America knows Joe Biden is thoroughly decent and compassionate, steeled by personal tragedy, with 47 years of exemplary public service without becoming rich in the process. America also knows Donald Trump is amoral, self-absorbed and a dictator wannabe, raised in privilege, with a corrupt presidency riddled with convicted felons, a bungled management of the pandemic that has killed 200,000, and a resulting economy driven into depression. Let’s examine the facts.

Donald Trump has not kept his promises to build a great wall and get Mexico to pay for it, boost the economy with his massive tax cuts for the rich, bring manufacturing back from overseas, replace Obamacare, protect Social Security and Medicare, release his tax returns, or drain the swamp. Instead he assembled the most corrupt, inept administration in our history.

Domestically Trump has hollowed out government expertise, institutions and safeguards; replaced highly respected officials with incompetent sycophants; undermined the rule of law; undercut and bent to his will the CDC, CIA, FDA, FBI and departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Justice and State. He eliminated protective environmental, health and safety regulations; ignored an out-of-control pandemic; brought our economy to its knees; and devastated our agricultural and other industries in the trade war with China. He followed Vladimir Putin’s game plan to undermine our democracy through confusion, divisiveness and fear; fanned the flames of hatred and racism for political purposes; attacked opponents while protecting loyal lawbreakers; and enriched his own wealth at every turn. He has no party platform except whatever he alone decides to do.

Internationally, Trump reduced our standing as global leader to one pitied around the world, weakened NATO alliances and demeaned longstanding allies. He withdrew from the Iran Peace Agreement that stopped their nuclear weapons development, the Trans-Pacific Partnership that counters Chinese global influence, and the World Health Organization that fights pandemics. He cozied up to dictators, condoned and solicited foreign interference in our elections, refused to criticize Putin for any aggressive actions, and greatly reduced crucial troop levels that kept him in check. Trump is a reckless, if not compromised, commander-in-chief.

Joe Biden has a proven record as a senator, diplomat and statesman. He forged global alliances and befriended world leaders. He is recognized for working across the aisle to get things done, “as good a man as God ever created,” said Lindsey Graham. It was Biden who shepherded legislation against crime, the Violence Against Women Act and the Affordable Care Act through Congress, and prevented costly government shutdowns. Where he misjudged in the past, he acknowledged his mistakes, something Trump cannot do.

Biden is a moderate who has outlined big-picture, detailed plans for pandemic control, economic recovery, an equitable tax system, a rebuilt infrastructure and education reforms. He will restore global leadership on climate change, fair trade, immigration, systemic racism, criminal justice, the rule of law and faith in one another.

If we are still a fair-minded, rational people, our decision Nov. 3 should be easy and overwhelming, regardless of deplorable election interference. America, please vote smart and save our democratic republic. This may be our last chance.

David Estey is a fine arts painter who lives in Belfast. He is a former regional public affairs manager for the Internal Revenue Service.