When I wrote “Tell Your Mee-Maw And Them To Break Up With Joe Biden. I’m Bored,” I did so knowing that it was going to be incredibly difficult for Black Americans under the age of 40 to get their parents to see their political point of view. As many of us are learning now as we beg and plead for our over 65 parents to stay the hell at home, it can be so unnecessarily hard to get someone set in their ways to listen to you. But, it was always more up to the candidates themselves to do the convincing and to upend Biden’s claim to the nomination.
Bernie Sanders had come the closest, and for about a week before Super Tuesday, it looked as though Sanders was going to become the nominee. And then the very Mee-Maw’s and them that I spoke of swatted that down. Again, I’m not surprised. In the months that followed that piece, I did hear a few “Joe ain’t got it no more” comments from older Blacks, but no real break from him. Many of us tried to steer them in a more progressive direction, but it didn’t stick. Some of that can be attributed to the candidates not doing enough to reach the sort of voters that actually vote in the primaries.
No matter, though, it’s over. Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. I take no joy in writing that sentence. I have the paper trail to prove it. Nonetheless, Joe Biden told me.
Granted, Sanders has not bowed out of the race yet. Unlike some, I don’t necessarily believe Sanders needs to drop out of the race this very second. Even if the outcome is determined, the remaining states with contests need to settle their respective primary dates. Let them finish that as Sanders cools his supporters and pushes Biden and the Democratic Party towards a more progressive agenda. Sanders should join Elizabeth Warren in using his position as a Senator to advocate the sort of policies needed to handle the coronavirus pandemic, but he has already been quieting his campaign (no ads against Joe, no longer asking for donations in campaign emails, etc.) down so some of the critiques feel harsh.
Let Sanders close shop on his terms while the rest of us go through the various stages necessary of grief.
I won’t bother engaging in intra-party fighting at a time like this, but I will say this is the outcome the party wanted so they need to plan accordingly. Already, Nancy Pelosi sounds like a parody in how she’s shutting down proposals to give Americans the cash they need. If would behoove Biden to sound less like her and more like Elizabeth Warren, who not only is leading the charge with releasing policy after policy to handle the pandemic as it accelerates, her entire campaign is themed around corruption.
Potentially hundreds of thousands of Americans may die because of the corruption of Donald Trump and the Republican Party as a whole. Biden is many things, and while I can already hear a conservative barking back “BURISMA” and “HUNTER BIDEN” on command, hopefully, a man that’s been in politics for 9000 years doesn’t drill it into the public’s mind that these people are letting them die as they make money.
Now, admitting defeat doesn’t mean I am suddenly a Joe Biden stan. I continue to believe “Joe Biden Is Not The Answer,” but accept the majority feels otherwise. Yet, I don’t want him to fail as others do nor will I even entertain the thought of not voting or voting third party. Some people will want to engage in such a debate; some already have started. That’s their right, but my level of interest in such a topic expires at the end of this sentence.
I don’t want Joe Biden, but I don’t want another second of Donald Trump. So I need Joe Biden to do the following: stay awake. Lately, he’s been acting like he’s taken regular swigs of ginseng, but he could have been trolling this whole time. Regardless, stay awake. And be less terrible. That means let us smoke weed, give real consideration to student loan debt cancellation, apologize to Anita Hill already, stop pretending Medicare for All is so impossible, use the fed to guarantee reproductive rights, do every single thing every expert tells you to do to atone for mass incarceration, and fix your damn bankruptcy bill. I could go on, but you get the point.
Biden doesn’t have to do any of this, but when a campaign’s success speaks less about a candidate’s performance throughout the campaign but the privilege he coasted on, that candidate ought to want to do better, and move more forwardly in this thinking and governing.
I liken voting for Biden in the general election to taking me to Church’s when I clearly asked for Popeye’s or even the Chick-fil-A where the Black gay boy who hooks me up with sauce works: I’ll make the most of this, but you know this is too greasy for me.