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The Advocate

The Student News Site of Albuquerque Academy

The Advocate

The Student News Site of Albuquerque Academy

The Advocate

Why I’m Not Voting for Biden

How Biden lost my vote.
Haley Pedersen ’25

2024 is the first election cycle that I will be able to vote in, which, for someone who is heavily interested and involved in current events and politics, is an exciting landmark. This year, however, I look at the election cynically, and come November, I can’t see myself casting a vote for President Joe Biden.
For at least the past two election cycles, figuring out who to back has felt like picking the lesser of two evils. Nonetheless, I had every intention of backing whomever the Democratic candidate ended up being, even with the notoriously unpopular “Sleepy Joe” looking like the likely candidate. His policy initiatives seemed promising – even though, in many cases, they aren’t going far enough – and listening to him speak on the Smartless podcast with Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes, he didn’t sound as senile as he’s been so frequently made out to be. He even joined the United Auto Workers on strike in September, an unprecedented move for a president.
In the past few months, however, Biden has entirely – perhaps irreconcilably – lost my support, and I am more likely to vote for a third party candidate.
The president’s steadfast support for Israel as the country initiated a genocide in Gaza shattered my support for him essentially from day one of Israel’s retaliation to the October 7th Hamas attack. Maybe if Biden’s administration had sought peace, my feelings might be different, but with each day that passes, Biden is running out of chances to change my mind. Of course, he’s not unique. With few exceptions, both Democrat and Republican politicians have backed Israel and anything they do for the country’s “defense.” There have been slight shifts in the Democratic Party in the last four years, especially among the “Squad,” a group of eight progressive-leaning members of Congress. Representative Rashida Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American representative in US history, as well as Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Cori Bush, and, historically, Independent Senator Bernie Sanders have broken from the center of the party on this issue. Nonetheless, whether because they are bought out by the American-Israeli Political Action Committee, or they cynically see a political advantage in it, Biden and much of the left lacks credibility of any moral principles by not adhering to their – and truthfully the US’s – stated values: freedom, democracy, and human rights.
Any claims that Biden has done near enough to prevent Israel’s onslaught on Gaza lack empirical evidence. Despite “urging” Israel to “reduce” civilian casualties, Biden and his aides – especially John Kirby of the National Security Council – have repeatedly neglected efforts to minimize or prevent the genocide in Gaza, cast civilian deaths as necessary collateral damage, and dehumanized Palestinians, all while bypassing Congress not once but twice to give “emergency” military aid to Israel. Biden personally has touted debunked anecdotes about Hamas beheading babies, questioned the number of Palestinian casualties, and backed Israel’s violations of international law by encouraging attacks on hospitals. As Israel maintains a near-complete siege of Gaza, using weapons and tactics, such as the use of white phosphorus, which go against international humanitarian law, and indiscriminately bombing neighborhoods, hospitals, ambulances, schools, mosques, and fleeing civilians, the inhumanity is desperately clear. If you don’t believe me, you should heed the word of the international community, such as former apartheid state South Africa – which is currently charging Israel with genocide in the International Court of Justice – as well as the United Nations (UN), which continues to recriminate Israel and the US and point to clear violations of international law.
Meanwhile, the US repeatedly rejected a UN resolution calling for a ceasefire, single-handedly vetoing it against a swell of international support. Looking at the comparison between the Biden administration’s response to Ukraine and Gaza would be laughable if it weren’t so blatantly racist; it has proven to me that Biden and many Democrats see white lives as more important than black and brown lives. Certainly, there are differences between the two, but the overarching themes bear similarities and offer a useful comparison for the US’s response to conflict. For all the left’s talk of supporting minorities and increasing diversity, they seem awfully content with supporting militarism and violence abroad whenever the opportunity arises, whether that be in Iraq, where 81 Democratic representatives and 29 Democratic senators joined Republicans in approving a deadly invasion of Iraq based on shaky claims of the country harboring weapons of mass destruction, or in Vietnam, where Democratic president Lyndon B. Johnson initiated a war which resulted in thousands of American and millions of Vietnamese deaths. Now, it’s Gaza.
There are of course other reasons why I might reject Biden, but none of them single-handedly or even collectively impact my decision not to vote for him as much as his intentional negligence in supporting civilians in Gaza. His shaky record on addressing climate change, problematic immigration policy, and age are all aspects which make me pause but for which Biden is far from alone in his faults. With Biden’s handling of Israel and Gaza, however, very little could get me to vote for him now, and it puts all these other reservations I hold into a different perspective.
I will not vote for Biden in November as a matter of principle and morals. Many liberals are quick to point out that Trump would have been just as bad or worse on Gaza, but recently the US election has always been a choice between two evils. I worry that the left has lost sight of the values they stand for – or maybe, indeed, don’t stand for – in their drive to win elections. I can’t bring myself to vote for Biden because it condones his actions; it tells the Democratic Party that they can shamelessly back a genocide and still win the presidential election because the other party’s policies are so despicable. When applied elsewhere, there is even more reason for me to withhold my vote. On climate or border policy, for example, Biden’s loss may teach the Democrats that their voter base will not stand for superficial, centrist “solutions” to issues which are so dire.
Sure, I’m scared about what a Republican president might do if they are elected, but if another horrible four years under Trump is what this country needs to wake up from the complacency of the current political climate, then so be it. I will not let the right’s anti-democratic tilt – and the left’s tactical fearmongering over it – bring me to vote for a Democratic Party that is functionally the same. Enough is enough, for if we continue the current political trajectory, it clearly has dire consequences for the entire world.

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About the Contributors
Darin Eberhardt '25
Darin Eberhardt '25, Opinion, News, and Features Editor
Darin Eberhardt '25 has been working with the Advocate since 7th grade and joined the Editorial Board in early 2023. Always finding ways to keep his schedule near the brink of overload, Darin is a twice elected student senator (there's no conflict of interest, he swears); he is also a member of the Academy debate team, where he gained his love for rhetoric in all its forms. Darin's Palestinian heritage helped him learn to develop conviction paired with open-mindedness in his opinions. Darin treats each of his articles as an exploration into the nuances in issues that matter, treating every story as a new learning opportunity. His belief in the best of others inspires Darin to look beyond first impressions and search for what makes us all human. When he isn't engaged in extracurriculars, Darin enjoys tennis with his dad and plays with his two dogs.
Haley Pedersen ’25
Haley Pedersen ’25, Graphics Editor
Haley ‘25 is the Advocate’s Graphic Art Editor. Their overall artist career sprouted at a young age from their various dragon sketches and drawings, while their digital art career with The Advocate was initiated around two and a half years ago. As well as an Advocate staff member, Haley is involved with numerous other Albuquerque Academy clubs such as Science Olympiad, Engineering Club, Go Club, and Stargazing Club. Outside of their school activities, Haley is found munching on a Rice Crispy treat, specifically with rainbow sprinkles, while chatting on Discord with friends and watching their Cookie Clicker game on the computer. 

Comments (6)

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  • C

    Charlotte ItohApr 18, 2024 at 11:41 am

    If you don’t want Trump, you -must- vote for Biden. We live in the real world and need to be pragmatic. There could not be a stronger contrast between the two men, personally and on policies. We don’t have the luxury of denying a vote to Biden just because we don’t agree with everything he is doing. Denying a vote to Biden means you are failing to resist the election of his opponent, a criminal wannabe dictator. Plain and simple. Do you really want others to make this crucial decision for you? Instead, vote for the candidate who is fighting to protect the environment and reproductive rights in a highly imperfect America.

  • F

    FranhatesfascismMar 7, 2024 at 2:47 pm

    This article nails down exactly what’s been on my mind about voting soon. I keep hearing, “If Trump wins again, things will go from bad to worse,” pushing me towards voting for Biden. But honestly, using fear to sway votes just doesn’t sit right with me, especially when you look around at what’s happening in the US right now. Half the country can barely access abortion or reproductive healthcare. This year, we’ve seen so many anti-LGBTQ+ laws popping up everywhere. We’ve got someone who should be in jail for an insurrection running for president, of all things. We’re spending a fortune on healthcare and still, our outcomes are the pits compared to other rich countries. Plus, we’re this super wealthy nation with way too many people living in poverty.

    It feels like we’re hitting rock bottom, but where’s the massive pushback? The kind of activism and action we need is just not happening. Sure, there are a bunch of systematic hurdles that make it tough for people to even have the time or resources to stand up and fight. But also, a big chunk of folks have never done much more than just vote – if they even do that. If you’re not going to step up now, when things are really rough, why would you suddenly start caring seven months down the line?

    Don’t just sit around waiting for things to get better. Be the change you want to see. Seriously, it’s not just some cool quote; it’s about taking responsibility and actually doing something. If we want things to change, it’s on us to start making those changes, one step at a time.

  • M

    mollyMar 3, 2024 at 7:06 am

    I agree with you! Not voting for biden

  • N

    Nicole LopezFeb 7, 2024 at 1:50 pm

    I appreciate this thoughtful piece. Keep in mind that Biden isn’t the only Democrat currently in the running either! Currently there are 3 Republicans, 3 Democrats, and 3 independent/ 3rd party candidates. In addition to that, I think it’s important to remember that local elections tend to matter the most regarding the effect they have on policy that most affects our day-to-day lives. The president, though an important representative of our nation as a whole, only has so much power.

  • T

    TheoJan 24, 2024 at 5:18 pm

    How do you think the 2025 project would play into this?

  • G

    G. OvittJan 24, 2024 at 3:33 pm

    Thanks Darin for expressing something of my own feelings. In almost every respect, Biden’s administration (not so sure Biden is behind a lot of the policies as they go against his rather timid political record up to 2020) has done good things, and, of course, our economy is wildly erratic so a lot of the job growth and Wall Street profits on which he is running will no doubt vanish by the time whichever geriatric candidate takes the oath of office next year. But, like you, I draw the line at Biden and the Democrats countenancing the wholesale massacre of non-combatants now taking place in Gaza and the West Bank, a policy that is costing Israel the support of the US population (Reuters poll). Having endured the Kissinger-Nixon saturation bombing of Vietnam, the drone wars of Clinton-Obama, and the farcical attempts to “democratize” Iraq and Afghanistan, I’ve had enough. Do I want Trump? Heavens no, but for me the game of lesser of two evils is no longer palatable.