Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is the presumptive Democratic nominee for president in the upcoming 2020 election, promised to “rebuild America’s foundation” in an op-ed he penned for NBC News. Biden accused he challenger, President Donald Trump, of having “eroded” those foundations.
Biden noted that it was not by accident that he was using the occasion of the Fourth of July, America’s Independence Day, to address the issues that he believes represent the heart and soul of America’s freedoms, which he says Trump has attacked.
“Independence Day is a celebration of our persistent march toward greater justice… That pursuit of a more perfect union has been thrown off course in recent years — and no one bears more responsibility than President Donald Trump,” he wrote.
Biden also laid out the ways in which he claims Trump had eroded the core principles of democracy, including using the military to quell a peaceful protest in front of the White House, “baseless attacks” on voting rights, referring to Trump’s repeated claims that expanding voting by mail would lead to voter fraud), and Trump’s acting as if his status places him above the law, among others.
“He has made it clear time and again that he won’t hesitate to tear apart our most cherished democratic structures for an ounce of personal gain,” Biden said.
Biden then went on to promise that, if he’s elected president, he’ll take immediate action to undo the damage that he claims Trump has done.
Specifically, Biden promised that a key part of his agenda would be restoring the Voting Rights Act. The 1965 legislation, enacted during the heart of the Civil Rights movement, Biden says that Americans’ right to vote has been threatened in recent years due to “barriers” that Republicans have put up to voting.
To strengthen the act, Biden said, he intends to see to it that every American will have access to voting by mail, or in-person through expanded early voting. He also promised to seek legislation to protect elections from “malicious foreign actors,” and to call for a constitutional amendment that would prohibit private money in federal elections.
He also promised to overturn the Trump administration’s “counterproductive asylum, travel ban, and family separation policies,” and to “[reaffirm] our innate identity, reflected in our Constitution and emblazoned in the Statue of Liberty, as a nation of immigrants.”
He concluded that, in becoming a beacon of a functioning democracy, America can once again be ready to lead again — not through power, but by example, he wrote.