Why are Some Republicans Endorsing Biden?
As Democrats continue to bicker, Never Trumpers are the adults in the room
Not every Republican can muster Lindsey Graham-esque enthusiasm for the current tenant of the White House.
To some lifelong GOP members, Trump has always been an abhorrent and insulting proposition. They’re just as aggrieved as Democrats about his presidency. But unlike those Democrats too busy being offended by Joe Biden to reflect upon the seriousness of the situation, Republicans known as Never Trumpers understand that patriotism should never be partisan.
As a result, they’re sparing no expense or energy in supporting Biden. They believe him to be the safe pair of hands who can bring Americans together, something Biden’s detractors take as confirmation that he’s always given Republicans what they want.
The enemy, it seems, no longer is those who enable Donald Trump. To reasonable Democrats, the enemy is within. Not only is this eroding the Democratic party’s credibility and reputation but it also illustrates how the cult of the self may well cost America its democracy.
Exceptionalism got personal and how could it not under a president who is the very embodiment of the individualistic and capitalistic monsterhood we live in?
A president who appropriates a global health crisis by printing his signature on stimulus checks looks like he’s trying to buy votes.
If you must take offense at something, why not take offense at that?
Although all Democrats agree Trump needs to go, supporting Joe Biden to make sure he does is a personal affront to many. Instead of seeing him as the only way not to inflict any more damage to a country already on its knees, some Democrats depict him as a Trump clone, albeit with less shady friends and fewer sexual assault allegations.
An allegation is not a proof or a verdict. An op-ed is not a hearing or a trial. A blogger isn’t a journalist or a judge, just someone who knows how to use Google for bias confirmation. Without brushing away any of the noise surrounding Biden, we must insist on due diligence and due process otherwise we are guilty of perpetrating what Trump accuses the media of: a witch hunt.
Almost four years in, many of us across the political spectrum have come to represent what Trump embodies. We are greedy, we are entitled, and we throw temper tantrums on social media.
We love attention and public outbursts commandeer eyeballs. There’s no quicker way to do this than by riding the coat tails of someone more famous than we are, be that Biden or his more vocal supporters like actress Alyssa Milano.
Fear, love, anger, greed, and sympathy are an effective way to manage public opinion. This is what Republican lobbyist turned PR man Richard Berman explains in the New Yorker, singling out fear and anger as the most effective human emotions to target.
Interestingly, fear and anger is what Biden bashers are spreading within the Democratic party. But it isn’t a strategic move to facilitate Trump’s re-election, more like a puerile case of cutting off your nose to spite your face. While we can probably agree moderate Biden isn’t everyone’s first choice, he’s also America’s only choice. Reassuringly, he’s a former vice president, which should still count for something.
As an aside, his age means he’s unlikely to run again, which gives us four years to get our act together and come up with more progressive alternatives.
Regardless of how we feel about Biden, no everyone can afford the luxury of not supporting him. Under Trump, the lives of millions of already marginalized Americans has been made infinitely worse.
Has Trump forever changed the way we experience Americanness by normalizing what we kept under wraps in polite company, i.e. greed, bragging, and anti-intellectualism?
As he has shown the world, being the person everyone loves to hate lets you get away with anything. People are too busy being afraid and angry to pay much attention to how they’re being duped, exploited, and taken advantage of.
What about democracy? Does it still matter or are we more interested in lining our pockets with the content of discontent than saving it?
Apparently, we now live in an alternate universe where our political opponents are educating us in how to move forward in uncertain times by rallying behind Biden. Never Trumpers like Defending Democracy together and the indefatigable PR machine that is Sarah Longwell are nothing short of awe-inspiring in their relentlessness.
Meanwhile, some Democrats continue to clutch their pearls while others grudgingly admit we need to do the right thing.
In 2016, we were too busy laughing at the orange clown to take him seriously. In 2020, we are too busy bashing Biden to take the prospect of a Trump reelection seriously.
Many of us are disappointed and angry at not being able to leap into a more equitable future straight away after four years in political, moral, and spiritual purgatory. Then again, what if Trump had empowered the worst of America for good?
Biden isn’t the cure to what ails us but he’s the only vaccine we’ve got.
Otherwise, democracy may not survive another four years.
I’m a French-American writer, journalist, and editor now based in the Netherlands. To continue the conversation, follow the bird. For email and everything else, deets in bio.