Editor's note: The Michigan Daily has also provided endorsements for other races on the Ann Arbor ballot this November. You can find them all here.
While The Michigan Daily Editorial Board’s vote on this matter was unanimous, we debated whether to publish an endorsement for a United States presidential candidate this November. After all, Washtenaw County has voted overwhelmingly blue in the past, the University of Michigan student body tends to lean liberal and our endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in the presidential primaries this past March did not effectively influence the outcome of the race. We were not sure what our voices would add to the conversation. An endorsement of former Vice President Joseph Biden for U.S. president is likely unsurprising to our readers and may prove meaningless in swaying undecided voters.
However, this deliberation over whether to publish an endorsement does not reflect apathy from the Editorial Board. For many of us on the board, this feels like the most important election of our lives so far and potentially the most important election we will ever have the opportunity to participate in. The focus on this race is intense and the perceived consequences of this election are dire. Now is not the time for avoidance. That is why we have decided to publicly endorse Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., for U.S. president and vice president, respectively.
Much of our motivation for this endorsement comes not so much from a particular love of Biden, but a deep disapproval of President Donald Trump. We work for a news organization, like the ones whose credibility Trump repeatedly attacks with tweets, speeches and the courts. We represent and work with students of color and LGBTQ+ students, demographics Trump has repeatedly threatened and endangered. His discrimination, misogyny and reluctance to condemn white supremacy are well-documented. We cannot, in good conscience, support Trump’s actions or even provide a minute’s doubt as to where our support lies.
We may not agree with every one of Biden’s policies, but he is a significantly more qualified candidate for the position of U.S. president. Biden has outlined a plan to address environmental justice and reach net-zero emissions by 2050, while Trump does not seem to believe in climate change. Biden would make it easier to immigrate to the U.S. and commit to a fair and humane immigration system, while Trump has reduced legal immigration nearly in half since becoming president and has blocked refugees and asylum seekers at every turn. Biden wants to reduce the number of people incarcerated, focus on restorative justice and eliminate the race, gender and income-based disparities in the current justice system. Trump wants to hire even more police officers and end cashless bail. The Editorial Board has already made clear that we do not support expanded policing, unjust immigration policies or climate change ignorance.
If we, as students, do not vote in this election, it means conceding the election to Trump. If we do not actively endorse Biden, it means we indirectly endorse Trump. We will not remain silent. We detest Trump’s behavior and the policies for which he stands.
The Michigan Daily Editorial Board unequivocally endorses Joe Biden for president and Kamala Harris for vice president of the United States. Join us in making sure our country does not repeat 2016’s mistake.
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown challenges at all of us — including The Michigan Daily — but that hasn’t stopped our staff. We’re committed to reporting on the issues that matter most to the community where we live, learn and work. Your donations keep our journalism free and independent. You can support our work here.
For a weekly roundup of the best stories from The Michigan Daily, sign up for our newsletter here.