My imaginary Joe Biden Speech
That He Will Never Give
My fellow Americans, I stand before you on a day of extreme division in this country, such that it feels like we are at some kind of civil war. I don't know if I can pull us back from the brink. I don't know if I can fix what's wrong with this country. But I think what I owe you, at the very least, is to tell you the truth.
We've gotten to a place where our news media, or websites, or even our films, our social media, have divided us into different isolated groups. And in those different isolated groups, or tribes, we have a set of beliefs that just kept getting affirmed and reaffirmed over and over again. Now, if you're listening to this speech, you're probably one of the people on the left side of the aisle. But I'm here to tell you, it's still a bubble, my friends, you're still believing things about people, your fellow Americans that simply aren't true.
To really understand this country, and how we got to this moment, requires two things. The first, you humanize your fellow Americans. Even if you think every single person who disagrees with you politically is actually or Charles Manson or Adolf Hitler, you can't function in a society with that sort of dehumanization, that leads to very terrible things, like Charles Manson and Adolf Hitler.
Second thing you have to do is understand that the press does not tell you the truth. Why don't they tell you the truth? Because the media has been corporatized. Hollywood has been corporatized. And social media is corporatized. Thus, it is in their financial benefit to tell you only what you want to hear. They do this for ratings. They do this for approval. They do this to go viral. And most of all, they do this to make money and to have power.
For the last four years Twitter has been policing culture within an inch of its life. It just takes one person to be outraged about something for that outrage to spread, turn into a kind of mass panic, and for someone at the end of the line to take action - usually it means deplatforming or firing. Journalists were hit especially hard if they dared to challenge Twitter in any way by humanizing Trump or his family or his staff. Twitter was the battlefield and since the left dominates Twitter, they controlled the message by silencing dissent. I don’t think this is healthy for our Democracy. We need a way for the press to feel safe and free to be as objective as possible or we do not have a Democracy anymore.
There are two ways to look at division we face now - by class and by race. The parties used to be more or less flipped, with the Republicans being the side that freed slavery and the Democrats being the side that advocated for segregation. In the 1960s the Democrats became the party of Civil Rights since they were the side fighting for Civil Rights, among other things.
In 2020, my side of the aisle believed we were fighting a race war against a blatant white supremacist. On the right, the Republicans establishment saw Trump as a destroyer of their long held power base. In Trump world they saw it as a class war, the underclass vs. the elites. The big power on the right will never forgive Trump for humiliating Jeb Bush. You don’t go up against the Bush family and walk away a winner. The Lincoln Republicans, the Cheneys - any connection to the Bush family were going to ensure Trump’s demise both for personal and political reasons. Trump was an anti-establishment candidate who came through like a wrecking ball. I am not under any illusion that I’m not the establishment guy being called it to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
On the left, Trump went after the Clinton machine, which is theoretically as powerful as the Bush machine. Most everyone knows that Kamala Harris likely the future of the Democratic Party, which is why I chose her as my Vice President, since I’m likely not to run for a second term. Many Americans are probably scared right now thinking every election from here on out will go the way this one did, with an unprecedented amount of power given over to just one side but I can assure you the Republican establishment is going to want their power back. They’ve never much liked giving it up, especially not to the increasingly progressive left.
Nothing will unite them more than what I’m about to do with my Executive Orders, and our three branch majority. Democrats are scaring Americans right now with what we plan to do, how we plan to rebuild this country from the ground up. That will guarantee that the next four years are going to be anything but easy. Both sides are going to be fighting for power to direct this country’s future over the long haul. Most people see me as a stop-gap measure to end Trump’s presidency.
All I can do is try harder to see myself as a leader not just of the left but of those left behind by government overall.
Let’s talk about how we got here. I’m sure everyone has their own version, of course, in a country that has been divided into our own curated realities. Here’s my take:
The left controls culture, Hollywood and the media, mostly, but Trump controlled AM radio and Fox News. The Republicans, or the rhinos? Well, they were in charge of the true power base that was more political and less cultural. That power ruled in this country since the Nixon Presidency up to 1992 (with a short four term Jimmy Carter interruption). They did not like that Bill Clinton won an election and served two terms. That set into motion what we see now, the opposition spending all four years in attack mode. It hasn’t stopped since then, but the last four years have been the worst this country has ever seen.
It isn’t a surprise, then, that the 2000 election sparked the first time since 1888 that the popular vote and the Electoral College split.
Donald Trump (R) in 2016
George W. Bush (R) in 2000
Benjamin Harrison (R) in 1888
Rutherford B. Hayes (R) in 1876
You see, for all of the talk about getting rid of the Electoral College, it is really the extreme polarization that must be addressed. This country is as polarized now as it was in Civil War times. The Electoral College and popular vote split proves this. THAT, my friends, is what must be addressed.
The anger over Bush’s win in 2000, which many on the left saw as a fraudulent election, was hushed by 9/11. Those wars put the Republicans back in power but those wars also eventually took them out of power. Bush paid a price for not having a Veep young enough to run for his third term in 2008. John McCain, no Spring chicken, took on that task, along with Sarah Palin as his Veep choice. But McCain could not push back against the war because he was an establishment Republican. President Obama, who was agains the war in Iraq, beat him but it was close.
Obama’s win was decided by both the popular vote and the Electoral College. That proved he could unite the country by erasing division and bringing us together with his great charm and charisma and his one word selling point: hope. We all knew what that meant because we all lived through it. We did not yet have a propaganda machine telling us what to think about the events of the day. We lived through the wars and the financial meltdown. The blame fell squarely on the Republicans.
But something else happened in 2008. It birthed two populist movements: Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party. Charges of racism against the Tea Party started as early as their founding based on signs that had Obama’s face painted as The Joker. There were other actually racist signs the media found and fed to the public to prove the entire movement was based on race. That was a mistake, as we come to find, because they were anti-big government, anti-bailing out the banks. Occupy Wall Street on the left felt the same way. What we could not know back then is that both of these movements would put Donald Trump in power by a very slim Electoral College win in 2016.
Like John McCain, Hillary was not Obama’s Veep, Biden was, which means she too had to make the case that Obama’s (and my) administration had good policies, so let’s have four more years of that. But the populist movements were rising up to challenge the established order, even if each of them stood for something completely different - bigger government vs. less government, though both were nationalist and anti-globalism.
The Tea Party surprised everyone and took Congress, formed the Freedom Caucus and fought for their agenda by blocking Obama’s actions. They were angry about Obamacare, which they viewed as “socialism” (and still do). They were angry about how fast the culture was moving in terms of gay marriage and trans rights. That ignited the Christian Right to mobilize by uniting with the populist Tea Party.
On the left, the Bernie Sanders movement was also rising to take on “The Establishment.” You can’t see one and not see the other. The people are trying to tell us something and I for one plan to listen more to what they are trying to tell us here in the government.
I plan to look at the anti-establishment movements in this country a little harder and maybe I can find a way to address many of those concerns. It’s worth a try anyway.
To unite this country I have to do something the left doesn’t want me to do. But this is a country on the brink of war. Nothing has really been settled. I know that millions of Americans are feeling confused, as though they’ve just been gaslit by so many in the media calling them racists and white supremacists for voting for Trump. Rather than pile on and make them feel even worse, I want you to know that I plan to be president for all of America, not just the half that voted for me. To prove it to you I am now going to offer praise to Donald Trump for the good he did as a US President.
The best thing he did was inspire people who never paid any attention to politics. Yes, I know we on the left called them all racists but that just meant we weren’t seeing who they were and why they found Trump appealing. They weren’t all white. Trump drew the largest coalition of minority groups in 60 years in the GOP. That is significant and proves at least some of what we were saying was not accurate. Trump made them feel like Americans in love with their country, with hope for the future. My side of the aisle made them feel like human garbage, which made it harder to get our message across. How do you communicate with people if you see them as not really people but actual garbage? You don’t because you can’t.
Trump was an outsider, and not a political. All too often we punished him for not knowing the basics of what being a president was all about but that made many in America able to relate to him. There is a distance maintained between the people and their political leaders. Trump managed to reach people none of us ever have and spoke honestly and directly to them. I can’t say everything Trump said was true, but he said things people weren’t used to hearing, good and bad.
The last thing we need right now is for me to come up here and shame millions of you and the guy you voted for. You’ve heard enough of that for four years. We never gave Trump a chance, not from Day One. There were protests in many cities:
Trump faced unprecedented attacks across the board from the left, the right, the media, social media, including being twice impeached. In the end, it took $15 billion, a global pandemic, unprecedented mail-in ballots, media and big tech intervention and then I still only won a slim Electoral College Victory, even though a much larger popular vote.
We witnessed an unprecedented riot at the Capitol on January 6 where two Trump supporters died and other died in the rush. I understand that the way we’ve reacted to that has scared a lot of you that we are now a full blown totalitarian regime. You will watch as the media that was opposed to Trump lavish love upon me and my administration. Melania Trump covered no magazines, your supporters who booed and screamed at any time they appeared in public. It was hate on a massive scale all from the party that supposedly was opposed to hate. It will be a grotesque imbalance, with the media’s bias on full display. I know that is going to happen, so do you. There is nothing I can really do about it since Trump called them the Enemy of the People. If you go to war with the media don’t expect them not to fight back.
My side of the aisle were mostly fine with protests from everyone except Trump supporters, whom the media tarnished as being white nationalists. There was no putting that toothpaste back in the tube, even though Trump’s rallies were mostly nonviolent. We could not see them through the thick haze of media bias and most of us simply didn’t bother trying to see things from your point of view.
In 2011, in Wisconsin, breaking into their state Capitol was seen as act of courage and bravery. I expect that had a left wing group broken into the Capitol to protest Trump they too would have been applauded by the media. Maybe if people had died they might not have been but I doubt anyone would have seen that as a terrorist attack. Then again, some of those who broke in that day had plans to try to kill or kidnap government officials. How much of this is true is hard to say, especially at at time when trust in the media is at an all time low.
I show this to you not to excuse the actions on January 6th but to point out that protests against government in this country have been simmering for quite some time and are just now reaching a breaking point.
I am hoping to be the guy who can bring us together, not continue to tear us apart. To do that, we have to start seeing each other as human beings again. Pull ourselves away from social media, tackle the big problems we have facing our nation together. I see your concerns as valid as anyone else’s as you are citizens of this country.
I am here to listen. I am here to see you. I am here to try to understand how we could have gotten to this inflection point. We have to stop hating each other, stop blaming each other and remember that this country can only survive if we all can come together and agree that we want it to.
Here is a piece I read by the conservative Douglas Murray on advice on how to unite. He writes the following, with that idea in mind:
It was that Trump and his team recognised that China is not a fair competitor. Trade with China is not ‘free trade’.
It is trade with a country that – with forced labour among other devices – has undercut western markets and stripped millions of jobs from our economies.
Many of the people who voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020 did so because they were hurting from this.
They were hurting from the increased power of China as a global competitor to America.
And this year, when everybody’s economy except for China’s has slumped (due to the coronavirus) it is more important than ever that the US responds to Beijing with toughness.
In part that should be to hold the Chinese Communists accountable for the virus. But it should also be because pro-China policies of the type Biden has always backed hurt American workers.
Very few US politicians ever seemed to care about that hurt. Some on the radical left of Biden’s party even rubbed salt into the wounds.
They claimed that Trump supporters were all white (not true) or white-supremacists (even less true).
And then they talked about ‘white privilege’, as though an unemployed family on the poverty line in ‘flyover’ America has any damn privilege at all.
Biden has already joined in with this divisive talk.
Last week, announcing help for small businesses recovering from the Corona crisis he said his administration would give ‘priority’ to ‘black, Latino, Asian and Native American owned small businesses as well as ‘women-owned’ businesses.
This type of divisive talk is what gave Trump part of his opening five years ago. That his successor should be talking like this is a terrible sign.
In order to unite America Biden must speak for all Americans.
While my priority is clearly putting people of color and women ahead of the line, that’s only because they feel they’ve been forgotten, oppressed and marginalized for much too long and they too came to a breaking point this year. But in leaving off white men I sent a strange message to a hurting nation, which might do more to keep people angry than if I’d included everyone who is hurting from this pandemic and this economy.
All I can tell you, my Fellow Americans, is that I’m going to try. God bless you and may God protect our troops.