Guest Columnist

Kerry: Biden can put a chaotic world back on course

John Kerry speaks at a rally for Joe Biden at his campaign office in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. The Iowa Cau
John Kerry speaks at a rally for Joe Biden at his campaign office in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. The Iowa Caucus will be held on Monday, Feb. 3. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

Sixteen years ago, Iowa was my home-away-from-home. I crisscrossed your state. I got to know the “City of Five Seasons” — and Iived and breathed Iowa’s sixth season, too: the presidential caucuses.

I’d never dare tell an Iowan how to vote, but I do want to share with you how and why I came to my decision to back Joe Biden now. I’ve worked up-close with him for decades — but I’m not supporting Joe because I’ve known him so long, but because I know him so well. I believe that more than any candidate, he has the strength to beat Trump and the unique ability to put back together the world Trump has smashed apart.

So much damage has been done.

In the Obama-Biden Administration, we invested years uniting the world to win a tough agreement that tackled Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Trump tore it up and is now pushing us to the brink of military conflict.

We built a diplomatic strategy to beat ISIL, stripping terrorists of territory and power. Trump abandoned our Kurdish partners, shredded American credibility, and now Iraq is voting to expel us

We rallied more than 180 nations around the Paris Climate Agreement, to fight the existential crisis that has already hit Iowa with record floods and droughts. Trump backed out, denies science, and is gutting environmental protections.

Joe Biden wasn’t just key to all the progress we made back then. He has the vision, know-how, and global relationships to start reversing Trump’s havoc now.

Solutions won’t be easy or automatic for the next President. Democrats are lucky to have many principled candidates in this race — but only Joe has sat in the Situation Room and helped make some of the hardest, loneliest decisions of a presidency. Only Joe spent decades leading the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, logging hundreds of thousands of miles to build American diplomatic strength.

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I was there — I served and traveled with him in the Senate and Administration. I saw him stand up to our adversaries, stand with our allies, and stand against the abuse of power. I saw how respected he is in the world.

I also saw Joe win fights that needed fighting at home: passing the landmark Violence Against Women Act; defeating the NRA with the assault weapons ban; and finding the votes to pass the Affordable Care Act, providing health coverage to nearly 250,000 uninsured Iowans and millions more American families.

I’ve seen Joe tested in life, and know his moral center. He has always fought for the dignity of work and the American dream. He never quit, even as his beloved son lost a heartbreaking battle for his life. For Joe, loyalty isn’t something you demand of others, it’s something you give, to your country and your fellow humans.

Amid tday’s cynicism and chaos, we need a president like Joe with the honor and strength to revive America and restore our country’s soul. To rebuild a strong middle class and reward work. To invest in Iowa biofuels, and up the ante in the fight against climate change.

It’s time to put an end to Donald Trump’s dangerous tenure — and Iowa can cast the first votes to put character and a steady hand back in the White House. When you caucus, please don’t just send a message — send us a president who knows how to unify our country and put the world back together, whose lifetime of service proves he knows how to fight and win. Send us Joe Biden.

John Kerry is the former U.S. secretary of state and U.S. senator from Massachusetts. He was the Democratic nominee for president in 2004.

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