Joe Biden speaks at a rally in downtown St. Louis on March 7. (Photo courtesy of Gabe Fleisher)
Joe Biden speaks at a rally in downtown St. Louis on March 7.

Photo courtesy of Gabe Fleisher

Joe Biden: the president America needs

After a miserable debate scene, the Democratic candidate represents the only hope left

September 30, 2020

I watched the first 2020 presidential debate and I was appalled. I was exhausted. I was demoralized.

It was everything that could ever be said and nothing at the same time.

News anchors at PBS said it was unlike any debate they had ever seen. ABC said it was the worst debate they’d ever seen. 

I can’t even think of the correct word to describe it. There are far too many words that fit perfectly but far too many that don’t suffice.

I have never felt so much and so little at the same time. 

Voters and analysts can debate the policy and positions of Joe Biden and Donald Trump for an eternity. Pollsters and news anchors can trivialize their stances; they can fact check their facts, criticize their opinions. 

It does not matter.

This election has evolved past the point of policy. We no longer have the luxury of voting for our individual values; there is only hope. Hope that we can exist in a country with leadership that might listen; hope that we can speak up for our values without being shouted over; hope that hope can still exist because right now it has been quashed and beaten with no regard to how fragile and fledgling it really is.

I cannot truly comprehend what I witnessed on Tuesday night, nor can I say I am entirely surprised. I knew it would be a bloodbath; I knew I would take little to nothing away from the candidates themselves that I didn’t already know. And I was right. Highlighting anything positive from the 97 minutes of uninterrupted calamity is an impossible task. I can say nothing good about anything in particular. I can only remember squirming on my couch cushion as an unprecedented mess was vomited from the mouths of the men with the microphones all over the television screen. 

If there can be any takeaway, this debate illustrates the pointlessness of modern American politics. I never believed, in even my most infantile imaginations, that I would ever witness a shouting match between the intended leaders of my country. I never, in my wildest pretenses, could have predicted that I would listen to my president mock the deceased son of his opponent, or refuse to condemn white supremacy, or see the opponent exclaim “Shut up man” because the moron incumbent can’t use any other cavity of his face besides his mouth. I never believed that a descent into madness in the realm of what happened Tuesday night would ever be publicly broadcast to children, that we the people could ever allow this to be acceptable. How could anyone watch and feel proud that our presidential candidates are hurling insults like chimpanzees flinging their feces at the glass that divides them from their spectators?

We need a change. Plain and simple. There is nothing else I can say about the disaster that is the 2020 election. We allowed this to happen, now we have a chance to fix it.

Joe Biden is not the savior of the American people. I don’t think there is a soul alive who could possibly think he is. He is outdated and boring. His past is questionable. But so is his future, and that alone should be enough to set him apart from the “clown” he has to “debate” with. Even the sheer possibility that a Biden presidency could represent a stable environment in which America can progress as a nation is infinitely better than the alternative. Because we know, without any doubt, what that alternative is, and we know because we are living in it. The shouting-match first debate is just another byproduct of the continuing downward spiral that began four years ago. As Michelle Obama put it at the Democratic National Convention, “It can and will get worse.”

I can’t imagine what could possibly be worse. Let’s make sure we don’t have to.

Vote for Joe Biden because maybe, just maybe, we can get something productive done. Vote for Joe Biden so that our youngest children don’t have to watch another debate like the one they just witnessed. Vote for Joe Biden so that common decency toward a fellow human being isn’t foreign or feigned. Vote for Joe Biden so that white supremacists don’t feel encouraged to shoot into a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters. Vote for Joe Biden so that a transparent and adequate response to a pandemic is taken for granted. Vote for Joe Biden because your life depends on it. Vote for Joe Biden because someone else’s life depends on it. 

The task seems so simple, but its completion will determine the legacy of America for an unprecedented amount of time. 

There is so much more that can be said about the debate, so much more that can be examined about the candidates, but it is over, and everyone is tired. How can anyone not want a change? How can anyone watch Tuesday night unfold and feel content with the chaos of this country? How can anyone not be exhausted? 

How can anyone feel like there is an option besides Joe Biden?


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  • O

    Olyvia KavanaghOct 27, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    This debate is very entertaining, Giving more thoughts for joe biden

  • Y

    Yasmin RossOct 20, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    This was a very well written debate. I actually enjoyed reading this.

  • A

    Audrey LakinOct 2, 2020 at 8:01 am

    A very special person shared this link with me and said, “there is hope”. And indeed, with thoughtful and intelligent people like you writing so eloquently, there is. Thank you for giving that hope back to me.
    Audrey Lakin

  • N

    Nancy MozierOct 1, 2020 at 4:29 pm

    Wow, if only our country’s leaders could speak half as eloquently as you write, Ian, we would be in a far better place. Very impressive!

  • A

    April MoneyOct 1, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    I enjoyed reading this! Great work

  • J

    Julie ThomasOct 1, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    Hi, Ian! I am a proud aunt. This is so well written. Thank you for your thoughts. Don’t worry-I know who to vote for.

  • T

    Toi DrummerOct 1, 2020 at 9:13 am

    I truly enjoyed reading your analysis over our presidential debate this week. You couldn’t have said it any better!

  • C

    Christina SneedSep 30, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    Thank you for sharing your impassioned and well-articulated perspective. Your writing is impressive and your voice is strong! Beyond Joe Biden, you give me hope for our future! Well done, Sir!

    Mrs. Sneed