Joe’s running. It’s not his age that’s of concern; it’s concern about his age, the perfect distraction from what’s important. President Biden’s multiple years and Trump’s multiple indictments will be horserace headlines above much more crucial text. The 2024 election – no hyperbole – will decide, probably permanently, whether the remains of our republic can endure continued attempts by MAGA Republicans to finish it off. It’s not looking good.
In my medical career, I recognized the approach of death. But one needn’t be a doctor to note democracy’s agonal breathing, its thready pulse. Come 2024, it’s either a last-minute lifesaving operation or pull the plug.
Evidence is everywhere. Satisfied they’ve terminally poisoned elections in their favor, red state legislators feel no compunction in dismantling bedrock American principles. In Texas, their Senate just passed bills forcing every classroom in public schools to display the Ten Commandments and to set times for prayer and Bible study. They must believe the carefully-curated, Mitchified majority of religiously zealous legislators on the US Supreme Court will favor them when the inevitable lawsuit arrives, pre-decided, as those who bankrolled their nominations and vacations intended.
Aware that voting by educated young people threatens their antidemocratic agenda, Republicans are making it as difficult as possible. They’re not hiding it. Cleta Mitchell, a top GOP lawyer, abettor of Trump’s unlawful attempts to overturn a lawful election, is speaking to Republican state legislatures about the need to impede student voting. It’s Democrats that have done the rigging, she says, which is a perfect inversion of reality. She is, after all, addressing legislators in states so gerrymandered that Republican lawmakers far outnumber Democrats, despite their populations favoring the latter. They aim to keep it that way, not only by hindering students’ access to the ballot, but that of everyone who disfavors their monolithic plans.
2024 won’t be about choosing between an aged candidate who’s turned the economy around and overseen record-breaking job creation and the end of devasting pandemic mismanaged by his predecessor, running against a nearly as old mis-manager of pretty much everything else but the impenetrable wall he got Mexico to pay for. It’ll be about the dramatically divergent directions in which the parties they represent would take our country. It’ll be about which one voters prefer. Republicans know, and are desperate to keep people distracted. Democrats, less cynical at messaging, need to make the choice clear, as never before.
Which party is responsible for the Oklahoma woman bearing a devasting molar pregnancy, fatal for the fetus and potentially fatal for her, who was told she’d have to wait until her life was threatened before obtaining the necessary abortion she’d have already had in a rational state? Legislatures of which party are criminalizing transgender care, not just for children but, in some, for all ages? Which party’s candidates are fomenting hysteria over a non-existent threat from such people? Being gay or transgender isn’t communicable. They threaten no one. Pretending they do, to deceive and capture voters, is despicable. And, for decades, modus operandi.
Following President Biden’s announcement of running again, two videos were released; one a frightening view of a future based entirely on lies Republicans have been telling about his and Democrats’ accomplishments since the non-stolen, decisive election ; the other a positive vision for our country, calling for action on actual problems, in belief that, together, they can be solved.
Subtracting twenty percent credibility on general principles, the differences still couldn’t be more stark; nor could they say more about the right-wing messages with which we’ll be bombarded in the coming months, till we can’t stop screaming. Or about how each party sees its voters: gullible, bitter, and fearful; or clear-eyed, willing, and ready.
There’ll be many who believe the dishonest, distorted, disdainful Republican view. But, because they’re not enough to swing an election, even when promised more top-end tax cuts, punishing the poor, and being told that accepting differences among and offering help to fellow humans (God’s children) is abhorrently “woke,” Republicans will continue to resort, federal, state, and local, to totalitarian self-preservation.
They’ll ban more books, more topics of education, more speech. They’ll prevent more people from obtaining needed medical care. And voting rights. They’ll continue making America an un-Christian Christian theocracy. They’ll keep threatening economic mayhem. They’ll keep making you fear your neighbor, further loosen gun restrictions and child labor laws.
They’ll continue telling you drag shows are more dangerous than climate change. Their judges will continue to favor polluters. Bent on dismantling the singular threat to their agenda – democracy -- they’ll keep choosing election-deniers and anti-everyone-but-us Christian nationalists at all levels. That’s what 2024 is about. Not President Biden’s age. Not Trump’s criminality. It’s about cliffs or cures.
Also, Tucker will be fine. Once he learns to speak Russian.