The defining moments in our country’s history are often preceded by crises. The birth of an independent nation, victory over the Axis powers, the passage of the Civil Rights Act, and fall of the Berlin Wall — these moments were born out of the winter camps at Valley Forge, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, bloody marches in Selma, and the depths of the Cold War. Each struggle has strengthened our collective resolve and woven into the fabric of our democracy a shared belief that no challenge is insurmountable.
Today, the United States is again being tested on multiple fronts. We continue to grapple with the disastrous health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, while also confronting centuries of racial and social injustice. These challenges pull at the seams of a nation that has been tearing for some time. Our resolve is once again being tested, but noticeably missing from this moment is strong leadership from the White House.
While each of us has an individual role to play in the collective struggle toward a more perfect union, the country is in dire need of transformational leadership from the top down. That is why 345 current MBA students from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania have signed this letter endorsing Vice President Joe Biden for President. President Trump frequently boasts of his time at Wharton, but entirely absent from his presidency are the fundamental lessons in leadership we have learned and the core values that we embody.
From the moment we started at Wharton, leadership was taught as a skill set — one that can be acquired and must be honed. It requires a willingness to listen, learn, and practice. Perhaps most importantly, leadership requires empathy, personal responsibility, and grit — a steadfast passion and perseverance in the pursuit and accomplishment of long-term goals.
Vice President Biden has spent his career and his life embodying these traits. From the New Castle County Council, to the U.S. Senate, to the Vice Presidency, and now as the Democratic nominee for President, Vice President Biden has shown and continues to show that what unites us is far greater than what divides us and that while progress is not always easy, it is attainable if we work together.
Vice President Biden also knows that success is the product of teamwork. Overcoming difficult obstacles and realizing opportunities requires building teams with diverse backgrounds and viewpoints, while instilling trust and empowering them to be innovative. Vice President Biden’s selection of Senator Kamala Harris to be his running mate, the inclusive slate of speakers we saw during the Democratic Convention, and his own campaign staff are early indicators of the diversity we can expect to see from a Biden administration.
This endorsement is grounded in the belief that Vice President Biden is not only the best candidate to lead us through this ongoing time of crisis, but also to heal, reform, and unite this nation. By doing so, we will be better positioned to tackle inequality of opportunity, racial injustice, immigration reform, and other domestic challenges, while reasserting our global leadership on issues like climate change, human rights, and the defense against authoritarianism. Acknowledging and addressing these challenges – whether domestic or global, social or economic, new or longstanding – requires real leadership.
When the Wharton community is able to safely return to campus next year, they will be greeted by a large banner still hanging from the ceiling of Huntsman Hall that reads “More Than Ever.” At this critical crossroads of our nation’s history, we need a principled leader that can deliver the truth, unite the country behind a shared vision, and carry us forward to a better America. We need Joe Biden in the White House, more than ever.
To view a full list of signatories, click here.