Joe is back, and reminding us we don’t have to live in fear!

President Biden announced his re-election campaign in a well-produced, and maybe overly-slick, video that was as much about Biden as it wasn’t.  In between shots of VP Kamala Harris smiling, First Lady Jill Biden smiling, seniors smiling, kids shooting baskets, workers in hard hats slapping high-fives, and a little 1/6 insurrection for good measure, we saw Joe… briefly… eyes clearly focused on a prompter, as he sold himself as the only one who can “finish the job.”

We should expect a 2024 Biden campaign to resemble a 2020 Biden campaign in its effort to keep the president from fumbling live, by keeping his remarks limited to polished videos shot from his Delaware home.  It won’t be Pete Buttigieg shaking hands with Americans far and wide.  It won’t be an Elizabeth Warren Instagram parade.  And it won’t be Bernie having weekly heart attacks and being released from the hospital two hours later, somehow more emboldened and spirited than when he got there. 

There also won’t be any hate rallies in rube-filled arenas.  No suggestions we inject ourselves with disinfectant.  No references to “shithole countries.”  No Muslim bans.  No sex offender Supreme Court justice candidates snorting snot like a pre-castrated bull.  And no Hope Hicks,Typhoid Mary-ing a full Covid super-spreader across an entire non-mask wearing administration.

It will be a Biden campaign.  And it will run like a Biden presidency: somewhat guarded, closely monitored, and focused on actually accomplishing goals. 

But what this campaign won’t be about is fear.  For that, I am grateful to President Joe Biden.

In his four years as the rampager-in-chief, Donald Trump transformed this country into a frying pan of hot aggression he readily jostled whenever he needed a distraction from a self-made crisis or a new excuse to rattle American confidence.  “I extorted a foreign country hoping they’d smear my rival?  Well, Nancy Pelosi is threatening national security!  You’re all dying from Covid?  Well, Hunter is using his laptop to reverse elections and steal away your rights!”

The Trump presidency was exhausting.  Like “running a marathon without hydrating, then immediately giving birth to twins while being forced to solve a Rubik’s Cube at gunpoint” exhausting.

I do believe there was a brief time during his first year in office, however, when Trump was honestly misguided enough to believe he might make a good president.  It wasn’t until January 18, 2018, that he finally realized how over his head he truly was.

On that day, Trump was meeting with prominent congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle to discuss the impending demise of DACA.  The Cabinet Room was packed with stoic faces and American flag pins; the situation was urgent.  And in his daft conviction that everything he does is worthy of camera time, Trump foolishly allowed the press to stick around for nearly an hour to record the whole thing.  What began as an opportunity for the president to preach about bipartisanship, a word he can neither define nor spell, devolved into a rancid crap storm of his own making. 

With each passing minute, Trump not only revealed he understood zip about DACA and the workings of policy reform, he nearly got played by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who got Trump to agree to a clean bill on DACA which would include none of the Republican dreams of ending chain migration or funding the wall (those things, he stunningly agreed with Feinstein could be addressed later, once DACA had been saved).  It would be a “bill of love!” Trump declared.  That led then-Representative  Kevin McCarthy and then-and-still-nobody Martha McSally of Arizona to go white-faced and forcibly speak over their leader to get him to shut his trap before he abandoned every single objective on immigration the Republicans ever had.

That day, It was mortifyingly clear that Donald Trump had neither an understanding nor any interest in immigration reform, and was the only person in the room who, from a political standpoint, had no business being there. For most of the meeting, arms folded tightly across his chest, Trump possessed the confidence of a pimply-faced teenager on the sidelines of the gym at senior prom.  

Within hours of this catastrophe, Trump was taken offline and re-programmed by alt-right serpents Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller with an anti-immigrant software update that was better in step with their white nationalist objectives.   We were back to demonizing everyone not born on American soil.  It was like the words “bill of love” had never been uttered.

After that, there were no more moves on the part of our president to distinguish himself as a leader who follows any guiding principles that don’t serve his own ego.  It became clear his entire presidency was now openly built around the blunt pursuit of criminal activity and increase of personal wealth.  And whenever the press began to get wind of some new ways he attempted to rob the world blind, out came the Trump brand of weaponized fear.  

Radical Islamic terrorists are moving onto your block!
Bernie wants the U.S to become Venezuela!  
Black athletes are insulting your homeland!  
Is the gardener leering at your teenage daughter? 

Who could live like that?  People who enjoy misery and have it served up to them by Tucker Carlson (R.I.P.).  And they are everywhere.  They’ll show up at a town hall and yell, “What are you going to do for me!” then sit down with folded arms (like Trump) and wait (like Trump), certain their own participation in a solution is not required (Hi, Trump!). 

Because it’s easier to live in fear than it is to stand up and fight for our deeply felt beliefs, it’s crucial we remain vigilant and loud in our support of President Joe Biden. 

That the MAGA-controlled Republican Party is even allowing Trump to come near the nomination again simply re-affirms that they are driven totally by fear:  fear Trump will give them an abusive yet infantile nickname, go after their unattractive spouse, insult their family, post a picture of them behind crosshairs, or even more frightening – have his plastic daughter with the new jaw hold up a can of beans and smile unoriginally like a failed Howie Mandel briefcase model.

Trump only has fear.  And now that’s all the Republican Party has.  A vote for Trump is a vote for another four years of misery, suspicion, hate, and erosion of the hearts and souls that once powered us through world wars, terrorist attacks, and AIDS. 

When America comes together, we win.  When we fear and mistrust one another, we are just like members of the Trump administration, minus the abusive Twitter firings, the multiple subpoenas, and the book that doesn’t sell any copies.

In a second Joe Biden term, we won’t fear immigrants, medical catastrophe or increasing global temperatures.  We won’t be terrorized into living in moral paralysis. We won’t fear fantasy images of national carnage.  We are, indeed, a tremendous country of wealth, innovation, determination and heart.  That is the America Joe Biden believes in.  With him, we are seeing our country re-build itself before our eyes.  We have in Joe Biden a leader who exemplifies the best in us.  

Yes, he’s in his eighties.  And he walks slowly.  And he’s not dynamic.  But he knows how to work.  And that’s what I want from a president.  Joe Biden can produce ad campaigns featuring a sock puppet carrying his voice underneath, and I’ll still give every dollar I can to his campaign.  He is the shit, and I’m proud to call him my president.  He may not know me, but I believe he makes decisions that will help me, not scare me.  At the very least, that’s what I want in a leader.  At the very least, it’s what I expect from one.