Progressives must vote for Joe Biden for President

Progressives must vote for Joe Biden for President

In 2016, Friends of the Earth Action endorsed and worked on behalf of Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary. When Senator Sanders lost the nomination to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, we took a pass at giving Secretary Clinton our full-throated support. We underestimated Donald Trump’s ability to win the electoral college and believed that progressive environmental policy was better served by Friends of the Earth Action not lending our name and credibility to Secretary Clinton. We will not make this mistake again.

After four years of chaos, tragedy and absolute corruption, the choice we face in November could not any clearer, or more important. We must elect Joe Biden as President, and we need every progressive voter to join us.

During the primary, Friends of the Earth Action endorsed both Senators Sanders and Warren and worked with all the major Presidential candidates, including Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Biden, to increase their aspirations on climate change and other environmental issues.

We were impressed with Vice President Biden’s shift to embrace more aggressive climate plans – proof of the power of progressive activism and a clear signal that the Vice President can be moved on issues.

The climate plan Vice President Biden unveiled this summer is the most ambitious we’ve ever seen from a democratic presidential nominee. His commitment to invest $2 trillion over the next four years to fight climate change centers Black, Indigenous, and frontline communities most impacted by fossil fuel production and pollution. The former Vice President clearly listened to community members, activists and scientific experts and adjusted his plan so it more closely matches the scale of the crisis we face.

There is no doubt that Friends of the Earth Action and Vice President Biden will continue to have deep disagreements over policy, personnel, and ambition. Our approaches to society’s problems differ, but at least we agree on the fundamental problems and that they require a competent and robust government response.

Without Biden as President we cannot consider how to center justice in the federal government’s environmental policies, expand our international climate commitments beyond the Paris Agreement to live up to our international fair share, or debate how fast and to what degree we’ll phase-out fossil fuels, or how  to help fossil fuel workers and communities transition justly. Without Biden in the White House there is also no room to explore shifting our agricultural systems to benefit family farmers and communities. Much-needed conversations about systemic racism, women’s and gender rights, economic equality and more are total non-starters unless Vice President Biden wins.

With a Biden presidency we know we can have a healthy debate on these and other issues, with room to negotiate, to improve positions, to push back and hold him accountable. There is no debating or even discussing these issues with Trump – four years with him in the White House has already proven that.

Trump’s blatant corruption, misogyny, racism and disregard for humanity are destroying our country. Black, brown, immigrant, Muslim, LGBTQ+ and other vulnerable communities continue to feel the violent repercussions of his time in office. Trump has ignored democratic norms and science and handed our government over to corporate cronies who put industry profits over people, communities and the planet. Long-standing environmental regulations meant to protect our air and water have been revoked or removed, and our federal agencies are more focused on selling off public lands than protecting them.

If we want to reverse Trump’s toxic legacy and begin to repair the damage he has caused, we need to elect Joe Biden to the White House.

The challenges we faced together in 2020 will cast shadows for generations: a global pandemic that we still don’t have a vaccine for; a historic fire season and a devastating series of hurricanes; and a long-overdue reckoning on systemic racism. The choice we face in November is no less consequential.

This is a clarion call to all progressive environmentalists that align with Friends of the Earth Action; supported Senators Sanders or Warren; were unmotivated to vote in the 2016 election or supported third parties, especially the Green Party: we must vote for Vice President Biden and support him in every way possible.

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