“It Is What It Is” – Trump-- Pence Must be Defeated “Bigly” by the Biden-Harris Ticket August 23, 2020
In this time of the coronavirus pandemic, the 8/17-20/2020 Democratic National Convention, was not the usual gathering of massive delegate crowds packed together in an auditorium or arena decorated with colorful bunting. Instead, most of the speeches were done in private studios throughout the country. When Presidential nominee Joe Biden, his wife Jill, VP running mate Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff appeared on stage, they socially distanced themselves and were seen wearing masks. Unlike Donald and his “Team Red,” Democrats pay attention to science and the advice of health experts. This convention, however, was one of the best ones I have ever seen. Even the roll call of the states, normally a boring procedure, displayed a diverse economic and social America at its best. Witness the AL delegation’s tribute to the late Cong. John Lewis with its showing of Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge. Lewis, then a young civil rights activist, before he later became a Democratic Congressman from Atlanta, GA, was severely beaten by state troopers in 1965 while marching there for voting rights and suffered a fractured skull. Everyone, of course, is still talking about RI’s tribute to its calamari and wondering what dishes that delegation will “cook up” at future Democratic conventions.
On 8/17/2020, the convention’s first night, former First Lady Michelle Obama gave a powerful speech that tore into Demagogue Donald. She critically went at him by stating, “Whenever we look to this White House for leadership or consolation or any semblance of steadiness, what we get is chaos and division and a total lack of empathy.” Michelle Obama added, “Let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can. Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is (nytimes.com, Saul, S. 8/17/20).” Yes, Michelle Obama. “It is what it is.” The Trump-Pence ticket must be “bigly” defeated this 11/2020 by the Biden-Harris ticket.
On 8/19/2020, Michelle’s husband former President Barack Obama, always known for his oratory, did not disappoint. Obama went for Donald’s political jugular. Obama said it all, “Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t. The consequences of that failure are severe. One hundred seventy thousand Americans dead. Millions of jobs gone.” Obama praised his own 2008 VP pick of Joe Biden. He lauded Biden’s character and sharply contrasted it with Demagogue Donald’s (See nytimes.com, Herndon & Lerer, 8/20/20). Translation: Character counts. Our present Oval Office occupant doesn’t have character and lacks the gray matter to learn anything in the world’s most important job. “It is what it is.” The Trump-Pence ticket must be “bigly” defeated this 11/2020 by the Biden-Harris ticket.
After Barack Obama spoke, Biden’s VP nominee CA Senator Kamala Harris introduced herself to millions of Americans. She spoke of being the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants. She stated she would strive to restore the principles of inclusivity after four years of divisiveness under Trump. Harris recalled her late mother as teaching her sister and her to “be conscious and compassionate about the struggles of all people and to believe that the fight for justice is a shared responsibility.” Harris credited her mother with her decision to become a prosecutor who as District Attorney and CA Attorney General tried to reform the criminal justice system from within. Harris noted that both she and former President Joe Biden share “a vision of our nation as a ‘beloved community,’(words often used by Cong. John Lewis),--- where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love. Harris added, Invoking the memory of George Floyd, senselessly and brutally killed by Minneapolis police, Harris asked her fellow Americans to join her in combatting racism and xenophobia by declaring, “There is no vaccine for racism. We’ve got to do the work. For George Floyd. For Breonna Taylor (a black woman also senselessly killed by police in TN), for the lives of too many others to name—for our children, for all of us. We’ve got to do the work to fulfill that promise of equal justice under law. Because, none of us are free until all of us are free (cnn.com, Reston & Collinson, 8/19/20).” Before millions watching on television, Harris made her case beyond any “reasonable doubt” to fire racist/inept Trump and his gang of “Team Red” enablers. “It is what it is.” The Trump-Pence ticket must be “bigly” defeated this 11/2020 by the Biden-Harris ticket. Jill Biden, Joe’s wife, gave a fine speech on the convention’s second night. In her address, she described how her husband’s love for his family and his ability to get back to work after their son Beau’s death from brain cancer in 2015 inspired her to keep going. She spoke of Biden’s love and ability to overcome tragedies, qualities needed to heal a divided America (See cnn.com, 8/18/20, Reston & Collinson).
The four-day Democratic convention included many fine speakers. However, the major speech everyone was waiting for came on the convention’s closing day, 8/20/2020. Former Obama VP Joe Biden then accepted his party’s nomination for the presidency. Too many pundits and far too many Democrats seemed to believe that Demagogue Donald’s nickname for Biden, “Sleepy Joe,” correctly described him as not “there” mentally, and unfit for serving in the White House. Trump and Team have been trying to smear Biden as a doddering senile individual being controlled by Democratic left-wing radicals. Biden proved them wrong! In the words of influential pundit Chris Cillizza, Biden did something “I did not think he could do.” Biden was “charismatic, forceful, emotional, and powerful.” Cillizza aptly added, “Anyone who watched that speech would have no doubt as to whether Biden is ready, willing, and able to do the job for which he is running.” Cillizza stated, “I admit I didn’t think Biden had it in him to deliver a speech that good. I was wrong (cnn.com, Cillizza, 8/21/20).” Cillizza, along with many others are now eating a “y uu ge” amounts of political crow. CNN political writers Stephen Collinson and Maeve Reston stated that Biden’s smooth performance made the Trump senility/dementia attacks against Biden seem like an “expectations-lowering miscalculation (cnn.com, 8/21/20).” Even Trump Propaganda Channel FOX News panelists called Biden’s convention speech “A Home Run.” Even wacko far-right Laura Ingraham told Donald Jr. that Biden’s speech “did beat expectations.” Message to Trump supporters—Biden’s awesome speech “is what it is.”
In his half a century of politics, Biden gave the best, most powerful, and consequential speech of his career. He promised to be “an ally of the light, not the darkness.” He spoke for less than 25 minutes, a relatively short convention acceptance speech, but packed into that time powerful points that should resonate. Although he never mentioned Trump by name, Biden hammered him for his performance and chaos. He rightly accused Trump of “failing to protect us.” Biden promised on Day One of his administration to implement a plan to confront the terrible coronavirus pandemic that has left over 170,000 Americans dead and destroyed our economy. He called for confronting climate change and for attacking racial injustice (latimes.com, Halper & Barabak, 8/21/20). He promised to be a President for all of America, not just for his own base, as is Trump. Biden called this moment where we must end Trump’s failures “not a partisan moment, but an American one (cnn. com, Collinson & Reston, 8/21/20).”
In laying out his vision, Biden stated that in “our darkest moments we’ve made great progress. I believe we’re poised to make great progress again. That we can find the light once more.” Biden spoke eloquently about the country’s deep racial divisions. His eyes blazed and his voice tightened as he spoke about the fatal white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA three summers ago where neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and other sick bigots waved torches and spouted racial and anti-Semitic bile. When Biden heard Trump refuse to condemn such hatred and violence, and, instead, stated there were “very fine people on both sides,” he decided he had to run in 2020. In Biden’s words, to do nothing at that time would make me complicit in Trump’s “world view.” In Biden’s strong words, “I can never remain silent or complicit (latimes.com, Halper & Baraback, 8/21/20).” Although raised in an Irish Catholic family, Biden’s father often talked about what had happened to the Jews during the Holocaust. Biden stated his father could never understand “how people could be persecuted just for being who they were. The world was wrong—failing to respond to Hitler’s atrocities against the Jews—and we should be ashamed.” His father added, “We each had a personal responsibility, to speak out when we saw that kind of wrong (“Promises To Keep,”Biden, J).” Biden took both of his sons, Beau and Hunter, as well as his grandchildren to the former Nazi Dachau concentration camp, now a memorial near Munich, Germany, to make them understand what happens when people remain silent in the face of evil (“Promise Me, Dad,” Biden, J.). This is Joe Biden, a man of strong moral convictions. Biden, unlike Trump, will stand up to human rights violators, racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and foreign dictators. He “is what he is.”
And Biden is first and foremost, a decent empathetic person, unlike Demagogue Donald. He understands suffering. To quote Bill Clinton, Biden “feels people’s pain.” In 12/1972, just after he won an upset election victory to the U.S. Senate, his first wife Neilia and baby daughter Naomi were tragically killed when their car was hit by a tractor-trailer. Sons Beau and Hunter suffered serious injuries and Biden took his Senate oath of office next to their hospital beds. In 1988, Biden suffered two life-threatening brain aneurysms and underwent two delicate brain surgeries. He also had a blood clot that nearly killed him. In 2015, Biden’s 46-year old son Beau lost his nearly two- year battle with brain cancer ( Ben Cramer, “What It Takes,” Biden, “Promises to Keep,” Biden, “Promise Me, Dad”). Biden, while starting his Senate career, traveled on the Amtrak train back and forth to D.C. so he could be with his sons at breakfast and at bedtime. Biden became friends with the train engineers and the people he traveled with (See Witcover, “Joe Biden”).
Since he was a youngster, Biden has had a stutter that caused fellow classmates to ridicule him (Biden, “Promises To Keep”). He overcame his stutter by putting pebbles in his mouth while reading out loud. One of his biggest triumphs was giving a speech at Archmere, his Catholic high school (Ben Cramer, “What It Takes”). At the 2020 convention, 13-year old Brayden Harrington, spoke of how he had met Biden in New Hampshire where Biden spoke of his stuttering difficulties. Harrington told Biden about his own stuttering problem. Biden took him aside and showed Harrington a copy of his NH campaign speech and how he had broken it down with markings to help him take breaks between words (cnn.com, Sullivan, K., 8/21/20). Harrington told the Democratic Convention that “Biden made me feel confident about something that’s been bothering me my whole life.” Harrington added, “Without Joe Biden, I wouldn’t be talking to you today.” Biden helps other youngsters who are “members of the same (stuttering) club (AP, 8/20/20).”
Yes, Democrats had a great convention and the polls for Biden and the rest of his party currently look good. However, as we all know from 2016 and previous contests, that means nothing. The 11/03/2020 election remains eons away. The key to victory will be our voting in droves plus by mail or at the polls to counter Trump’s fanatic base. In Obama’s words, “They (Trump and those in power) are counting on your cynicism. They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re making it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter. That’s how they win… Do not let them take away your power. Do not let them take away your democracy.” Hillary also strongly pleaded with Americans to turn out to vote. In her words, “This can’t be another woulda, coulda, shoulda election. No matter what, vote. Vote like our lives and livelihoods are on the line—because they are (nytimes.com, Herndon & Lerer, 8/20/20).” “It is what it is.” Vote for the Biden-Harris ticket to end the nightmare and darkness of Trumpism.