“We have never been just a campaign,” Bernie concluded, “We are a grassroots, multiracial multigenerational movement. … While this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not.”
To say we lost would underestimate the “concessions” that we already won. We won the debate on ideas. We talked openly about capitalism and class struggle. We called out our enemies by name: the billionaire class, the health insurance, and pharmaceutical industries, fossil fuel companies, and the military-industrial complex.
We broke the traditional rules. We did this by funding the campaign through a historic number of grassroots donors.
As Bernie said, “We won the ideological battle.” The future is with us and our ideas.
Nonetheless, the campaign is over and we must move forward. We will never know for sure why the campaign was unsuccessful. However, we faced great odds. We faced the full force of the Democratic Party establishment and we persisted.
My name is Mika and my pronouns are she, her, and hers. Here’s why I’m voting for Joe Biden.
I live with an ultra-rare disease called cystinosis that is slowly destroying my organs. Because of the disease, I rely on social welfare programs such as Medicaid.
If Trump wins again, I may not survive. He promises to cut social welfare programs such as Medicaid. Already, one of my medications, Procysbi, costs over $90,000 for a month. Every time I fill the medications it’s a fight with Medicaid to get it covered.
Trump also wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the provisions that protect me such as protections for living with a pre-existing condition and the ban on lifetime limits of care.
Trump has also given tax breaks to pharmaceutical companies instead of reducing drug prices.
Joe Biden, on the other hand, will work to improve, expand, and build upon the ACA. He will work for a public health insurance option like Medicare. I know, I know it’s not Medicare for All but its far better than Trump’s plan to repeal the ACA.
Biden plans to:
- Allow Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate drug prices.
- Allow people to buy prescriptions from other countries.
- End tax breaks for pharmaceutical companies for their advertisement spending.
- Limit launch prices for drugs that face no competition such as the medication I take that costs over $90,000 a month.
- Repeal the Hyde Amendment and restore funding for Planned Parenthood.
Additionally, I am a transgender woman and again, I may not survive another Trump term because he has repealed protections for the LGBTQIA+ community. He has banned transgender people from serving in the military and he has proposed a new health care rule that would remove protections for transgender people.
I need these protections because, in the past, I have experienced discrimination that almost cost me my life. I am worried that if Trump wins that this may happen again. In 2012, before the health care protections for transgender people was implemented, I was denied a kidney transplant at the Nebraska Medical Center (now Nebraska Medicine) because of my transgender status.
Biden will guarantee protections for LGBTQIA+ people in healthcare. He will fight for the Equality Act, which would guarantee that LGBTQIA+ individuals are protected under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He will also reaffirm the Obama Justice Department’s rule that the Civil Rights Act’s prohibition against employment discrimination based on sex applies to discrimination based on gender identity.
Biden plans to:
- Reverse the Trump transgender military ban.
- Affirm one’s gender marker and expand access to accurate identification documents.
- Guarantee transgender students have access to facilities based on their gender identity.
- Ensure coverage for comprehensive care for LGBTQIA+ Americans. This includes covering care related to transitioning – including gender-affirming surgeries. It also covers HIV treatment and prevention.
- Pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which requires school districts to develop bullying and harassment policies.
- Reinstate the Obama guidance requiring federal funded schools to prohibit harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.
- Pass the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act.
- Ban so-called “Conversion Therapy.”
- Pass the REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act, which promotes best practice recommendations for states.
- Reinstate protections for LGBTQIA+ people experiencing homelessness.
- Enforce and strengthen the Matthew Shepard And James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
- Pass the Ruthie and Connie LGBT Elder Americans Act to ensure the non-discriminatory treatment of LGBTQIA+ older Americans.
Unlike Trump, Biden will also fight for LGBTQIA+ rights around the world.
Biden plans to:
- Appoint a Special Envoy at the State Department to coordinate diplomatic efforts and combat homophobia, transphobia, and stigma globally.
- Issue a President Memorandum prioritizing his administration’s support for LGBTQIA+ human rights and development worldwide.
- Enact the GLOBE Act, which will permanently make upholding LGBTQIA+ rights a priority of the foreign policy of the United States, including addressing discrimination and violence against LGBTQIA+ individuals.
I also support Biden because unlike Trump, Biden knows that there is no greater challenge facing the nation and world than the climate crisis.
Biden plans to:
- Rejoin the Paris Agreement.
- Ensure the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and reach net-zero emissions no later than 2050.
- Make a historic investment in our clean energy future and environmental justice paid for by rolling back the Trump tax incentives that enrich corporations at the expense of American jobs and the environment.
- Embrace the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, adding momentum to curbing hydrofluorocarbons, an especially potent greenhouse gas, which could deliver a 0.5 degree Celsius reduction in global warming by mid-century.
- Impose carbon adjustment fees or quotas on carbon-intensive goods from countries that are failing to meet their climate and environmental obligations.
- Establish an enforcement mechanism to achieve net-zero emission no later than 2050, including a target no later than the end of his first term in 2025 to ensure we get to the finish line.
- Direct the National Security Advisor, to work with the Secretaries of Defense, State, Homeland Security, and others, to develop a comprehensive strategy to address the security implication of climate change.
I may not survive another Trump term because my health is not the best and I’m spending more and more time at hospital. If Trump repeals the ACA I may lose my insurance coverage. Further, Trump wants to ban coverage of the medically necessary gender-affirming care that I need.
Finally, young LGBTQIA+ youth and young adults need a president that sees them, hears them and stands with them. They need a president that doesn’t inspire hate.