Why I Will Not be Voting For Joe Biden in November.

I know I don’t have to, but I want to explain why I came to this decision.

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Photo via Joe Biden on Instagram

While voting is a personal decision and no one needs to know who I’ll be casting my ballot for, I feel the need to explain my reasoning as to why I came to the decision that I will not be voting for the former Vice President in November. This isn’t a decision I made out of spite as I’m sure a significant number of people would assume, and I’m not going to try to discourage or shame anyone for coming to a different conclusion as to who they will be voting for. Having said that, the fundamental disconnect between the rest of the democratic party electorate and the Bernie Sanders supporter has only continued to grow over the past five years since the Vermont Senator first stepped out on the national stage and ran for President back in 2015. As cliche as it might sound “understanding” is something we could all use a little more of, and perhaps knowing why others are making the electoral decisions they’re making on a more personal level might help.

First, no this is not “a vote for Trump”.

I would not ever vote for the current President, and by definition any ballot that is not cast for him is not a vote for him. Telling former Bernie supporters reluctant to vote for Joe Biden that they’re just voting for Trump if they don’t is incredibly condescending, unproductive, and most obviously just incorrect. It also has nothing to do with simply being angry that my preferred candidate didn’t win, but in part has to do with the manner by which the candidate who did was able to achieve this success.

In 2016, I held my nose and voted for Hillary Clinton. As angry as I was at her treatment of Bernie Sanders and her disdain for his base and our concerns, I decided to put my pride aside and vote for “the lesser of two evils”. But I cannot bring myself to do it again, knowing that all it took after all the time, effort, money, and organizing I and countless other young people put in on behalf of Bernie Sanders and his movement was a few phone calls from Barack Obama to destroy all of it. Every single other candidate on that first debate stage knew Joe Biden was going to be running, and they ran because they were fully aware of how weak of a candidate he was. But that didn’t stop them and their rank and file voters from getting behind the candidate least prepared to take on Donald Trump, all in the name of stopping the one candidate who wanted to ensure that every single American was able to get the healthcare that they need regardless of income or employment.

That being said, my decision not to vote for Joe Biden ultimately comes down to policy above all else.

Medicare for All is my litmus test, and these uncertain times we live in have only reinforced the dire need for a system that ensures every American is able to get healthcare free at the point of service. I held my nose and compromised before, but I will not do so for a candidate who has proudly declared he would veto Medicare for All if it ever reached his desk in the oval office. If Joe Biden’s idea of reaching out to Bernie’s base is lowering the Medicare enrollment age from 65 to 60, then I am not at all interested and he is not worth taking time out of my day to vote.

But of course, it isn’t just about healthcare. Joe Biden’s abysmal proposals when it comes to handling the climate crisis might be sufficient for the sixty year old liberals who think pragmatism is an excellent approach, but my generation and the ones coming up behind us cannot afford it. While of course Donald Trump is accelerating the devastation that’s bound to come in the next couple decades, Joe Biden’s proposals are nothing more than a light tap on the breaks serving as nothing more than a minor delay of what’s currently inevitable. Rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and hoping to be net zero by 2050 is child’s play, and with these ideas at the top of the democratic ticket in the 2020 election it’s difficult not to feel as though we’re having any last hope of a livable future ripped away from us. I do not have the time to “vote blue no matter who”, when this is where that’s led us. A line has to be drawn somewhere, and mine is Joe Biden.

All that being said, my line being drawn with Joe Biden also has to do with the credible sexual assault allegations against him and the way the democratic party overall has handled them. Tara Reade deserves to be heard and have her story treated as legitimate until it’s proven not to be, and the silence coming from others who pretended to care about the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh and Donald Trump in regards to her story is deafening. I will NOT vote for the lesser of two rapists, and the fact that Joe Biden hasn’t even been asked about or had to answer for these allegations himself outside of a few measly campaign statements will never cease to repulse me.

So, who will I be voting for?

At this point, I have not decided if I will be voting green, just leaving the presidential box blank, or stay home. Currently, I’m leaning towards voting Green and using my vote to make them a more legitimate force in upcoming election years. Joe Biden for me has only reinforced the idea that we have quickly moved beyond the point where a two party system is sufficient, and I hope to take part in efforts to bring a new political party to the national stage.

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Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

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