See Disclaimer. In this series, see also “Why we must elect you, Mr. Biden” and “Let’s talk vision and plans, Mr. Biden.”
Dear Mr. Biden:
Like you, I am a grandfather. And it is in that capacity, first and foremost, that I am committed to voting for you this November.
I want my grandkids to grow up in a better America, and world. I know that your opponent and current president will not make that possible. In fact, his presidency has been disastrous, and four more years of Mr. Trump would cause tragic and irreparable damage, now and through future generations (see “Letters to an unfit president.”)
You may want to know that I am an independent, and I have and will continue to advocate for a true multi-party system. You should also know that, if another Democrat had won the nomination, they too would get my vote. But, in some cases, it would be just because they are not Mr. Trump.
Fortunately, Democrats chose to nominate you. In this and other upcoming letters, I will explain why my vote for you will be cast with enthusiasm, and true hope for the future—rather than just with an ‘anyone but Trump’ attitude.
As I look at today’s America, I see first and foremost a nation divided, working itself further and further away from the ideals of freedom and justice for all. We need a genuine unifier in the White House. And that, Sir, is you.
No, you don’t walk on water. You are not perfect, and I will not always agree with you. But you have that rarest of virtues in a leader: You know how to listen! Really listen. And you have the experience and ability to build consensus and make rational, informed decisions. As a bonus, you add true empathy, as well as decency and resilience.
You will need all of that, and more. After you win in November, you will lead a country on the verge of the abyss. A country that wore out in just four years much of the self-respect and global stature that it had earned over centuries. A nation where bridges of understanding and trust were severely damaged.
Your presidency will be about making us believe again that we are a government for and by the People. That decency and honesty matter—as do science and education. That we strive to, and thrive in becoming a better Union. That a better political system is possible. That we are all Americans, with far more in common than what separates us. That our current moment of national insanity can be transformed into an enhanced American Dream—where individual success will be enabled and celebrated together with social justice and the Earth’s sustainability.
In anticipation of all that, you will get my vote, Mr. Biden. In recognition of the many challenges ahead, I will also vote for Democrats down the ticket, towards majorities in both chambers of Congress and in as many state legislatures as possible.
In exchange, I will hold you accountable to being able to tell our grandkids that, all together, we made their world vastly better.
— Antonio Baptista