If Joe Biden gets the 2020 Democratic nomination, progressive activists have a moral obligation to help elect him

Recently, while doing some surfing, I came across an article from Politico, linked below, titled: A ‘Never Biden’ movement vows not to vote for Joe.

Inside of that article was this passage:

On ‘Never Biden’ Facebook pages and in Twitter threads, some activists argue that if Trump is reelected, Democrats will fare better in the next midterms and that the party will be more likely to nominate a progressive in 2024. If Biden is elected, they see eight years of centrist governance.

I have a message for the people posting “Never Biden” comments on social media.

I was a proud national delegate for Bernie Sanders in 2016, and I still support Bernie, but I can see the writing on the wall. Joe Biden is on a trajectory to win the Democratic nomination, which means he will be going on to the general election as the party’s standard bearer. And like Bernie, I will be supporting Joe, enthusiastically.

If you can’t bring yourself to do this, then do your friends and fellow activists a favor and just stop posting about politics on social media till this election is over, because your grousing isn’t serving any useful purpose. Or find another outlet for your energy.

For example, you could work on a downballot race for a congressional or legislative candidate you love. President ain’t the only elected office in the land.

Right now is a time for critical thinking, for effective long-term planning, and for prioritization. Not for this absurdist talk that emanates from a position of privilege.

My time is simply too valuable and too precious to be wasted online or offline in a relationship with someone who prefers Donald Trump being able to appoint more judges and possibly Supreme Court justices than a Joe Biden presidency. So I’ll be un-friending and un-following anyone on social media who espouses “Never Biden” nonsense.

A worldwide pandemic is currently in progress, we don’t have competent federal leadership in the executive branch, and yet there are people on Facebook — people who claim to be progressives — arguing that the Democratic Party and the progressive movement would be better off with a second Trump term as opposed to Joe Biden becoming our next President.

Just absurd. Terrible.

I know Politico’s reporting is not off the mark here because I have seen comment threads along these lines. Anyone who holds the view that a second Trump term would be better than a Biden presidency is not a progressive. Period.

Real progressives don’t talk or think like that. Real progressives use the logic of the values of empathy and mutual responsibility to guide their thinking.

Selfishness, self-centered thinking, instant gratification, gloom, myopia, and closed mindedness are not progressive values.

Real progressives recognize that cooperation, coalition building, and finding common ground are critical to advancing progressive values and policy directions.

Effective progressives and effective Democrats are pragmatic, and practical, and results oriented, because they want to spend their time improving people’s lives and moving forward. not treading water or going backwards.

To be a progressive means to be committed to continuous progress.

As progressive strategist George Lakoff has written:

The authentic pragmatist realizes you can’t get everything you think is right, but you can get much or most of it through negotiation. The authentic pragmatist sticks to his or her values and works to satisfy them maximally.

— Thinking Points, 2006

If you are a “Bernie or Buster”, if you are someone who claims to support Bernie but ignores his calls to unite behind the nominee, you need to rethink your politics.

Joe Biden is not entitled to your vote or your support, but you do have a moral obligation to help elect him, if you are truly a progressive activist who wants to improve lives.

Don’t agree?

Then I recommend taking a social media hiatus so you can contemplate your worldview and your views on means and ends. Do some reading — I recommend George Lakoff’s books.

Maybe talk to elders you trust. If you know a WWII veteran, ask them to meet you virtually on Zoom or FaceTime. Ask them how they feel about this election.

Then think about the kids locked up in cages and all the people who Trump has hurt or threatened who are in desperate need of a change in leadership so that they don’t die or suffer terribly.

If we can’t get Trump out, there may not *be* a 2024 election. There may not be a country left to save a few years from now. This could be our last chance to return America back to a trajectory of progress. This is not the most important election of our lifetimes, this is the most consequential election in the country’s history, aside from perhaps the 1860 election.

I want to be friends with people who understand this fact.

So if you’re prepared to vote for Joe Biden in November, or you’re at least *open* to the idea, then let’s work together to elect Democrats in 2020, starting with Joe Biden and going on down the ballot. We need a Democratic U.S. Senate, Democratic governors, Democratic state legislators, and Democratic Secretaries of State and Attorneys General.

If not — if your view is it’s Bernie or nothing — then let’s part ways, at least on social media.