With Labor Day upon us, the summer is basically at an end, what a summer it was! Division is so high in this country right now, we’re fighting over whether or not masks can prevent respiratory illness and whether its ok or not that Black and Brown individuals have worse outcomes on just about every metric as white people. It seems so strange to me. I entered this summer having the belief that most people are reasonable. That when presented with evidence showing that wearing a mask could save your life and lives of people you love, most people would wear a mask. That when presented with overwhelming evidence that minorities have worse outcomes in our country, most people would believe systemic racism was a real thing. I thought that a lot of the debate came from how to fix these problems not whether or not they actually existed. Obviously, I was mistaken. I don’t know how to fix the US (sorry misleading title), but I do know we can’t do it with four more years of a Trump presidency.
In 2016, I worked for a company that did political poling. While I did not do it, many in my department did, so I do have a general understanding of what happened. At the end of the day, Trump won because voter turn out low and when voter turnout is low, the Republican candidate tends to win. Turn out was low because people didn’t get existed about Hillary. So the way I see it, the only way for Trump to lose is for people to get excited about Joe Biden.
Despite my first paragraph, I do think most people get that Trump is bad news and that they support Biden quietly, but quiet support is not enough. Everybody needs to get pumped about Biden!! Now, I’m not saying elected Joe Biden solves all our problems. It does not, but it does give us a shot. So if you’re on the fence about Biden or don’t want to talk about how you like him, see my rebuttals to reasons people don’t like him below separated by category: He’s Too Liberal for Me, He’s Not Liberal Enough, and But Bernie.
He’s Too Liberal for Me
Person: I’m worried it’s going to feel icky to vote for a Democrat!
Me: I hear you, and I see you. I voted for Republican Judy Baar Topinka in my first gubernatorial election over Rod Blagojevich. As a Licensed Psych Major, I didn’t like that Rod was cutting mental health funding. Also turns out the man is corrupt AF. It felt icky for a minute, but then I was fine.
Person: Ok, good to know! But isn’t he going to raise my taxes?
Me: Not unless you make more than 400k? Do you? Cause if you do, we should talk more. I miss you and would love to catch up.
Person: That’s not the point! People earn their money, why should the government take it in taxes?
Me: Because taxes pay for things like the police, fire departments, ambulances, libraries, roads, and other things you utilize regularly.
Person: Makes sense, but doesn’t he want to defund the police?
Me: No, he just wants to enact some basic reforms that will reduce the risk of people dying in police custody, like choke holds.
Person: But sometimes the police need to restrain people, if the person is dangerous to themselves or others.
Me: Tots agree! In fact, when I worked with adults with intellectual disabilities, I had to deescalate situations where people sometimes larger and stronger than me were doing dangerous things like choking someone, throwing tape guns, or throwing big old desktop computers. I always did this without using chokeholds.
Person: Wow! You must have received a lot of specialized training in deescalation and were paid a fortune.
Me: *Takes a minute to finish laughing hysterically* No, as a supervisor, I made less than 30k and the training was a half day once a year. Also, just to point out, defunding the police means taking money that would go to law enforcement and using it elsewhere. For example, schools could spend some of the money used to pay for police in the schools on counselors. Then the counselor could work to mediate issues between students, so then the students wouldn’t get into fights, which when cops are in schools, lead to arrests. This would probably be cheaper for the tax payer in the end.
Person: That’s fine and all, but I’m worried there will be a lot of riots with Biden as president.
Me: I have no idea if a Biden presidency will have riots, but a Trump presidency does.
Person: Good point, but I don’t think I can vote for someone who is pro-choice. Abortion is my number 1 issue.
Me: Ok, that’s fine. Did you know that abortion rates go down when countries make it legal? It’s weird but true. So, if your goal is fewer abortions, you want it to to be available.
Person: That’s a lot for me to think about, but I hear Biden is a socialist.
Me: Nah! In fact the socialists aren’t crazy about him because he’s too conservative for him.
He’s Not Liberal Enough
Me: You liked Obama, right? He was Obama’s VP. He did a lot of good in that position. If he’s good enough for Barack Obama he’s good enough for you. Do you think you are better than Barack Obama? Because unless you are Michelle Obama (which if you are hi! Thanks for reading this!), you are not.
Person: Yea, but Obama had to pick a white guy.
Me: Duh! But you know what government is full of, old white guys! He could have picked any, but he picked Biden. Then he didn’t just leave Biden out of the loop, he had him intimately involved in the running of our country. They even havefriendship bracelets.
Person: That’s a good point, but I wish he was doing things like defunding the police and enacting Medicare for All.
Me: I personally agree, but a lot of people don’t (see my above section) and the President has to take a lot of opinions into consideration. I’d rather have a president who sees police brutality as problem over one who does not and will enact policies to reduce police brutality. While Obamacare is by no means perfect, it is infinitely better than what existed before it and we partially have Joe Biden to thank for it. The Obama Biden team had to fight tooth and nail to get that bill passed and a lot of the issues with it come from the compromises made to get it passed. Biden will work to strengthen it. Trump will continue to work to destroy it.
Person: Great points, but he’s kind of a rapist.
Me: Obviously we should always believe survivors, but the lady who accused him lied about having a bachelor’s degree, so we need to take what she says with a grain of salt. Before you go there, yes, there have been some creepy pictures surfacing on the internet, but our choices are a creepy probably not rapist and definitely a rapist. I take creepy over rapist every damn time!
Person: *sighs but agrees* He’s voted poorly a bunch of times, pork barreled and whatnot.
Me: That’s not great, but try to find a person in congress that long who was not. Our nation was built on compromise, the only way to keep our nation going is compromise. Biden gets that.
Person: I’ll have to think about all you said.
Person: Bernie should have won the nomination.
Me: I get it, but he didn’t.
Person: That’s because people don’t get the term ‘socialist’. It’s not bad.
Me: Personally, I agree, but I don’t America is ready for that. Remember socialism was the bad guy until very recently. Imagine years from now, you’re older. You’re trying to figure out how to put your 2.1 kids through college, pay for alimony, pay off your house, save for retirement, and this new candidate comes on the scene from the Islamic Fundamentalist Party. You don’t think you’d be completely against everything he stands for and turn into a country song faster than you can say these’s stars and stripes don’t run?
Person: I’d research him.
Me: Ok, but do you think most people would? Remember everyone you ever did a group project with (Obviously none of my group project partners)? If they couldn’t Google the Louis and Clark Expedition even though it was like 10% of your grade are they really going to research candidates in their spare time.
Person: Fine, but Bernie never betrayed his principles and never voted against something he didn’t believe it.
Me: I doubt that. As Pam Beesley from the hit television show The Office would say, pobody’s nerfect.
Person: Actually, I think Karen Filippelli is better and should have wound up with Jim.
Me: *Flips table in anger*. Ok, we’re just trying to have a nice conversation. There’s no need to spread so much hatred and negativity. If you mean to say, that it was wrong of us to hate Karen and not watch Parks and Rec when it first came out because we didn’t need that man stealing ho to get her own show, then yes you are correct. Karen’s only crime was liking a guy who liked someone else more and who has not been there. However, that does mean she was better for Jim. On the Gay Witch Hunt episode of the Office Ladies podcast, we learn that Jim does not wear his sleeves rolled up for the entire season Karen is on, despite the fact that he does in every other season, in part, because he is not fully comfortable around Karen. He also clearly states to Michael in A Benihana Christmas, Part 2, that Karen is a rebound. Karen was a great character, but there’s this false narrative in the corners of the internet that she is a more independent woman than Pam. While any comparisons of this nature are inherently anti-feminist, here we are. Karen states in the episode Traveling Salesman that she did not move to Scranton because she values her career, but rather to be with Jim. In the following episode, The Return, Karen asks Jim if he still has feelings for Pam. He states he does. In the next episode, Ben Franklin, Pam states she has feelings for Jim. Karen remains with Jim, despite this knowledge for the next 10 episodes. Meanwhile, Pam has just called off her wedding. She gets her own apartment and car. Based on her conversations with Roy we are led to believe that this is the first time she is on her own. She begins taking art classes, thus pursuing her passions. When she does rebound with Roy, she insists things be different and done on her terms. Pam has the better character growth. Also, no woman, even Karen, would be fine with Jim’s Athlead/Athleap nonsense, to make a major financial and career decision without talking to your partner is wrong.
Person: Right, Jim is kind of toxic. He’s unnecessarily mean to Dwight.
Me: *Calmly resets table just to flip it again* Jim ‘Jimothy’ Halpert, is a flawed character, but he comforts Dwight when he is sad over things ending with Angela and helps him gain business at his bed and breakfast. He does this after Dwight stole 25% of Jim’s yearly commission in Diversity Day. Assuming Jim’s salary was 50% commission, Dwight steals 12.5% of Jim’s yearly income in one day. That easily amounts of over $10,000 each year that Dwight gets and Jim loses for the remainder of Jim’s time at Dunder Mifflin. Given the fact that show lasts for 9 years and there is a one year time jump between the penultimate and ultimate episodes of the show, this is easily $100,000. Little pranks seem small in comparison. But let’s stop calling fictional characters toxic. It’s counterproductive, and ruins TV shows in a time when watching TV is one of safest thing we can do. Look what we did to Ross. He was by no means perfect, but now everyone hates him and believes him and Rachel were awful together. Thus partially ruining the show. Also, Ross does some pretty selfless things. He doesn’t fight Rachel over the fact that she unilaterally makes the decision to take her child to another continent. He tells her that he loves her and he wants her back. And if she did not love him, he would have let her go.
Person: Wow! That was a long, but important tangent, I’ll stop trying to as the kids would say ‘cancel’ fictional characters for being imperfect. However, I still think Bernie is better fit to run this country.
Me: Ok, but again he didn’t win the nomination. Also, he has alternative theories as to what causes cancer by some reports did not pay child support for his son. I think we all know what happens when our leaders have alternative health theories (broadly gestures around our current pandemic). I say this not to disparage him or his accomplishments, but to point out that much like the various fictional characters mentioned above, Bernie Sanders has made mistakes and should not be idolized. It is in fact a similar idolization of Trump that has in part led to this mess.
Person: I’ll have to mull that over.
Wow, so it looks like I got everyone super pumped about Joe Biden! Yea me! So, we need to remember to vote and to encourage others to vote. If you have some time, consider volunteering with an organization like Vote Forward, https://votefwd.org/, that does a letter writing campaign to encourage people who are not likely to vote to vote in the upcoming election.
Remember to wear you mask, wash your hands, and do all you can to prevent Trump from winning the 2020 election!