To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Friday, July 19, 2024


Fatal Distraction


My reluctance to jump on the “Biden must step down” bandwagon has been based on my attachment to his presidency – not to him as president, necessarily, but to the highly impressive team that makes up his administration and their accomplishments. Of course, that he has assembled such a team is to his credit and reflects positively on Biden as president. The administration’s legislative agenda – the ridiculously named Build Back Better framework – is truly superb.

[Confession: I cringed when Biden announced his decision to run for re-election early this year, due to his age, but quickly came around because his presidency has generally been so good.]

Not that my opinion means anything outside my own brain, but I am now sadly climbing, not exactly jumping, onto the aforementioned bandwagon. His decline in sharpness obviously ebbs and flows – that’s true of all presidents and of all human beings. It’s a matter of degree and whether it is beyond the ordinary at times.

In Biden’s case, his apparent ebbs and flows are evident to an extent that whether he will be at his sharpest when sharpness is needed most is not a given. [The same is true of Trump, even more so, although in his case it’s less a matter of cognitive acuity than sheer madness. That said, his cognitive acuity is not all it’s cracked up to be, either.]

Mostly, this has become such a distraction that it appears to be an insurmountable obstacle to Biden winning re-election. In part this is a self-fulfilling prophesy courtesy of the media pile-on and doomsday pundits. Still, the bottom line at this juncture in history is that defeating Trump must come before all other concerns. If Biden remains on the ticket, I will without hesitation vote for him, as will many others for whom the defeat of Trump is paramount.

Hypothetically, if Biden were to win, I trust the administration to continue operating effectively, and to continue doing so, if it comes to that, after Biden stops being president and a succession takes place.

The prospect of a successful Biden re-election, however, is increasingly less likely. As attached as I have become to his presidency [that is, the way the administration has functioned in line with their goals and vision, which are admirable and progressive], the controversy over Biden as a candidate has swelled to the point that his candidacy has lost its viability.

We need to move beyond this potentially fatal distraction and change the ticket to one that has a stronger chance to defeat Trump and then govern effectively. Harris is attractive to me because I think the administration that is currently in place would largely remain in place. As it has worked well under Biden, I assume it would work well under Harris. But I am not convinced she has a good shot at winning.

So, despite my reluctance to let go of the current administration, the most viable candidate among those whose names are being tossed around is Gretchen Whitmer, with Josh Shapiro, perhaps, as her running mate [I think he’s too green to be at the top of the ticket].

If Biden remains the candidate, I’ll vote for him with enthusiastic hopes of keeping Trump in Mar-a-Lago [preferably wearing an ankle bracelet]. But I now think Biden should remove himself in the interest of achieving that goal. His odds of losing to Trump are too big of a risk with too much at stake.

The prospect of another Trump presidency – and who that administration would be – is a shit-show that must be avoided at all costs.

My dos centavos.

Kevin Acers
Kevin Acers
Kevin Acers is a social worker, educator, and poet living in Oklahoma City. He is a former board member of the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty and the ACLU of Oklahoma.