There are certainly people who are excited that Joe Biden is the Democratic nominee, but I’m not one of them. I was prepared to do my duty though and vote for a wet sock if necessary to remove President Trump from office. Yet over the last few weeks, I’ve started to see Biden/Harris as a different kind of problem- not as acute and immediately threatening as Trump, but pretty bad for me over the long term. If Trump is a 10 on the Bad-Shit-o-Meter, then Biden feels like a 7.
Joe Biden consistently worked against the interests of Black people for decades as a Senator. His opposition to busing, as well as his support for the 1994 crime bill, actively hurt Black people. My girlfriend though says that people deserve another chance, and have the capacity for change. I agree, so I went to look for anything Biden has done that’s been pro-Black since 1994. I couldn’t find anything that Biden has done that is as specifically pro-Black as his opposition to busing was anti-Black. The dude’s been in the national spotlight for fifty years, and I’m supposed to believe now that he’s on my side, when the best his record shows is that he stopped actively opposing my people?
“But there’s so much at stake here,” is how the counterargument generally goes. And it’s true- four more years of President Trump will be a catastrophe for the United States, and probably the world. I thought I needed to do anything to ensure that his reelection didn’t happen. This is the argument that politicians always make though; that if we don’t hold our nose this time, the opposition will destroy everything.
So let’s fast-forward to November 2024, presuming Biden wins. Vice President Kamala Harris is campaigning against the post-Trump Republican candidate (I think that this point needs underscoring: every Presidential candidate from now on is going to be a post-Trump candidate who learned alot from how he won and what he got away with). The argument is undoubtedly going to go, “She may not be perfect, but we can’t risk losing all the progress we’ve made!” And we’ll be asked to hold our noses again, and wait for the right time for the right candidate to appear.
When will that change occur unless the voters stop holding their noses? The Democrats had FOUR FUCKING YEARS to get their house in order in anticipation of this election, and somehow they still landed on Biden. He picked a fucking prosecutor as his running mate during protests against police. He has consistently disrespected Black voters this election. Maybe “You ain’t Black” was a gaff (it wasn’t), but “Unlike the Black community” was not. When someone says something twice, LISTEN TO THEM!
That’s just the race stuff. Folks- he was the senator from a literal tax haven. I recall when the Panama Papers dropped, and all of my liberal friends lamented, “Where’s the American outrage? Where’s the American demands for change?” Joe Biden helped run the state that fulfills that purpose for Americans. As corporations suck up increasingly absurd amounts of money, yes, I’m more than a little skeptical of his statements about opposing corporate interests when he supported them for 36 years.
Pulling back from Biden, I’m just tired of Democrats in general. I spend so much time railing against Republicans, but when I think about my own life and experiences, Democrats have had just as much control over it as Republicans. All of my elected officials are Democrats. Most of the institutions I’ve interacted with are broadly viewed as center-left or liberal. Yet I’ve spent my life feeling disrespected, undervalued and ignored by the very people who purport to be on my side.
Additionally, Connecticut 1) has one of the largest wealth gaps in the nation; 2) has the largest racial achievement gap in the nation; and 3) is one of the most segregated states in the nation. This, despite:
-Democrats controlling at least one house of the General Assembly every year since 1959 (excepting 1973-1974 and 1985-1986)
What I’m finally feeling like is that this didn’t happen despite Democrats, it happened because of Democrats. The difference between Democrats and Republicans is a matter of degrees when it comes to race, and the thermostat is set by how many Black people must be controlled. No, the state of Connecticut does not look like Mississippi, but the city of Hartford sure as hell does.
Ultimately, when I’m asked to vote for Joe Biden, I feel like I’m being asked to believe what he says, not what I see. The record is clear and consistent, right up until today. Yes, he’s saying the stuff about equality and justice, but he’s a politician. It’s his job to say what I want to hear. When I look at what he’s done though, it seems clear that he’ll be an improvement over Trump, but essentially continue the course of the nation. You know, the course which has led to outcomes like this:
This looks like a lose-lose to me, folks.