February 20, 2024

There’s only two real candidates for President in our upcoming election.

Okay, okay, there’s a bunch of candidates in 2024, of course—Jill Stein, Dean Phillips, Cornel West, RFK, Jr., Marianne Williamson, and then Joe Biden, Donald Trump, and Nikki Haley.

But only two of them both have a chance in hell—and believe in, and understand, democratic principles. One of them is Nikki Haley, and one of them is President Joe Biden. (Why is Nikki Haley still running? Does she really have a “chance in hell”? I say the answer to both is that a significant portion of Trump’s would-be supporters have said they’ll leave him if he’s indicted. So she stays in, ready to step up if he’s found responsible for his many crimes).

Now, that doesn’t mean I support both Haley and Biden, or that you should either. I don’t support Nikki, I don’t like her policies, and I don’t respect her craven assurances to the Trump base. But she gets democracy, and respects it on some baaasic level.

And I do heartily support Biden (here’s a bit about why), and do believe him to be a great president in a trying time, stabilizing and rescuing a democracy on the brink. But that doesn’t mean I don’t disagree with his compromises or policies, at times. We’re not in the worship business (unless you’re a cultist Trump voter, perhaps).

But treating President Donald Trump as a serious candidate is to ignore his history as a law-breaker, rapist, con man, and would-be demagogue interested not in democracy, not even in his own supporters, but only in himself. He’s a candidate in this democracy—but not a candidate for democracy. And if he wins, and gets his way, we can kiss democracy good bye. That’s not paranoia, or hype—that’s his plan.

So why do so many seemingly-reasonable folks view Trump as just another flavor of ice cream, like any other? Sidle up to the case and ask for a sample? He’s not ice cream. He’s toxic sludge.

So what can Biden do to bring such voters back to the fold?

Maybe it’s not on Biden to “convince” them. Maybe it’s on them to check themselves—as to why they’re “leaning” toward autocracy, tyranny, and away from republican with a little “r” principles. Maybe it has something to do with too much media treating this like a normal democratic with a little “d” election with two democratic candidates.

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