It is abundantly clear that to save our country and resume our place of leadership in the world we must elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
Like others during the Democratic primary I wavered over who was the right person to lead our party. I hosted fundraisers for Pete Buttigieg and attended two for Kamala Harris and was incredibly impressed with both. Having met Joe Biden before, I was a fan but skeptical about whether he was the right person for 2020. Since winning the Democratic nomination he has proven beyond a doubt he has the right stuff. His innate decency, honesty, and empathy are just what our country needs to begin to heal from four years of Donald Trump and his sycophants.
As the campaign reaches its zenith, Biden is getting stronger. His recent Florida town hall was pitch perfect as was his Gettysburg speech, maybe the best of his career. He is hitting all the right notes in his campaign appearances in the swing states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. His debate performance, against a deranged president, was impressive and moved some undecided voters to him.
Then there’s Kamala Harris. Biden gets huge kudos for asking her to join him on the ticket. She has been beyond impressive as she navigates the role, never an easy one, but even harder for the first African-American woman and only the fourth woman ever on a presidential ticket. She walks a tightrope each day. Harris is a strong personality with a powerful voice for progress in her own right. She has tempered her own voice to ensure she doesn’t make her own headlines especially now that the Biden/Harris ticket is ahead and gaining momentum. She handled Mike Pence just right in their debate showing him off as a bully. Her most memorable line may have been, “Excuse me I am talking,” something women have had to say to arrogant men who tried talking over them disrespectfully for years. She made all the points she wanted to make and did it with class.
She used her membership on the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Amy Coney Barrett hearings to great effect. Again, it was not an easy task to challenge another woman and to make the points she needed to make. I am sure there were some pithy remarks she would have liked to make but she held her tongue and spoke eloquently to the American people using her time to question Barrett and highlight issues including healthcare and the Affordable Care Act, marriage equality, and the survival of Roe v. Wade.
It has become clear this election is a referendum on Donald Trump with much focus on his mishandling of COVID. As we approach 250,000 dead and more than eight million infected, Americans understand Trump is responsible for so much of this devastation. Biden recently said, “President Trump says he lied to the American people so as not to panic them.” Biden went on to say correctly “The American people don’t panic it was Trump who panicked.”
The referendum on Trump is a major part of why Democrats are doing so well across the nation but the second half of the equation are Biden and Harris proving every time they speak they are capable of leading the country. Even Rudy Giuliani’s effort to tag Biden and his son with wrongdoing is backfiring as it appears Rudy was duped by the Russians. Even his daughter tells us to disregard him.
So as we enter the last two weeks of the campaign let us as Democrats, independents and decent Republicans stay strong and stay the course. We are looking toward a major win with Democrats taking back not only the White House but the Senate. If we can do that we will reclaim our country, our democracy, and show the world Donald Trump was an aberration, not who we are. We can once again move forward on issues such as healthcare, climate change, infrastructure, LGBTQ rights, and immigration. We can relegate Trump and his sycophants to the dustbin of history where they truly belong.
Peter Rosenstein is a longtime LGBTQ right and Democratic Party activist. He writes regularly for the Blade.