriving economy. And we'd be remiss here if we didn't talk about Trump's economy. It was slowing, even before the pandemic. Why? Because the injection of deregulation is kind of like taking heroin. It makes you feel good in the moment, but then it destroys you. By walking back banking, agricultural, and environmental regulations, Trump made his stock market buddies giddy. They love getting rid of protections meant to preserve our environment and protect people, because those protections mean less money in their pockets (not lost jobs, there's no actual proof of that). But in the end, this deregulation, like heroin, comes right back around and destroys us. We can't breathe money, friends. We can't throw cash at climate catastrophes and make the fires and the storms stop. We have to throw regulations, and reform, and smart leadership at them in order to save our planet from destruction. We have to work side by side with our allies across the world. And we have to throw regulations at banks and businesses to stop predatory behavior that hurts everyday people. Donald Trump's plan to put more money in the pockets of the privileged doesn't have a strong longterm outlook. Nah, it leads to a bigger wealth gap, and, for our planet, a bigger health gap.

Speaking of our planet, Joe Biden has a history here, too. He introduced one of the Senate’s first climate change bills, all the way back in 1986, leading to the creation of a task force on global warming. He cosponsored proposed legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions in 2007 and called for American participation in UN climate negotiations in 2005. Joe also oversaw dispersement of $90 billion for clean energy as part of the 2009 Recovery Act. Solar power increased 20-fold between the years 2008 and 2016. Know what's good for Pennsylvania? Solar power. In the last decade, it's been a solid source of job growth right here in Lancaster County. Solar could be a bright spot in our future, but not according to 45. He makes fun of solar power and makes promises to bring back coal, and wraps his arms around the oil industry. I'm always perplexed when Republicans try to tow a hard line on fracking and oil and shout to the hilltops about their love affair with these industries. But we all know they're not sustainable in the longterm. Science has proven this. Why not face the facts and make a plan for the future?

45 denies science and closes his eyes to the future when the future doesn't fall in line with his path to power. Why would we want a leader who chooses to wear blinders? Joe's eyes are open. He's taking a sober look. He understands that our use of energy needs to change in order to save our planet, and save our jobs. Guys, think about coal. Think about how Trump promised to bring it back. He knew he couldn't. His promise was just a ploy to get votes and that ploy wasted precious time that could have been spent creating new jobs for miners. We know the coal industry of the old days doesn't work, and when we know something doesn't work, when we know we need to evolve, we need a leader who's willing to face that, make a plan, and begin the evolution. We don't need the guy who sees dollar signs from the big oil lobby and picks that kind of green over a green planet. Because here's the deal with that kind of green, it spends today. It makes him rich now. But it makes us poorer and less healthy in the long run. Did we learn nothing from reading The Lorax as kids? Don't we want a president with a good long game? For our kids' sake?

Speaking of our kids, Joe Biden served as primary sponsor of the PROTECT Our Children Act of 2008, helping law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute child predators. He sponsored and introduced the Criminal History Background Checks Pilot Extension Act of 2008, allowing volunteer organizations, such as children’s sports groups, to obtain national and state criminal history background checks on volunteers. Also, he's never been caught on tape fantasizing aloud about having sex with minor girls (just check Howard Stern's archives and you'll find multiple examples of this). He's also never been accused of raping a 13-year-old, or bragged about watching teenage girls get naked backstage at a beauty pageant, or hung with Epstein, or said he "wished the best" for Ghislaine Maxwell. Joe actually took real action to protect kids. Kids really need to be protected from Donald Trump.

So, yeah, I'm voting against Trump. I'm fighting against his evil with every ounce of energy I have. I'm also proud to cast a vote for Joe Biden, for his character and his policy. Call him a socialist. Call him sleepy. Call him whatever you want to call him. I'm gonna go ahead and compare the evidence of his character, and his policy, to the evidence of his opponent's. There's no Access Hollywood tape of Joe. There's no paid-off porn stars or white power tweets or full page articles calling for the execution of innocent black kids. There's no family separation or failed response to a pandemic. There's no loss of 225,000 lives on Joe's record. So you can hold tight to your imaginary theories and you can listen to Giuliani instead of our intelligence agencies. I'm gonna hold tight to fact, and to goodness, and to love, and to our future.

I'm gonna vote for Joe because his 47 years of service make him worthy of being our 46th president.

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