Robert Redford backs Biden, warns of ‘slide toward autocracy’ if Trump wins
Actor and director Robert Redford endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president in a Wednesday op-ed, saying the presumptive Democratic nominee would restore “empathy and ethics” to the office.
While the “All Is Lost” star is a longtime environmentalist and LGBTQ rights activist, he wrote on CNN that he doesn’t “make a practice of publicly announcing my vote. But this election year is different.”
The reelection of President Trump, Redford wrote, would “accelerate our slide toward autocracy. It would be taken as free license to punish more so-called ‘traitors’ and wage more petty vendettas — with the full weight of the Justice Department behind them.”
Redford predicted “untold damage” to the environment under a second Trump term, citing the president’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and rollback of Obama-era energy and environmental regulations.
In contrast, he wrote, “Biden leads with his heart. I don’t mean that in a soft and sentimental way. I’m talking about a fierce compassion — the kind that fuels him, that drives him to fight against racial and economic injustice, that won’t let him rest while people are struggling.”
Redford compared the current political moment to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s radio addresses in the 1940s, which he wrote demonstrated “what it was like to have a president with a strong moral compass.”
“As FDR showed, empathy and ethics are not signs of weakness. They’re signs of strength. I think Americans are coming back to that view,” he wrote. “Despite Trump — despite his daily efforts to divide us — I see much of the country beginning to reunite again, the way it did when I was a kid,” he added, specifically pointing to protests against racism and police brutality that have swept the country this summer.
“These acts of compassion and kindness make our country stronger,” Redford wrote. “This November, we have a chance to make it stronger still — by choosing a president who is consistent with our values, and whose moral compass points toward justice.”
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