Rationalizing Joe Biden

A case for the least exciting Democratic nominee in decades


Joe Biden speaking with attendees at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum hosted by Everytown for Gun Safety (Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr)

Colter Adams, Managing Editor

The 2020 primary was supposed to usher in a new era for the Democratic Party, more reflective of the diverse and progressive coalition it claims to represent. 

Instead- twenty-six democrats, and over a billion dollars later- the field has winnowed to two septuagenarian white men, each with sluggish and deeply wounded campaigns.

Bernie Sanders is out for the count, crippled by an inability to broaden his coalition beyond an overzealous progressive base, and COVID-induced aversion towards revolutionary politics. Joe Biden, sequestered in his home without a bully pulpit, has received more national coverage for sexual assault allegations than his proposals to address the current crisis. He is routinely outshined by the steely confidence and competency of workhorse governors such as Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) and Gavin Newsome (D-CA).

However, in spite of all his faults, Joe Biden must win in November.

The very real possibility of a second Trump term is more than unsavory and embarrassing. It would be outright catastrophic. We are in the midst of the greatest economic, health, and regulatory challenge our nation has ever faced, and we have a President who embodies both the vacillating politics of Herbert Hoover and the sheer incompetence of George Bush- and far worse. 

As cases of COVID-19 in the United States multiply exponentially, Trump simply cannot resist distorting facts and medical advice to suit his egocentric vision. His brazen dismantling of federal oversight reflects continued administrative corruption and graft at the highest levels of government, at the worst possible time. With a sizable segment of the public that trusts him blindly, if we provide Trump with the chance to “reopen America ” before the disease is controlled, hundreds of thousands more could die. 

If elected, Joe Biden will be a caretaker president. He will offer no systemic change, no radical vision, no economic revolution. And while I am the first to demand a major overhaul of a government that works for the privileged few, the stability of a Biden presidency is the best we can hope for in the current political climate. 

Even before the outbreak, we were wrong to assume that four years after Hillary Clinton’s failure to become the first female President, the Democratic base would be ready for the prophetic “next Obama.” The candidates who most embodied his energized campaign ethic and groundbreaking candidacy didn’t last past Super Tuesday. A gay mayor from Indiana with almost a hundred million dollars raised. A black female prosecutor from California with a penchant for bold speeches. A school-teacher turned economic reformer and progressive icon. All shot down as unelectable. 

Joe Biden – safe, trusted, and recognized – was an inevitability in the primary. We all have a moral obligation to ensure these traits carry him to victory come November.