We Have a Lackluster Democratic Presidential Candidate in Joe Biden, Now What?

A friend of mine said on Facebook: "I’ve been a dedicated Bernie Sanders supporter for years. Two campaigns. I don’t love Biden, but I will support him, and hope that he chooses to take the ideas of Warren, Sanders, and Yang to the White House with him." My response: "I agree, but unlike my support for Bernie, all I'll do is vote for Biden. I have no enthusiasm for Biden or the democratic party as an entity."

What else can we do? One response, the wrong one, is anger, based on feeling marginalized and even victimized by the democratic establishment (DNC), and responding by refusing to vote for Biden. I won't lie. I have sympathies for this view. And the arguments are there, especially for the millions of young people Bernie Sanders has brought into the political process for the first time in their lives! They would not be involved if it wasn't for Sanders. So it would be easy to stick it to the DNC, for sticking it to their man. They had no stake in politics in the first place. They can leave it. "Let people in power go back to screwing the world up, since there's no hope for changing the establishment except for a complete revolution, as shown twice now when it came to Sanders." That was precisely the anti-establishment revolutionary message Bernie offered them as the only way to change politics. That was what got them involved in the first place. With the prospect of four more years of sameness in politics, why bother? Besides, Trump has already done most of the damage in appointing a slew of conservative judges who will be in power for the rest of their lives.

Because of this sentiment among Bernie supporters there are many democrats who blame them for the last election. Are they to blame? Three responses are merited: 1) It was obvious to many of us that the democratic establishment didn't treat Bernie fairly in 2016 or in 2020. Had they been fair to him then his supporters would not be angry enough to refuse voting for Hillary. It made me angry to vote for Hillary in 2016, but I did. [Of course, if the DNC had been fair to Bernie maybe he would've been the nominee!] 2) Hillary was a previous lackluster presidential candidate viewed as the ultimate insider by everyone, in a time when most everyone wanted an outsider. In fact, any outsider would do, as evidenced in Trump! 3) It's been shown that when one's chosen Presidential candidate is rejected in favor of a different candidate, then upwards to 15% of those voters didn't vote for that different candidate. So it's not just Bernie supporters! In the case of Sanders it was a bit of a high percentage due to the factors I mentioned above, like the goal aiming at nothing short of a revolution, anger over being treated unfairly, and so many young people entering the political process for the first time who could just as easily leave it.

But is there more we can do? I think so. After all, this is politics, the art of negotiation and compromise. We can and should renegotiate our votes, if possible, giving Bernie a negotiating advantage in the upcoming DNC convention. Hopefully, if Joe Biden wants our votes he'll court them. If he doesn't, THEN who's to be blamed if he loses the election?

Let's think along these lines then: Progressive Groups Demand Changes From Joe Biden After Bernie Sanders’ Withdrawal. Biden should earn the support and trust of voters like us. That's a good stance to take.