With Tuesday’s Democratic Primary now upon us, Illinois voters are at the proverbial center of the political universe.
With the sheer lunacy and untruthfulness of the Presidency of Donald J. Trump becoming more apparent and dangerous seemingly by the minute, citizens around the country and yes, the world, will be casting their eyes on our state. The hope is that Illinois voters will provide a strong, unifying, dynamic and competent alternative to the man presently occupying the White House, and who will restore America’s leadership on the world stage.
Given what is at stake now is not the time to get experimental with the choice of his challenger. Therefore, the Chicago Defender enthusiastically endorses former Vice President Joe Biden in the Illinois Democratic Primary and to be the 46th President of the United States.
Not only does he have decades of proven and highly effective public service to our nation, but he also is a progressive candidate who served for eight years, faithfully, effectively and honorably as the vice president to our nation’s first black president, Barack Obama.
It is a presidency that racist Trump and his vulgar administration are determined to erase from the living memory of all Americans now and in the future. We could not think of a more worthy defender of that proud legacy than Joe Biden unless it was Mr. Obama himself.
Sen. Sanders has served honorably during his tenure in the U.S. Senate. He has many thoughtful and interesting policy proposals that deserve serious consideration. However, Sen. Sanders is rigid. His refusal to compromise along with his sanctimonious hectoring of politicians whose views diverge from his borders on the dogmatic. It reflects a lack of empathy and ironically for the proud liberal, a willingness to stand in someone else shoes and interpret the world through their eyes.
We have had enough of that attitude with Donald Trump.
This may go a long way toward explaining African American’s refusal to embrace his candidacy despite his progressive agenda and impressive history of fighting for civil rights.
The fact is, as a large Midwestern state with a very diverse Democratic constituency, Illinois voters have the potential to make or break the campaign of either candidate. This is especially true of the Sanders campaign which is reeling following Biden’s shocking come from behind victories that catapulted him ahead in the race for delegates after last week’s Super Tuesday Primary contest.
According to a WGN-TV/Emerson College poll, Joe Biden is the current leader in Illinois. According to the the poll 56.6% of Illinois voters choose Biden, 36.2% support Sanders.
And by a margin of 48 percent to 28 percent, Democratic voters in the poll said they were more concerned about which candidate could beat President Donald Trump than whether a candidate best aligns with their policy views.
Given the pivotal role Chicago plays in selecting the ultimate Democratic nominee for President of the United States, it is heartening to see voters taking such a pragmatic approach to the election. This very editorial page has repeatedly warned that this year’s presidential election will be hands down the most consequential election in living memory and there is no time for purity tests.
As U.S. citizens, every Illinois voter has a special duty to their family, city, state, country and our collective future to make sure your voice is heard with your vote.
Let there be no doubt it, the 2020 Presidential Election in November will be vicious as it will be consequential. Trump and his malevolent Republican counterparts know this too. They will pull out every dirty trick in the book including inviting foreign interference – again. They will also wage a nationwide campaign of massive voter suppression, intimidation, and disinformation against minority and young voters.
All Americans committed to democratic values, social and economic fairness, equality and the maintenance of our constitutional republic – as imperfect as it is – must rally around the candidate who will bring the strongest fight to President Trump.
And in our view, that candidate, hands down is former Vice President and Presidential Candidate Joe Biden.