Next Monday, Iowans will gather in towns across the state to fulfill a critical responsibility. Through the simple act of caucusing alongside your neighbors and friends, you will rekindle our democracy and lead our country in choosing the next president. Every Iowan appreciates the weight of that duty. But never before has your role been as serious and urgent as it is this time around.
It’s no understatement to say that Donald Trump represents an existential threat to the future of our country. He has demonstrated over and over again that he has little understanding of — and zero regard for — our laws, our values, or our democracy. Instead of having dignity and respect for others, he insults and demeans. He has no moral rudder. In short, he is everything we aspire not to be as Americans and as people.
Those failings explain why he doesn’t think twice about sabotaging Iowa farmers and producers with Big Oil ethanol waivers and reckless, erratic trade policies. They explain why he repeatedly tries to steal away health care from millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions — even as he brazenly lies about it. They explain why he openly solicits interference in American elections, and why he invited his own impeachment by attempting to bribe a foreign leader into manufacturing lies about my family. These are the actions of a man who simply cares only about himself — and who could not care less about the damage he has inflicted on Iowans, Americans and our democracy.
I have long said America can overcome four years of Donald Trump — but if he’s given another term in the White House, he will fundamentally alter the character of our nation. Fortunately, starting in Iowa, it is within our power to make sure that doesn’t happen. We can restore the soul of our nation — and come together around big, bold ideas that reflect that soul. A public option that allows every single American to be covered by a Medicare-like health plan if they want it, without eliminating coverage that workers have negotiated for and that is working well for them. Record investments in advanced biofuels, renewable energy and agriculture technologies that will put Iowa farmers at the forefront of tackling climate change and building a green economy. An influx of resources into our public schools and into modern, efficient infrastructure so that no child in Iowa has to leave their hometown to find opportunity. Economic policies that reward work — not wealth.
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The truth is, the Democratic candidates vying for your support share many of the same goals. We all want every American to have quality, affordable health coverage. We all want to build a fairer economy that lifts working families’ wages, protects unions and revitalizes the middle class. We all believe that climate change poses an existential threat — and a major opportunity for America to lead the world and create the jobs of tomorrow. We may have important differences when it comes to how we propose to accomplish those goals, but, in the end, the values that motivate us aren’t so different.
What this election comes down to, the, is which candidate has built a campaign that reflects the full diversity of our nation. Which candidate has a proven record on issues — not just talk, but results. From the Affordable Care Act to the assault weapons ban to the Violence Against Women Act to the Iran nuclear deal to the Paris Climate Accords, I’ve achieved real results. And finally, which candidate has the best chance to beat Donald Trump. The next president will inherit a deeply divided nation and a world in disarray. There won’t be any time for on-the-job training—they have to be ready on day one.
I have spent my entire life bringing people together to get big, difficult things done. And I intend to do that as your president - unifying our country around shared values and shared purpose at the moment we need it most. Just imagine what we can achieve if we come together - there’s no limit to what we could do.
Our nation has one opportunity to get this right, and set America back on a path of decency, respect and lasting progress — and it all starts here in Iowa. The risk of choosing incorrectly has never been so high. If you believe, as I do, that our leaders should bring us together, stand up for the fundamental dignity of all people, and fight for the values we share, I hope you’ll join Team Joe at your local caucus site on Feb. 3.
A former U.S. senator and U.S. vice president, Joe Biden is a Democratic candidate for president in the 2020 election.
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