By Gabriela Castellanos
I strongly advise my fellow Cuban Americans to vote for Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential elections. First, because if Trump is reelected health in this country will be in great jeopardy. Second, because saving the Republican party is crucial in order to preserve democracy, and Trump has been running it into the ground for nearly four years now.
First, the health issue. It’s not only that Trump is trying to end health care for millions of Americans by striking down Obamacare without any plans to replace it. Even more importantly, he does not support many scientific positions necessary to curb Covid-19 deaths.
Recently Paul Krugman, who has a Nobel prize on economics, compared Stalin and Trump. Like Stalin used to do, Trump adopts the views that seem favorable to him politically, even when they go against solid science.
An example of Stalin’s decisions is the case of Lysenko, a Soviet agronomist who believed that modern genetics was not only wrong, but also contrary to Marxist-Leninism. To Lysenko, genes didn’t even exist. Stalin liked him, so Lysenko’s views became official policy in the Soviet Union.
Trump has shown the same contempt for science, both regarding climate change and now with his statements about the new coronavirus. There are many examples of this, but I will only name a few. He has advised Americans to ingest disinfectants to combat the virus, and contradicted Dr. Fauci repeatedly. A few days ago, he refuted Dr. Redfield, director of the Center for Disease Control, who has said that masks can work just as well as vaccines against the virus, if everyone wears them. Trump thinks promoting a vaccine before the November 3 election will get him reelected, so he publicly said Dr. Redfield is wrong.
Second, Biden is good for democracy among other things because he is good for the Republican party.
“No party should have too much power,” he said while campaigning in Decorah, Iowa, in late 2019, according to BuzzFeed News. “You need a countervailing power”. It is important for USA democracy to have a robust Republican party, rather than a bunch of yes men who will not contradict even Trump’s most blatant and dangerous lies.
For all those GOP voters who would never consider joining the Democratic party, who insist, “I’m a Republican,” Biden offered the following advice: “Vote for me but stay a Republican, because we need a Republican Party.” (Quoted in https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/12/joe-biden-america-needs-the-republican-party.html)
While Trump sows division and incites violence, Joe Biden is ready to reach across the aisle and invite Republicans to rebuild their party and to help him in healing the nation, so sorely divided now.
Gabriela Castellanos was born in Santiago de Cuba, and traveled with her family to Miami in 1961. She has a Ph.D. in Discourse Analysis from UF. She has taught at Universidad del Valle in Cali Colombia for many years.