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New York Times photo by Erin Schaff/Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, addresses a get-out-the-vote event and campaign rally at Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio, on Monday.

Today is the day. Election Day 2020. If you haven't voted already, get out and cast your ballot.

There is too much at stake not to vote.

Our government — president, senators and congress members — simply must heed the warnings of scientists about climate change. Finally, only in this last election season of 2020, did the cause of our rising temperatures and seas finally get airtime in presidential and vice presidential debates and in Democratic primary races.

Joe Biden's proposal is the most ambitious response to climate change ever proposed by a major-party nominee for president. Donald Trump could tick off only one action — a trillion trees plan. And, no, Biden's proposal is not the "green new deal." Nor does it call for "banning" fossil fuels or fracking. If you heard it did, you heard Donald Trump's and the GOP's constant, repeated lies.

Biden has a real plan for fighting climate change with a $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure program to gradually move us from carbon emitting fossil fuels, including hydraulic fracking for oil or gas, to jobs-producing and clean alternative energies. What Biden said about fracking was that he would ban it "on federal property" — our parks and national monuments — and he would make the fracking industry clean up its outrageous methane leaks. Fixing climate change is not a fossil fuel switch we can just flip off — much as we may need it to be.

Too much is at stake not to vote for someone who will heed the warnings of infectious disease experts and emergency room doctors who've spoken out time and again against the Trump administration's lack of leadership, lack of urgency and plain lies about COVID-19. All told, Trump's stubborn ignorance and pursuit of power has contributed to America's 9.2 million novel coronavirus cases, more than 231,000 deaths and our nation's worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Republican apologists tell us Trump didn't cause the coronavirus. But he sure slow-walked appropriate and early national response to it. Now, he simply denies appropriate national response to it. And with his crowded, near-maskless campaign rallies, he even spreads it. A Stanford research study of 18 of his recent rallies suggests those events have led to more than 30,000 additional cases and at least 700 additional deaths.

Recommendations

In the contested races in today's election, the Chattanooga Times editorial page recommends:

* President: Democrats Joe Biden/Kamala Harris

* U.S. Senate: Marquita Bradshaw

* U.S. House: Meg Gorman

* State Senate, District 10: Glenn Scruggs

* State House, District 26: Joan Farrell

* State House, District 30: Joseph Udeaja

Joe Biden has a detailed plan for marshalling a national COVID-19 response. What's more, he has a real plan for health care that builds on the Affordable Care Act. He'll lower the age for Medicare eligibility to 60 and cut the cost of prescription drugs. He will protect Social Security.

Today, if we vote as though our lives depend on it — because they do — we can change the course of America, the world and our future.

In the last four years, Donald Trump — and the Republicans who lost their way and enabled him — have turned our country inside out.

We've especially seen the chickens come home to roost during 2020, a year that brought us this ravaging pandemic that went unchecked for too long thanks to Trump's lies, lack of focus and nonexistent leadership; a year of tragic and unnecessary social unrest, torched by Trump's constant rhetoric of hate; and a year of increasing economy uncertainty, dogged as much by Trump's corruption as by his ineptitude.

Today, with a vote, we can stop it.

We may not know Wednesday — probably won't — what the ballot counts will show.

But that's OK. What we want now, finally, is a fair and full-counted election. Not a fast one.

What we want now is a groundswell of votes so decisive and Democratic as to give us change. Not a contrived result, like we saw in 2016 when Trump invited foreign interference to color opinions with social media misinformation that set us against our own common sense and each other. The resulting misguided populism in key states slanted electoral votes and gave Trump a win despite the fact that his opponent Hillary Clinton won 2.8 million more votes that he did.

Might it happen again? Sure. But not if enough of us get out and vote. Not if enough of us vote with our hearts and our heads.

Joe Biden is a man of character who offers a better and decent way.

He will foster respect for science and medicine, returning expertise — not lobbyists and lackeys — to government agencies. He will embrace, not thwart, the rule of law. He will mend fences with allies and isolate, not coddle, foreign adversaries who undermine our democracy. He will (and has) unequivocally condemned white supremacists. He will bring back the "great" to America that Trump has sullied.

Biden vows "to restore the soul of America." And with his steadiness, experience, compassion and values, we think he can deliver.

Go out and vote to save America. Vote for Joe Biden.

We may not know results on election night

We may not know results on election night
Election night usually ends with results. This year will probably be different due to record-breaking early voting and the deluge of voting by mail-in ballots. Read more on how the Times Free Press plans to handle this and where we get information on election results.

 

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