Biden will almost certainly bring us together, he won’t blame, point fingers or ridicule. He will reassure, comfort, heal and most importantly he will listen to experts & science. For now, that may be more than enough. But…
Before I address the But…, I want to alert you to an action at post offices throughout the nation tomorrow at 11am and an interesting KSFR interview with Democratic State Senate candidate Harold Pope. Info on both are offered after we address the But….
Thoughts On Joe Biden, the Democratic Party &
the Task at Hand
But while that empathy and soothing tone may be more than enough for November, we face existential threats from the climate crisis; if you are poor you face existential threats every day that you teeter on the edge of homelessness; and if you live in communities of color systemic racism has been an existential threat for centuries. Addressing these challenges requires far more than a reassuring tone.
But first things first. We need to elect Joe Biden president of the United States on November 3, so that on January 20, 2021 we can begin the hard work of addressing the political, social, health and economic systems that have failed us.
Yesterday, I expressed my concerns that there were too many signs that the Democratic Party was continuing down a familiar path, one which is altogether too cozy with corporate lobbyists and, in part due to the influence of those corporate lobbyists, insufficiently bold in its platform and policies. And those systemic racial, economic and environmental injustices will never be addressed until the Democratic Party turns its back on big business and turns its face to the people and its attention to preserving the planet, not corporate profits.
The convention offered a collage of faces that look like America and a medley of songs that sound like America, but while that may comfort us …indeed it did, they do not cover up the other signs that the Democratic Party is still willing to offer subsidies to the extractive industry and is unwilling to face down Wall St. And so the Democratic Party does need reform and it needs to hear from people who aren’t afraid of making “good trouble.”
But first things first. We need to elect Joe Biden president of the United States on November 3, so that on January 20, 2021 we can begin the hard work of democratizing the Democratic Party.
So yesterday I voiced concerns about the convention and the Democratic Party and several readers bridled, suggesting that this was not the time for what some felt was divisive rhetoric. Others suggested that progressives hadn’t earned a larger part of the stage, as we hadn’t achieved the level of support for our policies or enough political power to demand more of the stage. I’d like to consider these points, as I found great merit in both critiques.
Several readers noted that the reason that we didn’t ‘t hear more from the left during the convention is that the left simply does not have the power to force its way onto the stage and to insist on platform planks that resonate with us. And to that I say: You are 100% correct. While Sanders’ 2016 campaign certainly first awoke and then inspired millions, even after 5 years of campaigning, Sanders never really achieved much more than 30-40% in any Democratic primary.
To lead the formation and implementation of progressive policy or to lead the ticket, we need far more than the support of 30% of the Democratic Party. So to those who noted this, be assured that Retake will be devoting significant work focused on laying out an array of progressive policies that could begin to address the climate catastrophe, economic injustice and systemic racism and then to work with others to expand the base of political power to achieve those policies.
But first things first. We need to elect Joe Biden president of the United States on November 3, so that on January 20, 2021 we will be operating in a political environment in which we are not constantly battling lunacy, distracting tweets, and executive orders.
There were also other comments that pointed out that no matter how disappointed we may be by what I described as a dispiriting lack of vision coming from the Democratic Party, this is no time for throwing anyone or anything under the bus.
Rest assured, Retake is 100% committed to doing all it can to ensure a Biden landslide, hence our Election Strategy page with ways in which all of you can play a part in that campaign. This is no time for quarreling about policy, it is time to remove Trump from office. Period. Hard Stop.
But we must also recognize that we are a hurting nation, in need of transformation and that while the hurt we feel now may be compounded by COVID and further compounded by Donald Trump, systemic racism and economic inequity extends back generations, indeed centuries. COVID has laid bare the degree to which our economic, political, social, and health systems fail to serve the vast majority of Americans and communities of color have long fared worst of all. But COVID, nor Trump created those systems of injustice.
But it is abundantly clear that until COVID is under control, the country has neither the bandwidth nor the resources to substantially address the climate crisis, economic injustice or systemic racism.
And what is also abundantly clear, is the nation will never be able to address COVID or any systemic challenges until it addresses a third existential threat: Donald Trump. Each passing day his tweets and rants become more deluded. And under his leadership not only have we failed to address COVID, the climate crisis or systemic racism, but we have become a nation at war with itself in which disagreements are not negotiated, where it is acceptable to stand so much on principle that you can walk away from the table and take a month vacation without negotiating a COVID relief package….while millions of Americans teeter on the verge of homelessness.
This failure of leadership is entirely unacceptable and while our nation has been divided before, the degree to which we are today is due to two factors that can be addressed in November: Donald Trump’s failed leadership and the GOP’s craven cowering to his bullying.
In closing, I want to note that while the speeches from Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Kamala Harris and Joe Biden did not offer a detailed road map to a better future, they offered a very clear commitment to the kind of reconciliation and healing that this nation desperately needs as a pre-existing condition for any thoughtful policy debate. I felt reassured that the decades Joe Biden has spent working bipartisan deals is precisely the kind of experience and skill that is needed right now. I have no doubts, I will be disappointed with many of the deals that result, but they will be much better than the failure to provide relief for those out of work and at risk of homelessness. And, as noted early, the progressive wing has not achieved the base of power to expect more. So for now:
First things first. We need to elect Joe Biden president of the United States on November 3, so that on January 20, 2021 we can begin the hard work ahead, and so we can begin to at least try to heal our differences as a people.
In solidarity & hope,
Paul & Roxanne
Santa Fe Supports the Postal Service
Having said that, it may also serve to motivate the dispirited, if they can see a vision for something more, something to advocate for on a national and state level within the Democratic Party.
WHEN:Saturday, August 22 at 11 a.m. The USPS is under attack by the political appointees who are removing high tech sorting machines and mailboxes. People are not getting the medications on time, small businesses are not getting deliveries, customers are not getting their orders. Soon, your mailed-in ballot may not arrive in time to be counted. Let’s join this nationwide demonstration of support for the USPS — which was created in the US Constitution. We are proactive and peaceful in our support. The actual address is available once you register. Thank you for registering so we have a good estimate and so you can receive updates.
Directions: We will meet in front of the downtown post office. MASKS and SOCIAL DISTANCING are required. There is on-street parking and in the city garage across the street.SIGN UP TO ATTEND
Retake Conversation Harold Pope on KSFR, 101.1 FM and Streaming at KSFR.org. Saturday, August 22, 8:30 am – 9 am. I spoke with Harold Pope Democratic candidate for the New Mexico State Senate, challenging incumbent Senator Sander Rue in Senate District 23 in Albuquerque. The Pope campaign is one of Retake Our Democracy’s six MUST WIN campaigns, so listen in and find out why.