Editorial | Our View Editorial: Elect Joe Biden to the presidency Oct. 15, 2020 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! The American presidency, often described as the most powerful, most demanding position in the world, has become in 2020 infinitely more difficult. Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. The American presidency, often described as the most powerful, most demanding position in the world, has become in 2020 infinitely more difficult. The nation faces the trifecta: a national health crisis, economic recession and unrest over racial injustice. Even as the U.S. protests have sparked turmoil where these tensions are shared around the world, America finds itself estranged from its global allies. Joe Biden, who in the Democratic administration of the past decade grappled with the last deep recession, has the experience and temperament to begin America’s recovery, on multiple fronts. Voters should choose the Democrat over the sitting Republican president. America is exhausted by the four years of divisiveness that Donald Trump has fueled; his record does not support a second term. What does Biden offer? Steadiness, alignment with fact-based approaches to the pandemic and the impact of climate change, and the ability to guide the U.S. back to a more reasoned and informed foreign policy. He helped navigate diplomatic problems as vice president and has three decades of experience on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Foreign policy has not figured prominently in this campaign year, but repairing key relationships is critical. On the pandemic specifically, Biden has a defined plan and outreach to the public that’s compelling. He has a history of working with Congress to develop needed economic relief to businesses and families. By contrast, Trump’s erratic and dismissive messaging on COVID-19 has persisted, even after his own diagnosis and recovery, which is stunning. The president, of course, has access to an elite level of care not available to the average citizen, who can’t afford to let down their own guard, and to whom Trump’s casual air about the virus is tone-deaf, and unequal to the tasks at hand. On health policy more broadly, the Trump administration and others in Congress have worked to hobble the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), even after they failed in 2017 to repeal it outright — without a whisper of a replacement plan. And Republican state administrations have sued to overturn the law, with Trump’s assent, a case soon to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Biden seeks to reinforce the ACA, which he had worked to pass while vice president. He now favors the addition of a public option for health coverage. This should strengthen the safety net of health-care protections that are all the more crucial now. On the economy: As vice president, Biden was put in charge of recovery, an experience that will inform his leadership through the immediate economic crisis. He has promised a recovery package more focused through the lens of COVID-19. It would help the poor and middle-class disproportionately hurt by the crisis — in this state more than any other. The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization has found that Hawaii’s gross domestic product dropped by 42.2% for the second quarter, making Hawaii’s economy weakest in the nation. Pre-pandemic, the economy was long touted as Trump’s strong suit, due to his work with Congress on the 2017 tax cuts package. That law, greeted enthusiastically by corporations, did provide modest tax savings for the middle class and spurred growth. However, it gave its richest financial yield to the very wealthy — some of whom have become even richer in the pandemic. The nonprofit Institute for Policy Studies reports that the combined wealth of U.S. billionaires increased by $845 billion, or 29%, since mid-March. There are many more reasons that a Biden presidency would serve Hawaii’s interest. This multicultural state can endorse his running mate, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, for her moderate stance and legislative acumen, as well as for bringing a needed, modern American diversity to the ticket. Biden’s embrace of climate change policies, crucial to this island state, could lead to greater investments in green energy. Infrastructure spending would be part of the economic plan, supporting projects such as the rail here at home and upgrades needed in every state. So would recommitting the nation to the Paris Climate Agreement. In other areas of foreign affairs, the U.S. needs to resume a more traditional diplomatic stance with a long-term goals, repairing and renewing America’s standing among world leaders. Trump’s unconventional, short-term exchanges have not moved the nation to a safer position within the Asia-Pacific region, for example. With the memory of the North Korean missile threat still fresh, Hawaii must worry about this as well. A President Biden would be the oldest chief executive the nation has ever inaugurated, but an elder statesman is what the country needs at the helm right now. As never before, America seeks a leader with the ability and inclination to confront its deficits and divisions head-on, recognizing the rift in the country’s politics and, at last, beginning the work of bridging it. 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