October 27, 2020

EDITORIAL | A Vote for Trump is a Vote for Autocracy

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Over the last century, The Sun has never failed to endorse a candidate during a U.S. presidential election. Although it is important to acknowledge that both former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump uphold systems of injustice that adversely affect us and our peers, the choice in this election remains abundantly clear. Four more years of the Trump administration has the potential to destroy American discourse and democracy. Biden is, currently, the only chance our nation has at progress.

This is an election year like no other. A grossly mishandled global pandemic has ravaged the United States, leaving in its wake 225,000 American deaths. While protesters flood the streets to rise up against systemic racism in this country, our president sends anonymous federal agents to kidnap, gas and shoot them with rubber bullets. Just this weekend, members of the Proud Boys, a notorious far-right group with a history of engaging in political violence and ties to white supremacy, arrived in Ithaca to participate in a Back the Blue rally held on the Commons. Worst of all, we as a country have become so desensitized that we watch the agony of our peers in apathy.

Our vote in this election cycle is our most important vessel for change; for many of us, it is our last chance to save ourselves as our nation spirals out of control.  While Biden has his flaws — he championed the disastrous Iraq War and pushed through a “Tough on Crime” bill with a racist legacy — only one candidate on the ballot has called white supremacists “fine people,” pulled America out of agreements essential to our national security such as the World Health Organization (in the middle of a global pandemic, no less) and the Paris Climate Accord and kept migrant children in cages.

There are so many issues to consider as this election approaches — climate change, COVID-19, racial injustice, America’s economy and global relations, women’s rights and immigration policy, to name a few — but at the end of the day, a vote for Trump is a vote for autocracy. The incumbent President has launched an attack to undermine the legitimacy of the election itself. He has defunded the United States Postal Service, a nonpartisan organization with a 90 percent approval rate among Americans, in an effort to prevent voting by mail in an era where many, due to the pandemic, are left with no other option. He has suggested delaying Election Day (which he legally cannot do) and has pushed a false narrative suggesting, without evidence, that mail-in voting will result in widespread fraud. He has refused to promise a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the election. These actions are an attack on the democratic process upon which America was built, on the right to fair and equitable voting that all Americans hold, on our Constitution.

Thus, The Sun endorses Biden as the 46th President of the United States of America.

Each American election is labeled the most consequential election in history, but this one truly is. If this is Trump’s America, it is urgent and indisputable that we need to change course. We have a choice between autocracy and democracy, and the way forward is clear; a vote for Biden is a vote to end the most horrific period in our memory.

So, vote for Biden like your life depends on it. But, also, commit to four more years of protest. Do not let the injustices Biden will, inevitably, be responsible for go unchecked. We’ll see you at the polls.


The above editorial reflects the opinions of The Cornell Daily Sun. Editorials are penned collaboratively between the Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editor and Opinion Editor, in consultation with additional Sun editors and staffers. The Sun’s editorials are independent of its news coverage, other columnists and advertisers.