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Paul Kaplan: Caring about the collective good

  • Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden arrives for a tour at the Plumbers Local Union No. 27 training center, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Erie, Pa.  Jack Hanrahan/Erie Times-News via AP


Thursday, November 12, 2020

In your otherwise exemplary endorsement of Joe Biden, you reference, and seemingly accept as valid, a question common during presidential races: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Assuming this to be an important factor in my vote is deeply insulting. It assumes that all I care about is myself and my financial well-being.

Yes, I am glad that I have a job that pays my bills. But I also care about the millions who are not so lucky. I care about my daughters and all other women who soon are likely to lose the right to choose. I care about the millions who may lose their health care under a second Trump administration. I care about the degradation of the environment, both physical and spiritual, with the validation of hate and prejudice coming from the White House. I care about the people and wildlife suffering from climate change-intensified fire and storm.

The list goes on and on. And that’s just within our borders. Am I presumed to have no feelings about the Central Americans forced off their land by drought? I would care, even if they were not banging in vain on our border walls. All living things throughout the world live beneath a grand quilt, so to speak, and the actions of our leaders can tear it apart or keep it strong and protective. We have seen enough rending. It is time to sew. Only at that time will I be better off.

Paul Kaplan

Amherst