The Las Vegas Sun’s endorsements for the 2020 general election: President/Vice President

Harris, left, and Biden

We wake up day after day hoping the madness in the Oval Office will stay at a dull roar and not explode into something that appalls and horrifies us.

Then we brace ourselves, look at the news and find yet again that the insanity of Donald Trump’s presidency never ceases. There’s no limit to it—one day it’s a human-rights atrocity like family separations at the border or extrajudicial detainments of peaceful protesters, the next it’s Trump recommending bleach injections to kill COVID-19, the next it’s Trump pumping up violent extremists like the Proud Boys, the next it’s Trump making some delusional claim like having ended the nuclear threat from North Korea. And on and on it goes.

But now, after four long years, we can make it stop.

A vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris brings a return of sanity to the White House, and the reestablishment of professional and competent leadership at the top levels of government. It also opens the door for a return to bipartisanship and an end to the constant push to tribalize Americans and inflame them toward conflict.

The dystopian reality show that is Trump’s presidency would finally go off the air, replaced by a calmer and vastly more compassionate administration that would respect the standards of presidential decorum and behavior that Trump has spent four years destroying.

Trump’s march toward establishing authoritarian power would end. His efforts to turn the Justice Department and federal law enforcement into a Gestapo-like arm of the presidency would cease. His dismantling of the government watchdog organizations and federal agencies that protect Americans’ health and well-being would be over.

Voting for Biden and Harris halts so many horrors of the past four years: the White House’s war on science, the targeting of health care protections for millions of Americans, the inhumane and un-American attacks on immigrants and refugees, the shredding of the social safety net, the economic policies that benefit the 1 percenters to the detriment of the middle class and low-income Americans, the destructive rollbacks of environmental protections, the impetuous and damaging tariffs, the trashing of America’s allies and fawning praise for dictators, the shocking instances of Trump insulting veterans and other Americans, and so forth.

No longer would the nation be led by a self-dealing president who has reaped millions in taxpayer dollars spent for his trips to his own resorts for golf outings and other events. Trump is a walking conflict of interest: He has also hauled in millions from lobbyists and other outside interests seeking influence by staying at his hotels.

Think of waking up and not having to wince over Trump’s O-dark-thirty retweets of material from white nationalist websites or his MANIACAL RANTS PACKED WITH MISSPEEEELED WURDS AND !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trump’s revolving door of incompetent aides will end, replaced by a team of seasoned professional Cabinet members assembled by Biden and Harris. Unlike Trump, Biden and Harris also know the incalculable value of retaining and attracting highly qualified, experienced public servants in government agencies.

Biden and Harris are both extraordinarily experienced and capable candidates. Biden, with his decades in the Senate and eight years as President Barack Obama’s vice president, is fluent in both domestic and foreign policy, and understands how Washington works. He has learned to use the levers of government, while Trump knows only how to break them.

Harris’ background as a senator, and earlier as a city prosecutor and state attorney general, gives her perspective on how government at all levels affects Americans’ lives. She’s exceptionally intelligent, and, like Biden, is experienced in navigating the D.C. power structure. She’ll be ready to step into the Oval Office if Biden becomes incapacitated.

Policywise, there’s simply no comparison between Biden/Harris and Trump/Pence.

Biden came to the presidential race with a particularly thorough set of policies—the strength of his policy portfolio was one of the reasons he won out in a crowded primary field.

Trump offers nothing resembling detailed policy vision. Neither does the Republican Party. It has sunk so low in terms of ideas and morals that the GOP opted not to adopt a platform this year during its national convention.

Under Biden and Harris, basic human decency will return to immigration and refugee policies, and common sense will return to gun safety policy. America will be served by leaders who respect and support our allies, and won’t treat our enemies with adoration. After falling to the level where other nations now pity us, the U.S. can start repairing its standing in the global community. Trump and Pence, whose inept handling of the coronavirus pandemic will go down in history, will be replaced by two leaders who respect medical science and public health experts.

With the glaring exception of the ultrawealthy, nearly all Americans would benefit under a Biden/Harris presidency. That includes communities of color seeking police reforms and social justice, women needing health care, food-insecure families, Americans with preexisting medical conditions, etc. The halt of Trump’s destructive environmental policies will improve the health and safety of every single American, from those suffering from wildfires and drought in the West to those enduring historic droughts and severe storms in the Midwest and Gulf Coast, to the millions of coastal dwellers whose communities are under increasing threat from ocean-level rise.

Also at stake are the voting rights and access of every eligible American voter, which Trump and the Republican are blitzkrieging through a coast-to-coast voter suppression campaign that involves eliminating polling places, opposing mail balloting and early voting, eliminating ballots over fictitious technical violations and outright voter fraud like hijacking ballots or sending fake ballots to trick voters into filling those out and throwing away their official ballot.

Biden also is poised to lead the nation’s economic recovery from the pandemic, having worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Obama during the recovery from the recession.

Let’s be clear: Biden isn’t perfect. He has made problematic policy choices during his decades in Washington, and his mouth has often been his worst enemy, as witnessed by his long history of making awkward and even offensive comments. He has also let his temper get the best of him, as he showed by sinking to Trump’s level at times during their first so-called debate.

But Biden demonstrates characteristics that Trump doesn’t have. Biden can hear out an opposing view and can admit he was wrong—two things that go a long way in making responsible and fact-based decisions.

Trump, on the other hand, disdains opinions that differ from his own and delusionally believes he’s the smartest person in any room. His lack of intellectual curiosity is astounding and dangerous—witness the growing number of former White House officials who describe how it’s impossible to keep him on track during briefings and provide him with the information he needs. Instead, Trump takes his policy cues from his personal Pravda propaganda organization, Fox News, which is simply frightening: As Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson were spinning out fake cures and conspiracy theories about COVID-19, Trump was somewhere nodding his head in agreement. Who knows how many Americans died or got sick because Trump and the Fox News figures were contradicting public health experts, thumbing their noses at the wearing of masks, promoting their quack “cures” and so forth.

The bottom line is that for four years, the U.S. has been led by a visibly racist president who has zero compassion, less tolerance and no values beyond his own bigotry and political and financial interests. If it helps satisfy his racist impulses to pry immigrant children out of the arms of their parents and ship them hundreds of miles away with no guarantee they’ll ever be reunited, so be it. If it helps his would-be dictator self-image to send unidentified federal authorities to Portland and throw peaceful protesters into unmarked vans, great. If it helps his allies to eliminate school meals and leave kids from low-income families without enough to eat, too bad for them. If it helps to intimidate detractors to call for boycotts of companies that have displeased him and put the workers’ jobs at risk, he’s all for it. And if helps to his grievance-driven hysteria cheerlead for domestic terror groups and fan the flames of right-versus-left hatred to the point where innocent people are being shot and battered, get out the megaphone.

How self-interested is Trump? This is a man who looked the Parkland shooting survivors in the eye and committed to pushing for gun-safety measures, then immediately made a tire-squealing 180 when the NRA informed him it would hurt him politically. He sold out a group of scared and brokenhearted teens on a dime so he wouldn’t lose support.

Trump is often described as a toddler, which in one way is correct but in another way is a bad comparison.

It’s true he acts like a self-absorbed and hair-triggered child, leaving Americans in the same position as the parents dealing with some kids in their terrible twos. You never know what awful behavior is coming next.

But toddlers generally grow out of their ugly behavior.

Trump’s only gets worse.

Americans must put a stop to it before it’s too late—before Trump breaks the democracy, plunges us closer toward dictatorial rule and turns us against each other even more.

Vote for Biden and Harris. Make the chaos go away, and replace it with the type of levelheaded, competent leadership that truly made America great and can again. It’s time to start the process of healing America.

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