We need a political miracle now
|FEB 11, 2024
The issue of the President’s mental acuity did not just spring upon us with the publication of Robert Hur’s report. The possible problems with Biden’s age have been there for all to see, and for months. What’s changed is that Democrats suddenly feel permission to mention it, as though they’ve awakened from a trance and are finally willing to say, “Oh yeah, there might be a problem.”
The directive from on high that there would be a coronation and not a democratic primary created such a mental haze among Democrats, even otherwise thinking adults went around robotically uttering for months, “It has to be Biden.” To think otherwise was considered disloyal to the Democratic cause. This makes no logical sense and never did, but the DNC-sponsored PR concoction was successful at forming a thick blanket of denial over the eyes of many who should have known better. People acted as though allowing themselves to even consider that Biden might not be the best candidate was traitorous to the Republic!
We needed to suppress democracy in order to save democracy, so went the story. And what is astonishing is how many people bought it.
So where does that leave us now?
For months the Republicans have taken up all the oxygen, with Town Halls and media appearances and mainstream coverage galore. Meanwhile, no Democratic candidate other than the President was given real airtime and the President himself wouldn’t even do a Super Bowl Sunday interview. The message of the President’s campaign – other than that he’s not Trump! – seems to be, more than anything, that voters simply need to be grateful. I kid you not, that’s apparently their pitch. The thinking goes that people will look at all this logically, realize how much good the President has done for the economy and so forth, and then re-elect him in a landslide. Or a razor thin margin. Either will do.
The geniuses who came up with that line of thinking are the same ones who delivered Trump to us the first time, you realize. I am more than glad to give Biden credit where credit is due, but someone needs to tell those guys that the part of the brain that rationally analyses an issue is not the same part of the brain that decides who to vote for. The truth is, way too few of the achievements of the Biden administration have viscerally changed the lives or uplifted the economic circumstances of the average American in a way that makes them want to jump up with joy and re-elect him in November. That is simple fact.
The way to defeat Trump is not by bragging about the past, but by promising Americans a better future. When people are in despair, just telling them to be grateful hardly does the trick. It appears to me that the Biden campaign is run by too many people for whom Sunday brunch at a high-end eatery is easily affordable; for whatever reason, they seem not to have gotten the memo that millions of people are struggling, lives are falling apart, and those political geniuses over there aren’t really doing a damn thing about it. They’ll give a little here and a little there, but that is way too little when 39 per cent of Americans are regularly skipping meals in order to pay for housing and half of all renters cannot afford their rent. The way to win in 2024 is not with a milquetoast “Let’s finish the job” when the majority of people can’t even tell you exactly what the job is. The way for Democrats to win in 2024 is with a bold agenda of economic reform and new beginnings.
When people are feeling hopeless, they tend to grab for whatever hand seems capable of delivering them from their despair. To many of us Trump feels like the last person we would look to for justice or delivery, but history makes clear that it’s at just such times as these that the political strongman becomes most attractive. People too easily confuse toughness for actual strength, and they always have. While Democrats might agree that Trump is the last person who should regain the White House, we might ask ourselves why we ourselves have been so unwilling to consider whether Biden was actually the best candidate to defeat him. A robust primary is the way to sort that out, and the Democratic Party would not allow one. I heard Bob Costa on the Bill Maher show on Friday say that the Republicans have been shameless, but the Democrats have been feckless. I concur.
We’re in a pickle now, and we need a political miracle. Fortunately miracles do happen and I for one am holding out for one.