Why are Some Democrats Endorsing Trump?
American politics don’t do nuance. As some Democrats publicly declare their aversion to Joe Biden, the legacy of the Sanders campaign is already going up in smoke.
Visionaries have the unfortunate tendency of being too early for everything. But when the social democracy you are working toward is already a reality elsewhere, you keep pushing until you get results. This is what Bernie Sanders dedicated his life to.
In a culture ruled by appearances, individualism, and capitalism, Sanders was always going to be an irritant. Although he doesn’t speak in carefully crafted sound bites or loses himself in empty verbiage, he has a knack for cutting through bullshit and focusing on what matters most: health care and education. Without either, employment prospects and social mobility remain limited and tentative.
Bernie Sanders encouraged us to imagine a more equitable society, against all odds. And the odds have worsened since the beginning of the Trump presidency. The hard-earned progress of his predecessor has been slowly but systematically rolled back and entire categories of humans are being banned from entry, incarcerated, or deported despite having served in the US armed forces.
Greed glows orange, grabby, glib, grisly. But Trump’s bungling of the pandemic isn’t a disaster for everyone. Elected officials are more interested in profiteering than keeping their constituents safe. This is normal and acceptable in 2020 America and the current administration is leading by example.
And we still can’t accept — and much less acknowledge — there are also Democrats on the make lining their pockets by pushing back against Joe Biden even though he’s the only presidential candidate left. Nothing is more powerful than outrage, especially when there are allegations of sexual misconduct. We forget allegations aren’t facts and trial by media, bloggers, and bots isn’t due process.
But taking a stand in print against Biden pays now, even if it ends up costing us our democracy later.
After the ‘basket of deplorables’, there’s an internet of detestables, i.e. Democrats who are doing Trump’s bidding for free. How do you even begin to parse so many shades of dumb when failing to rally behind Biden is the quickest way to make sure nothing changes for the better? Otherwise it probably would have happened by now. Four years is a decent trial period for any job.
Biden bashers are a boon and blessing to the Trump campaign: They cost nothing and work from the inside. Isn’t this exactly what Bernie Sanders tried to prevent by stepping aside gracefully? America needs an intervention and if he wasn’t going to be the one leading it, he certainly wasn’t going to be the one to hinder it either.
So why can’t the rest of us follow suit?
Selfishness runs deep and many still aren’t self-aware enough to understand the common good overrides our emotions. At some point though, we need to behave like grown-ups and go with the best person for the job. Suddenly, there’s only one. If Biden’s detractors accuse him of having a track record in keeping Republicans happy, what if this made him uniquely equipped to bring American together and mitigate the damage of the Trump presidency?
This isn’t about guilting anyone into voting for a candidate they do not like, it’s about finding our civic conscience and understand that sacrificing our personal preference for the common good is the only possible course of action. Not voting, casting a blank vote, or voting for Trump out of spite isn’t the intelligent option: It’s a Trumpesque temper tantrum.
Can America really take that risk? Didn’t we pledge to resist that? Don’t those of us who supported Bernie Sanders at least owe him to keep up the fight against Trump even if he’s no longer part of it? The campaign was never about Bernie himself but about ideas, about us. With every election, there’s hope for progress. Or at least there used to be until we began to long for a safe pair of hands.
Are those Donald Trump’s? Is he the most honest representation of American values we’ve had to date? Always more grift, always more greed, always more drama unfolding one tweet at a time.
Is this us now?
If not, why reject Biden?
I’m a French-American writer, journalist, and editor now based in the Netherlands. To continue the conversation, follow the bird. For email and everything else, deets in bio.