Op-ed: Gen Z, let’s build back better with Biden-Harris

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Illustration by Madison Boudreau Popovic

Jackson Hurley, contributor

This country is at a critical inflection point. We are peering down a forked path, with two very distinct visions for the future. As voters, many for the first time, the choice we make in this election will impact us for the rest of our lives. Whether you’re a student majoring in political science or someone who tries to stay out of politics, the outcome of this election will have a profound impact on your day-to-day life.

The choice is clear. We can maintain the status quo by keeping a president who denies scientific evidence, makes voting increasingly challenging and fans the flames of racism. Or we can pick a new path one of light at a time of immense darkness and uncertainty. One of equality and unity at a time when our divisions have been so severely exacerbated. With so much on the line, young Americans need to elect a leader who understands the scale of the issues we face today, instead of someone who minimizes them and claims he’s more qualified than the experts. The leader we truly need is Joe Biden. 

Biden is running as a proud, life-long Democrat, but he will be a president for all Americans. He understands the struggles of working families, because he grew up in one. As a native of Scranton, Pa., a working-class town, Biden knows that a job is about more than just a paycheck — it’s about the respect every human being deserves. That’s why he’ll raise the minimum wage to $15 and make sure American workers are protected during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. He knows that climate change is an existential threat to the future of humanity and that it disproportionately affects impoverished people and communities of color. His plan to make a $2 trillion investment in green energy and infrastructure will meet science’s demands and protect the future of our planet for years to come.

Healthcare is personal for Biden, as the protections under the Affordable Care Act allowed his son, Beau Biden, to live out his final days battling brain cancer with dignity. As president, he’ll make sure no American loses coverage because of a pre-existing condition, no young person is kicked off their parents’ plan before they turn 26 and no family goes bankrupt because of a surprise medical bill. Biden will establish a robust public option that will provide cost-effective and high-quality care to any American who cannot afford or does not want private insurance. 

Biden sees how the systemic barriers of racism impede and harm Black and Brown Americans in all aspects of life, especially with the contemporary economic and public health crises we face as a nation. As we begin the process of building back our economy, a Biden-Harris administration will attack systemic racism head-on and ensure that barriers to building wealth in communities of color aren’t further perpetuated. Regardless of what matters to you, Joe Biden brings a competent understanding of issues and an empathy for other people’s struggles, which will heal this nation at a time of great division and guide us toward a more prosperous, equitable future. 

Some question whether or not Biden has been an effective legislator during his 40-plus years of public service. However, the facts contradict this concern. As Vice President, Biden oversaw the economic recovery from the Great Recession in 2009 and led initiatives like the Cancer Moonshot. During his time as a senator, he championed legislation such as the Violence Against Women Act and played a key role in reforming gun laws. Over his entire career, Biden has been focused on bending the arc of moral justice toward equality, and his highly-qualified record clearly reflects that. 

With so much at stake in this election, do we really want the most important job in the world to be held by a man who thought we could defeat COVID-19 by injecting bleach into our lungs or that we could nuke hurricanes to stop them from hitting our shores? 

The current administration lacks the basic skills for effective governance and the basic empathy to understand the pain so many American families are experiencing now. If Trump cared about saving American lives as much as he cared about avoiding paying his taxes, maybe this crisis could have been more competently handled. He denies the existence of climate change and dismisses systemic racism. He writes love letters to ruthless dictators. He even refuses to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses. He is woefully incompetent, dangerously vindictive and just plain bad at his job. 

This November, I’m voting to put this country on a new path. This November, I’m voting for Joe Biden. In the spirit of country and individual, you should too. 

Jackson Hurley is a third-year political science major with concentrations in public policy and campaigns and elections. He is the President of Northeastern for Biden and a national co-chair of the Students for Biden program. For Biden campaign related inquiries, please reach out to him at [email protected]. For any other inquiries, he can be reached at [email protected]