Editorial: America, we deserve better

Published: 10/25/2020 6:50:11 AM

This isn’t about Donald Trump anymore. It’s about us, the American people, and our values.

Americans, no matter their political party, deserve better than a president who stokes division for political gain, who tosses insults instead of engaging in dialogue, who sacrifices the future for short-term profit, who champions our divisions precisely at the moment we need unity.

This country is at a precarious moment on many fronts, from race relations to our acceptance of science to our confidence in the outcome of elections.

Our nation’s history of racism, which fuels our economic disparity, demands a leader who will acknowledge – through actions and words – that Black lives matter, that diversity is an essential part of America’s future.

Not this president.

His words strike a different tone, whether he’s talking about Black America, immigrants, or Native Americans.

“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” Trump said, referencing a far-right, white male group, during his debate with Joe Biden when he was asked to denounce white supremacists.

In 2017, Trump was asked about a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va. that drew white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan. One neo-Nazi drove his Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a Charlottesville native.

“You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides,” he said.

He’s told minority congresswomen to “go back” to their countries. He calls a political opponent “Pocahontas.” He declared an Indiana-born federal judge couldn’t be impartial on a border wall ruling because “he’s a Mexican.”

The list goes on and on.

His consistent refusal to take a clear stand against racism continues to be championed by white supremacists, who feel more emboldened than ever.

America, you deserve a president who will denounce white supremacy, always.

Science is the bedrock of American ingenuity. It has fostered the growth of our military, our economy, and our lifestyles. America’s pioneering spirit is rooted in our willingness to accept facts and react with purpose and strategy.

Our country has an opportunity to be a world leader on climate change through a green economy that produces the most advanced electric vehicles, solar panels, and cutting-edge sustainable construction materials. Our government, through rebates and tax incentives, can help Americans produce an abundance of solar energy for their own homes with enough to send back into the grid. It’s the type of win-win the country could rally behind. The nation that leads on green energy will lead the future global economy, and right now China is that country. Not America.

During a pandemic that has already claimed the lives of 220,000 Americans, science has taken a backseat and politically driven wishful thinking has been prescribed as public policy.

America, you deserve a president who understands climate change is real. You deserve a president who respects the data, heeds the advice of experts, and levels with the public.

And, America, you deserve a president who does not try to cling to power by claiming without evidence that there is widespread voter fraud. You deserve a president who, like all who have come before him, commits to a peaceful transition of power should defeat come on Election Day.

We all want a country we can be proud of, whose leaders work diligently and earnestly in service to the greater good. A nation roiling in racial tension, scorched from fire, and more bitterly divided than ever is nothing to be proud of.

This country needs a leader who governs for all its people, and that includes future generations.

We deserve better.

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