Ridin’ with Biden (there’s no other choice)

Because the past four years have effectively turned me into a political junkie, I just watched all four nights of the Democratic convention. All. Four. Nights. I recall seeing snippets of other conventions, the big speeches or such, but never before have I been inclined to consume this much political content at once.

I should point out that Joe Biden was not my first, second, or third choice for the Democratic ticket. I’m not even a Democrat (nor am I a Republican–don’t ever make that mistake!), though I don’t mind being labelled a Warren Democrat. I was all in for Liz, and I still think she would have made an excellent president. Of course, yes, I voted for Hillary in 2016, but I never felt that rah rah enthusiastic for Hillary, whereas I bought merch and volunteered for Liz (though my service was short since I signed up just before she left the race). I voted for Elizabeth Warren in the Florida primary even though by the time it came around, she had already dropped out.

I was shocked that Kamala Harris dropped out of the presidential race as early as she did. She was one of my favorites from the start. So I’m thrilled that Joe Biden has chosen her as his running mate. It helps me swallow the Biden pill a bit more easily, to be honest, because I don’t think we need a moderate, seventy-something white man as our next president. At all.

But. BUT. Think about the alternative. Think about the scenario in which Joe Biden loses this election. Think about who wins in that scenario and the consequences for all of us.

As I watched all four nights of the Democratic convention, I also watched the convention commentary on Twitter, as I’m prone to do, and I saw lots of criticism of the convention, of Biden and Harris, of some of the other invited speakers as well as of the exclusion of certain voices, and of the Democratic party in general. And most of the criticism I saw was valid. I agree with much of it.

But. BUT. Where we’re at right now is here: Joe Biden is the nominee. Kamala Harris is his running mate. The primaries are over. We each have only one vote left and our choices are either Biden or the current disaster holding the office of president. This is the reality. So I am now ridin’ with Biden, and I hope you are, too.

One thing I’ll say that the convention did for me was make me more aware of the character of Joe Biden and his wife, Jill. And I am very happy with what I’ve learned about them, because they are kind, empathetic, humble, strong people who actually care about other people and about our country overall. That doesn’t mean that I agree with Joe Biden on all things or that I won’t potentially criticize him once he takes office. Importantly, though, it does mean that even if I criticize him, I’m confident that he will not discount me as a citizen the way our current GOP leadership discounts anyone who disagrees with them. Furthermore, I’m not of the mindset that I need to agree with a candidate on the fine points of every issue facing our country because that’s an unrealistic expectation for any candidate. There is no perfect in politics.

If you didn’t see much of the convention, at least try to find the time to watch the speeches given by Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, and Joe Biden. I agree with the Obamas that we are at a crisis point right now and that we must vote in great numbers in November for Joe Biden if we’re going to hold on to any kind of democracy going forward. This is not the time to sit out the election as some kind of protest. If you don’t vote for Biden, you are effectively voting for the wannabe dictator currently in power who has already signaled that he’ll be looking for any excuse to invalidate the election results. The margin of victory for Biden must be indisputable.

I also recommend watching the roll call that featured citizens speaking from their own home states and territories. Look at and listen to the wonderful diversity of our vast country. Hear the reasons they give for why this election is so very important.

And, finally, watch this segment and this one, and you’ll understand in your heart why we need to vote for Joe Biden, imperfect as his candidacy is. We need empathy once again. We need kindness and caring. Did you skip over watching his speech? Go do it now. Notice how he reaches out to comfort the families of the more than 170,000 people in this country who have died from COVID-19, and then remember that the current inhabitant of OUR White House, the people’s house, has not once expressed simple condolences to those surviving family members. It is what it is.

Vote for Joe, y’all.

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