On Wednesday night commenter dww44 posted that:
Mom is also sad because she cannot understand how we ended up, after such a promising start, with a 77 year old white man and a 78 year old one, both of whom if nominated and elected will be a year older at inaugaration.
I responded to that comment and several of you have either asked if it could be shared or lamented that it should be somewhere more easily accessible than a comment. So here is my response with a couple of minor tweaks:
We ended up here because of a combination of four things. The first is that Senator Sanders has been running non-stop for president since 2016. He never really stopped running when that election ended. This has allowed him to build a large organization to support his candidacy, keep his name recognition high, and mobilize his supporters. The second is Vice President Biden’s name recognition and connection to President Obama. The third is the sad reality of our news media, especially our political news media and how they frame and shape and weight things in a campaign. The fourth and final reason this happened is that the 2020 presidential election is not about Medicare for All or any other specific policy or plan. It is solely a referendum on the President. On whether he gets four more years and the Republic is fully transformed into a white Christian herrenvolk democracy where the rest of us are either considered white on sufferance – for instance Jews – or become some variant of second class citizens if not actual unpersons or whether a hard stop is placed on what he and his administration are trying to do. And because this is the reality of the campaign, and a good part of the context of it, the 2020 presidential election becomes a choice of either “more Trump” or “make it stop”. VP Biden, partially because of his connection to President Obama, partially because of his personal biography, and partially because of his ability to be really and genuinely publicly and privately empathetic and sympathetic personifies this choice.
The 2020 presidential election is really about whether the house (the US) will continue to be burned down by the President, his administration, the GOP, and the conservative movement or whether the fire will be put out, the structure assessed for damage, a determination made about what can be salvaged and refurbished versus what has to be thrown away and replaced with something updated and better. That’s what the election is about. The President obviously represents the arson and burn down the house side of the analogy. VP Biden, better than almost anyone, represents the put the fire out, everyone take a deep breath, assess the damage, and make repairs side of the analogy. Senator Warren, as impressive as she is and despite being the most competent person to oversee the assessments, repairs, and refurbishment, doesn’t convey this. Or, perhaps, she conveys this all too well and it scares far too many Americans, including Democrats. Senator Sanders, however, is the representation of someone who always thought the house was an eyesore and structurally unsound so he wants to accelerate the fire because he has this completely different idea of what should replace it.
The vast majority of Americans just want this administration to stop. Stop here means cease to be, go away, be replaced. They don’t want to have to pay attention every minute of every day to what the President, his administration, his party, and the conservative movement are doing because failure to do so could lead to a terrible outcome for them, their families, and their communities. Most Americans want to be able to go back to not paying attention to who is or is not president for days at a time; to not having to be hyper-vigilant regarding politics. They want the pain to stop. They want the horror to stop. That’s it. And for significant groups within the Democratic coalition they can’t afford to take a risk on revolution. Because they know that it isn’t easy and isn’t safe. And they know that it is always met with overwhelming resistance and pushback from those who want the US to be a white Christian herrenvolk. And that’s why VP Biden has reemerged this week despite his age and his baggage and his malapropisms and occasionally Munchausenian stories. It is why the people with the most to lose in the Democratic coalition who have been the coalition’s and the party’s back bone for decades are supporting VP Biden and rejecting Senator Sanders. And it is why for all that she would be the best of the three as president to actually clean up this mess, Senator Warren can’t get any traction.
The primaries aren’t over. Things may move in a different direction again. The novel Coronavirus and COVID-19, as well as the administration’s response are still outstanding factors that will significant political, economic, and social effects on the remainder of the primary and the general election.
Just remember to vote!