A Progressive Endorsement of Biden

By Chris Tharp

With the golden star of Bernie Sanders’ recent endorsement, it’s clear that Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee, and I will be voting for him. While he may not be your first choice, he’s now our only bet to stop this slow motion bus plunge of the Trump era. And, anyone with a lick of sense can see that, when contrasted with our current Babbler-in-Chief, he is clearly the better choice. This, to me, is a self-evident truth.

I’ve been witnessing a lot of nasty attacks on Biden from Bernie supporters and various folks on the left of late, causing me to raise eyebrows and scratch my head. If only some of these people exerted the same amount of energy going after the real enemy, Donald Trump, we may be getting somewhere. But we wouldn’t be on the left if we weren’t in love with internecine warfare, now would we?

“Just the court issue alone warrants a vote for Joe, but he also represents a return to normalcy, and an end to the crazy.”

I’m not going to sputter and rant and slam my head against a virtual wall in an attempt to convince my Biden-despising friends to vote for him. I’ve said it once before and I’ll say it again — If you can’t vote for the man, then don’t. But, most Bernie supporters will come around, just as they did before, and even if some don’t, Biden will more than make up for lost ground among working class moderates. After all, most of those who spend time online ravaging Uncle Joe don’t vote anyway. His most vociferous opponents (on “our” side) tend to be youngish – the least committed sector of the electorate come voting day. And they wonder why the Democratic establishment largely ignores them.

I do however, have zero time for the “Biden and Trump are just the same” load of horseshit that is lamentably being repeated by too many in the echo-y halls of social media. Anyone who’s not high on glue or hasn’t been kicked in the head by a draft horse knows what a lazy, childish, bad faith argument this is. A Biden administration would be better than this hyper-corrupt, miasma of a regime by almost any metric. Yes, it will be another centrist government, but one run with competence. Biden’s not a narcissist, nor a pathological liar. He brings decades of experience, judgment, and knowledge. He will surround himself with experts, and defer to them on issues beyond his ken. He’ll repair the landmine wound that is the US’s relationship with our allies and invest in vital infrastructure. He’ll take steps forward to improve our health care and education systems, and most importantly, safeguard the Supreme Court. Do you really want a 7-2 arch-conservative supermajority for decades to come?

Just the court issue alone warrants a vote for Joe, but he also represents a return to normalcy, and an end to the crazy. Whatever your personal take may be, many people look back to the Obama years with nostalgia and admiration, and Biden will offer a continuation of this. A third term, really. Even Noam Chomsky recognizes this.

While unseating an incumbent president is always a challenge (hasn’t happened since ’92 and that was with a big third party spoiler), I really believe Biden can win this thing. The electoral map will likely break as it has for the past twenty years or so. Clinton lost in 2016 by taking the upper Midwest and Pennsylvania for granted, which narrowly went red as a result; Biden polls very well in this part of the country. He grew up in Pennsylvania and tends to connect with those working class voters who helped tip the scales in Trump’s direction last time around. Win back Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, and that’s probably enough to hand him an EC victory. Trump can have Florida and Ohio.

“With a Biden presidency, there would be, if not a strongly sympathetic administration, at least one that can be reached, can be pressured. And that’s very important.”

— Noam Chomsky, Democracy Now, April 10, 2020

I think Joe Biden is greatly underestimated as a political powerhouse. Look no further than Super Tuesday to see what kind of resonance he holds with so many voters. Yes, there were other factors (party politics, fear of Sanders), but the bush league pundits were claiming to watch rigor mortis set into his campaign just days before.

The fact is Joe Biden carries very little or none of the baggage that followed around Hillary Clinton like an airborne toxic event. Rightly or wrongly, she was widely reviled, and still managed to win the popular vote by over three million votes. People tend to like Uncle Joe, and even if he doesn’t light a bonfire in the feels, he exudes a sense of empathy and a baseline of decency that resonates with much of the electorate. This is his secret weapon.

And look who he’s up against: an ignorant narcissist who lacks even trace elements of empathy or decency. This will offer up a stark choice, one that, after a four year hellmouth of lies and obscenity, could tilt Joe’s way.

The goal is to stop Trump. That’s it. Everything else is subservient to that simple directive: Stop Trump. The way we do this is by electing Joseph Biden as president come November.