An open letter to former Vice-President Joe Biden
(Also Senator Bernie Sanders, and pretty much
every other straight, white, cisgender male over the age of 60.)
Please do not run for US President in the 2020 election cycle.
I am not unsympathetic to the possibility that you might well have won the 2016 presidential contest if you had entered the race. I would have gladly supported your candidacy. But as we learned from Sex In The City– “coulda, shoulda, prada”.
If it helps, think of it as affirmative action– giving qualified candidates of other ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations and less-mainstream life experiences an opportunity to fix the mess generations of straight, white, cisgender male corporate lackeys have created. And not just in government. The damage done to the population through lowered expectations (for education, job opportunities, retirement options, public discourse and any sense of being united to advance “the general welfare“…. well, you get the picture). A paradigm shift is not only necessary to save humanity, it has started to happen.
And this is not about your age- other than the idea that we really need folks who have some political experience, but not too much. While age does often bring wisdom, that is not guaranteed- sometimes it results in petrified behaviours, frozen paradigms and tunnel vision. Flexibility of mind becomes harder to maintain as we age.
I write this as a 60 year old white cisgender male. One who, despite current economic challenges, is very aware of the reality of white male privilege. I know, despite my struggles and sense that the world is not treating me fairly, what protection my skin colour provides.
Literature is full of stories of fading glory; the tragic comedy of those who refuse to admit its presence and heroic tales of folks who recognize what is happening, and adapt. Again, I speak as an ‘ancient’ gay man who despite chronic conditions is still functional. Just not the hot prospect I might’ve once thought I was. Now I’m full of stories that few seem to want to hear. Life indeed is often unfair. More so for some than others.
Brian D Gryphon
PS: For those who want to argue that any other specific candidate is unworthy, corrupt, or downright evil- I will not waste my energy debating or being distracted from finding the best Democratic 2020 presidential ticket. As John Fugelsang repeatedly reminds us, every election (and most choices in life) are picking the better of two imperfect options. There is no perfect candidate- other than to brainwashed cult members. I have heroes and role models, but I realize none of them are perfect.
PPS: Yes, this even includes my Senator, Sherrod Brown. As much as I believe he’d be a great President, this is just not the time. Now, having him as our Vice-President would make for a solid administration.