Presidential endorsement: Joe Biden

Editor’s note: We invited the chairperson of each Mahoning County major political party to share with our readers their arguments supporting their party’s presidential nominee.

Instead of focusing on Donald Trump’s failures and broken promises, we’ve chosen to focus on why Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the best choice for America. The priorities of Joe Biden and Donald Trump could not be more different, specifically on three of the most important issues facing our residents: the coronavirus crisis, jobs and health care.

Saying this election is a choice between Scranton and Park Avenue has a unique meaning when you’re from Mahoning County, where we know what it’s like to work hard and appreciate the dignity of that work. And where we’ve all seen or experienced what it’s like to have to worry about making the ends meet. Biden comes from a working-class family, and he’s seen first hand the impact of job loss and that experience ensures he legislates for us, not for his donors. He will create millions of good-paying jobs and force big corporations and the uber wealthy to pay their fair share for a change. That’s what the Mahoning Valley needs.

And for Vice President Biden, Build Back Better isn’t just campaign rhetoric. He has a record to back it up: from leading the way in saving the auto industry, to playing key roles in policy initiatives intended to help folks get out of poverty and expand the middle class. Now, compare that to Donald Trump — the man who inherited a fortune, who has made a name for himself uttering the two words that residents of the Valley pray they never hear — “You’re fired!” — and for ripping off the hard-working contractors. Need proof? Look no further than the multi-trillion dollar boondoggle that was one of the administration’s first priorities — giving tax breaks to those who need them the least, at the expense of the middle class and the poor. The Trump tax scam gave away billions to millionaires and billionaires and big corporations who turned around and shipped jobs overseas. Ask yourself: who do you want fighting for you in Washington?

Perhaps the most vile things Trump has done is try to rip apart the Affordable Care Act, under which more than 700,000 Ohioans have been able to get coverage, and which protects those of us with pre-existing conditions from outrageous prices or denials in coverage. Right now, in the middle of a global health crisis, they are preparing to argue before a Supreme Court they’ve stacked that the ACA is unconstitutional with no plan for you, or me when we lose our care. Meanwhile, Biden helped pass the ACA and has a plan to not only protect our care, but to ensure that our neighbors and loved ones don’t have to choose between buying food and seeing a doctor when they’re sick. And to lower our health care premiums by forcing private insurance to compete.

When Trump was elected, we hoped he could meet the moment, but he utterly failed, especially at keeping us safe. During the critical first months of the coronavirus crisis, he spent much of his time tweeting, playing golf and holding rallies. He coddled the Chinese government, praising President Xi, because he was desperate for a trade deal. Now more than 5,000 Ohioans are dead, and America has more coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country in the world. It didn’t have to be this bad.

We cannot afford four more years of Trump. But if we put our faith in what America is supposed to be, we can elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and win this battle for the soul of our nation before it is too late.

Joyce Kale-Pesta is chairwoman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party.


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