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Joe Biden is the official Democratic Party nominee for the 59th U.S. presidential election. He will be running alongside Kamala Harris (the first would-be female and African-American Vice President in U.S. history) against the incumbent Republican President, Donald J. Trump.
Why does it matter
The November 2020 U.S. presidential election will be one of the most pivotal in recent American history. After an extremely divisive election in 2016, and 4 years with the country being led by one of the most polarizing political figures to date, tensions and fractures in the U.S are at an all-time high. Joe Biden is widely seen as the candidate who will restore America’s standing on the world stage and return a sense a normalcy and decency to the white house.
As it stands, Joe Biden currently leads by a wide margin in the polls, but victory is by no means certain if 2016 was any indication of how events can unfold. And even if Biden is elected as the 46th president, Trump has refused to publicly state if he will accept the results of the election and relinquish his role as commander in chief – a chilling thought with wide-reaching implications for American democracy as a whole.
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So, who is Joe Biden?
He is a career politician. He was a U.S. Senator representing the state of Delaware from 1973-2009. When elected, he was the fifth youngest senator in American history. Biden then served as Vice President alongside former Democratic President Barack Obama from 2009-2017. This will be his third time running for President of the United States and if elected Biden, now 77, will be the oldest president ever inaugurated in American history.
His politics are surprisingly left-leaning. Despite his centrist appearance (especially when compared to some of the past reform candidates, like Bernie Sanders) Biden is actually one of the most left-leaning candidates the Democratic party has put forth in over a decade. He supports aggressive climate action, investment in domestic manufacturing, police reforms, tax increases on the rich, and free education for certain groups.
He’s overcome tragedy. Just as his political career was taking off, Biden’s wife and three children were involved in a horrific car accident. His wife and daughter were killed and both of his sons received severed injuries. Despite this crushing blow, and even considering suicide, he persevered and decided to honour his family and the people of Delaware by continuing his pursuit to represent the people in the Senate.
Interesting Facts about Joe
- For most of his career, Joe Biden was ranked one of the LEAST wealthy government officials (that has since changed)
- He doesn’t smoke or drink, thinking of these bahaviours as a crutch
- He grew up in Scranton Pennsylvania (yup, the same place as “The Office”)
- He was, at best, an average student but managed to obtain a law degree from Syracuse University Law School
- In 1988 he had 2 brain aneurysms, although appears to have come out relatively unscathed
- He voted for the Iraq war in 2002 (he has since called that decision a mistake)
- In 2012 he publicly declared his support for gay marriage , infuriating then President Obama as he geared up for re-election
- Despite being a strong speaker, he has a penchant for “putting his foot in his mouth” and just blurting things out
If you’re interested in learning more about him, check out Joe Biden’s Full Biography
What’s his vision for America?
- Coronavirus. Comprehensive plan to beat Covid-19 including: widespread test-and-trace, PPE for all, scientifically-based treatments and vaccines, reopen the country safely and effectively, and protect high risk groups.
- Criminal Justice. Abolish the death penalty, eliminate private prisons, end mandatory minimum sentences and reduce the number of people incarcerated.
- Economy. Raise the minimum wage to $15, paid family and sick leave,
- Education. Free college for 2 years, expand debt-relief, boost teacher pay, and funding for workforce training.
- Elections. There should be limits on spending in politics.
- Energy. Introduce a $2 trillion green energy investment plan, tax carbon emissions, end new offshore oil drilling, and support new nuclear technologies.
- Farm/ Agriculture. Provide funds to farmers who adopt climate-friendly practices, expand farm worker protections,
- Gun Control. Supports voluntary buyback, background checks and national gun registry.
- Health care. Will expand coverage, but opposes medicare for all, some government intervention in drug prices, some limits on abortion.
- Immigration. Supports citizenship for dreamers, but will keep the illegal immigration statute in place.
- Marijuana. Will let the States decide, but supports eliminating past pot convictions.
- Military. Boost spending on the defense budget, keep troops deployed overseas.
- Taxes. Increase capital gains tax, minor raises to corporate tax, increase tax on upper-income Americans.
- Trade. Reduce tensions with China, join the CPTPP, supports the new USMCA (previously NAFTA), will stop the use of tariffs as a pressure tactic
- Tech. Fund rural broadband internet, consider holding social media companies accountable for posts.
See his full platform here.
Popular books about Joe Biden
For those in need of a good read and who want to learn a little bit more about who Joe Biden is, here are the top 10 most popular books about him right now:
- No Ordinary Joe: The Life And Career Of Joe Biden
- Biden Time: Crazy Uncle Joe In His Own Words
- Joe Biden: The Biography
- Yesterday’s Man: The Case Against Joe Biden
- The Book of Joe: The Life, Wit, And (Sometimes Accidental) Wisdom Of Joe Biden
- Promise Me, Dad: A Year Of Hope, Hardship, And Purpose
- Promises To Keep: On Life And Politics
- Joe Biden: A Life Of Trial And Redemption
- Joey: The Story Of Joe Biden
- The President Of Vice
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