Should You Vote for Joe Biden?

White House Joe Biden
Should You Vote for Joe Biden?

That this question is even being raised by a significant portion of his base is a colossal failure by Joe Biden. Prior to Israel’s genocide of Gaza, I was arguing that Biden was the best president of my lifetime because many of his domestic accomplishments did lean left, and he made a genuine effort to reach out to the Bernie caucus in the wake of his 2020 primary victory. Appointing real progressives to his administration like Lina Khan at the FTC marked the first time in my life where it genuinely felt like an establishment Democrat reached out to the left and supported some of our policy objectives. Before October 7th, 2023, I had no problem voting for Joe Biden again.

But I voted uncommitted in the Democratic primary, and would encourage everyone still with that option to do so as well. He already won anyway and it’s not like this is an actual contest. This is simply just doing politics outside of mindlessly checking a box once every two years.

These are entirely symbolic votes designed to work through democratic mechanisms in order to influence policy (which for how specious the Gaza port sounds, the sheer announcement of it in Biden’s State of the Union was a huge victory for the undecided vote). The avalanche of partisan Dems who whined that this tactic is out-of-bounds are simply just trying to ensure that Joe Biden will lose to Donald Trump in November. Polling in swing states across the country has made it clear that under current conditions, Joe Biden likely will not be president come January 2025. Something must change for him to win.

Many seasoned political observers will rightly point out that polling this early in the race is notoriously unreliable, but I would assert that we’ve also never had such a clear causal effect for early polling weakness, and whenever a president’s approval rating dips into the 30s, it’s because parts of their base have abandoned them. Assuming that it will all simply just return like in past races is a total misunderstanding of the current situation.

It is understandable to not vote for Joe Biden in the general election. The atrocities in Gaza and the West Bank driven by the autocratic Benjamin Netanyahu regime and wholeheartedly supported by Joe Biden’s State Department have provided a firm moral base to assert that the president has lost your vote. I can’t imagine how anyone with family in Palestine could ever bring themselves to cast a vote for him or this rotten party ever again. The litany of (mainly white) Blue MAGA types repeating the same braindead trope to squishy voters of “hAvE fUn UnDeR tRuMp”  where they’re definitely not cheering on racist violence are just helping to shuffle the Biden Administration into the dustbin of history.

From where I’m standing today, it looks like the only way Biden can win is if he changes his policy in Gaza. The activist groups in Michigan who helped organize the vote undecided campaign were right to see Biden initially trying to send his political team to meet with them as an insult. There is no political or messaging fix to this, no matter how bad the DNC and its coffers full of AIPAC donations want it to be so. The only way to recapture some of the youthful and multi-ethnic vote that was the central force in propelling Biden to the White House in 2020 is to do what he did then and give in to policy demands to gain more voters.

Namely, stop supporting an illegitimate government with an indicted leader who is exacting a genocide upon a captive civilian population in alliance with hardcore far-right religious extremists in order to save his political career. Everything that the Democratic Party warns us that Trump will do to America, Benjamin Netanyahu has already done to Israel (except his coup was successful), and the fact that Joe Biden is willing to bet his presidency on supporting an outright criminal in Netanyahu makes his party’s hysteric claims about Donald Trump come off as specious as best and nakedly cynical at worst.

I simply do not believe that Democrats believe what they are saying about Trump while they are unabashedly supporting Israel’s version of Trump.

It is true that if Joe Biden stopped selling weapons to Israel tomorrow, Israel would still be able to manufacture weapons (or buy them from China and Russia). He cannot simply just pull the plug on this unilaterally, no matter how much we all wished that to be the case—but he does have serious influence over the Israeli regime and anyone asserting otherwise is a fool or they work in Biden’s State Department (tomato/tomahto amirite).

Past presidents have been able to constrain our chief Middle Eastern client state to varying degrees. Ronald Reagan objectively did more to stop Palestinian immiseration at the hands of the Israeli state than Joe Biden has done. Partisan Democratic assertions to the contrary are no different than Donald Trump and the GOP’s attempts to reframe reality around their own agenda.

So Should You Vote for Joe Biden?

That is honestly the most difficult political question I have asked myself in 37 years. I do not subscribe to the hysteric notion that a Donald Trump victory would be America’s last election ever, and I believe that both to be a Democratic campaign talking point and a tacit admission from the party that they will do nothing in the face of a second Trump Administration’s crimes. Authoritarianism can and has taken root in America, but I believe that the largest consumer-driven economy in the history of the planet has inherent constraints around it that would prevent a full-blown Nazi-style takeover like so many MSNBC pundits spend all day fantasizing about. Capitalists have historically aligned themselves with authoritarians and are doing so again today (among OpenSecrets’ one-hundred largest political donors in 2022, 53% of donations went to Republicans, in 2020 it was 55%), but the capitalist machine is still running pretty smoothly when viewed from the very top, and one of the reasons elite America has had such a revulsion to Trump is because of his desire to shake up the cushy status quo they all have developed for themselves.

That’s not to say that Trump would not pursue autocratic policies or that they wouldn’t find support among America’s financial elites. One look at his immigration agenda and it’s clear that he wants to significantly ratchet up state-sanctioned violence at the U.S.-Mexico border. It’s entirely possible that voting against Joe Biden over enabling Israeli atrocities in Gaza would allow Donald Trump to commit similar ones here at home. The moral quandaries in this election are endless, and the only people in America who believe this moral choice is clear and straightforward have had their heads caved in by partisan messaging. Seemingly every day I have a different opinion on whether or not I will vote for Joe Biden in the general election.

Another thing that makes it tough is that for all the logic that we would be better off with a calamity which produces an entirely new Democratic Party, rather than kicking the inevitable crisis down the road yet again with the same gerontocrats supporting sclerotic policies and inefficient political structures, at present, the fascist bloc in America is far better prepared to step into a power vacuum. There is no large-scale leftist plan to enact our vision, but I do have a pretty good idea of what all the guys with guns want to do. This is difficult.

And it’s difficult because of Joe Biden. In a rational world, voting against him would be seen as the logical result of supporting policies that have led to one of the greatest humanitarian disasters of the modern era and the collapse of the coalition that put him in the White House in 2020. If we had European-style politics, he already would have lost a vote of no-confidence by his party, and the Dems would have a new party leader.

This is a genocide, made clear every day by the statements of the Israeli regime who has talked about Palestinian birth rates as an existential threat to Jews as long as I have been alive. Joe Biden, for all the good he did in his domestic agenda and advancing climate legislation further than it ever has, deserves to lose for his support of Benjamin Netanyahu’s ethnic cleansing campaign in Palestine. That’s how politics should work. It’s not voter’s faults that the other candidate is the worst person this country has ever produced.

As a white man (I am a Polish Jew and have a complicated relationship with whiteness, but the majority of the world sees me that way and has provided me with the benefits of a white man, so practically speaking that’s what I am), I do feel a duty to use my influence to protect marginalized groups of people and vote for an administration that will best accomplish that job. That is objectively the Biden Administration…the one helping to mass murder women and children of perhaps the globe’s most marginalized group of people.

I do not know if you should vote for Joe Biden. I don’t think I will, but I also live in a blue state where I have the luxury to say that, and if I lived in one of the six states that mattered, I do think I’d feel differently.

What I do believe in is not lecturing voters about what they should do. It’s incumbent upon politicians to give voters reasons to vote for them, and every person scolding others for not voting blue no matter who is just running interference for a party who in Blue MAGA’s ideal world, would never be held accountable for the policies they support because to them it’s all just a TV show.

That Democrats have trained their voters to attack other voters instead of expecting better from their own politicians is part of why the Biden administration is so resistant to changing course towards a policy that a majority of Americans and their own voters support. Now it may cost them the election, and the (largely white) Democratic partisans lecturing (largely non-white) voters about where their real interests lie are only aiding this self-immolation by the Biden Administration and the Democratic Party.

If you don’t vote for Joe Biden, it’s not your fault. It’s his.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin