Is anyone undecided?

On the one hand, Biden is not as progressive as I’d like.

On the other hand, people are dying of COVID because of presidential incompetence; children are put into cages and deliberately separated from their families; gay and trans people are facing serious threats to their livelihoods and even lives due to WH policies; and much more.

Your mileage may vary, but I value all those lives a lot more than ideological purity, and I plan to vote for the candidate most likely to defeat the one causing all that death and suffering. If I don’t, I bear a tiny bit still real part of the responsibility for what he’s done.

So think about those kids, and those people dying of COVID, and gay and trans people losing their jobs, when you vote. I’m sure they’ll be comfort if you ignore their suffering in favor of protesting the Democratic party’s insufficient progressivism.

I suppose Biden is the rowboat. Better than nothing. And better than what we currently have, and currently, the only chance to get things a bit back on track.

When your house is burning down, it’s best to try to save yourself with whatever means you have. You can rebuild later. Not voting, or voting third party in this case is nothing more than completely and totally giving up.

Trumps administration is not just burning down the house. It’s doing it’s best to also destroy the foundation.

Right now, we have two choices.

  • Save ourselves, and look to the future.
  • Say to hell with it and walk away.

The BEST message, and BEST hope we have for the future is to get rid of Trump post haste. With a clear, and undeniable statement by the people of the USA. This message is the best. It may help prevent other total scumbags from tying to be elected.

Then we can work on more progressive policies. The long and short of it is that Trump has screwed us over from day one. He must be replaced even if the new candidate is only luke warm. Protest votes, or not voting at all is a vote to support the worst President this country has ever seen.

Life is full of choices. Rarely does one come up that is perfect. That’s why they are choices.

My vote is not a protest vote. My vote is for the candidate that I think will best represent the ideals I have for my country. That candidate doesn’t exist. Yes, Biden is much, much closer to those ideals. But he won’t work to ensure that all Americans have unfettered access to healthcare that doesn’t bankrupt them and our economy. He does not believe that providing access to higher education to all Americans regardless of their ability to pay for it is worth fighting for. I don’t see that Biden is committed to Wall Street reform. The incremental steps he proposes and the way he proposes achieving them (by executive order) will be undone by the next Republican president just as Obama’s have with this one. And all we will continue to see in this see-saw country is more of the status quo and a slow drift to the right. The fact that I’m not willing to succumb to the drift does not mean I don’t care about all of the people suffering in this country. Rather, it means that I care that future Americans get to have what the societal benefits that just about every other developed nation in the world has and we don’t have the political will to achieve. The fact that we don’t have that and that currently have a president who is working diligently to destroy this country is not my fault, but rather the fault of a Democratic party that has abandoned its progressive ideals and is actively fighting and diminishing liberals who remain committed to them. The fact that Biden, Clinton, Sanders, AOC, et cetera all exist under the same tent should tell us that our two-party system is broken. The Republican party is in the same shambles. Equalize the playing field with parties that are better defined and then maybe all of us will feel that our votes are really meaningful. This isn’t about ideological purity, it’s about full representation for all of us.

This is demonstrably not the case if you objectively look at social change beyond the Trump administration. By making this claim, you discredit your position.

“All of us” don’t want the same things. The kind of ideal society you imagine has never existed and is unlikely to exist for generations to come, if ever.

What you are doing is making the good the enemy of the ideal. It’s a dangerous ideology because it drives apathy. Which was the major reason we ended up with Trump instead of HRC.

Those SJW etc. movements got stronger under a Trump presidency, so how do you account for that? Do you think that it might be a generational movement rather than a political left/right movement? What is your explanation? You’d rather have an incompetent captain steering your ship than a competent captain, just because of ‘feelings’?

Have any of you asked yourselves why we ended up with Trump in the first place and whether electing Biden is the solution to ensuring there’s no future Trump? I’m not necessarily saying, “let it all burn” but at some point you don’t you go, “What are the deficiencies in our system that allows for someone like that to achieve a position to utterly destroy this country in less than one term?”

I’m so sure there are a multitude of answers to that one question, but why aren’t we doing something about them? We stand back and watch corruption on a scale that hasn’t been seen in decades and yet we are powerless to stop it. Seems like this should be a wake-up call that elicits more than the usual suggestion of “swallow your ideals and vote for the other one because he’s better than what we’ve got.” The Democratic refrain of “he’s not my first choice, but he’s better than Trump” sounds a lot like the Republican refrain of four years ago in reverse. Is that an accident?

Your rationalizations are simply ill considered equivocations. Biden is a lib/progressive compromise. But not anything like the compromise that lead the conservative right to Trump. Continuing to use that as justification for your indecision is either apathy or unwillingness to recognize that there are absolutely better and worse choices in this election.

Certainly easy for you to say if your child isn’t separated from you in a cage, or if you’re not in the ICU with COVID, or if you weren’t fired for being gay or trans, or if you haven’t been brutalized by cops. Unfortunately, not everyone has your privilege. My vote is for their benefit, because people are suffering. If you’re not taking them into consideration, and their immediate need for an end to the policies that are directly harming them, then you’re showing they don’t matter to you.

RIGHT NOW. There is a choice between Biden and Trump. The house IS burning down. Who do you chose? ‘Neither’ is NOT an option. One will get elected.

Do you think Trump will help fix deficiencies in our system or Biden?

Who do you chose?

IMHO, many of the thoughts expressed in this thread are how we ended up with Trump in 2016, and why he may end up getting re-elected in 2020.

We have thoughtful, sane people who are apparently doing their best (even if is not their intention) to ensure that we re-elect the most corrupt, mendacious, incompetent, and unfit person to ever fill the office of the U.S. presidency.

The U.S. has never elected a third-party candidate for President in its history of presidential elections. There is no indication whatsoever that this will be any different in 2020.

So what are third-party voters trying to accomplish, other than to make it more likely that Trump will be re-elected? And it is my firm opinion that a re-elected Trump will do more damage to our country and the world than we can imagine.

Just off the top of my head, his re-election will guarantee the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement and the World Health Organization (WHO). There is little doubt Trump will pull the U.S. out of NATO in a second term, according to Bolton and others. Not to mention the continuing erosion of the judicial process and rule of law in the United States.

Trump has already used the power of the federal government against those his disagrees with, but so far this has been largely limited to firing people (like Comey, McCabe, and Vindman). This is bad enough. However, in recent months Trump has shown disturbing tendencies toward using the Justice Department to take criminal action against his political enemies. Back in May, he retweeted a video in which a supporter says, “The only good Democrat is a dead Democrat.” He has stated that the free press is is “truly the enemy of the people." How long before he starts utilizing the awesome power of the U.S. federal government to make good on his threats?

Not to mention the current pandemic. The missteps of the Trump administration are directly responsible for the deaths of tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Americans. It didn’t have to be this way. Other countries have manged to get this pandemic under control. The only other countries doing as poorly as the U.S. are countries with an equally incompetent national government and an equally incompetent government response, like Brazil.

The upcoming election is not one of choosing between two evils, like choosing between a modern-day Hitler and Stalin. It is clear that one candidate is far better than the other. Even if you don’t agree with everything that Joe Biden stands for, don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Especially when the alternative is very, very bad for the country and the world.

Yup. I think people that hate Trump and won’t vote because Biden isn’t perfect are really just coming up with an excuse to be lazy. Or just want to burn it all down. It will never be a perfect world. But we can try to at least work to move in the correct direction. Like people that have all their hopes on the lottery instead of making good financial choices.

Biden is more than merely “not perfect”. Biden is utterly unacceptable. Aside from his questionable mental state, he’s endorsed an assault weapons ban–while basically fellating Beto and promising to put him in charge of confiscation/registration. No candidate with that position is acceptable.

Egads! Gun grabbing at it’s worst!:

Biden’s 11-page plan includes support for universal background checks and reinstating the assault weapons ban, which have widespread support from the Democratic presidential field.

His proposal calls for a voluntary buyback program of assault weapons, stopping short of candidates and advocates who are calling for a mandatory gun buyback.

Under Biden’s proposal, a gun owner would either have to sell the weapon to the government or register it.

So he shouldn’t count on your vote?

Highlight the text you want to quote and a grey button that says "Quote should appear. Just click it and it will do all the work.

The Democratic party has never had progressive ideals in the broad sense you seem to be implying. It has had progressive ideas, internal progressive wings and occasionally enacted somewhat progressive policies. But it a mistake to think it has ever been a progressive party. It is not and IMHO structurally incapable of being one under our current first-past-the-post system.

There will never be a viable progressive party in the United States, because the progressive base will never be large enough to sustain one in our de facto two party system. IMO you can live to 200 and you will never see one in this country.

What the Democratic party is, is a moderate/liberal/progressive umbrella party. That’s almost certainly all you will ever get. I’m pleased when something sort of progressive comes out of it, but it is only going to happen some of the time.

There is literally no real way to ensure there is no future Trump. Demagoguery is always a viable political tactic and will always be a threat. The only thing you can do is campaign and vote against the more extreme practitioner of it and hope for the best. There are no magic bullets.

We’d be more like Canada! How horrible! Much better, I suppose, to be more like Russia with Trump.

That’s a false analogy. Contempt for Biden does not fairly imply support for Trump. Both of them are unacceptable, for different reasons.

But barring one of them dropping dead in the next couple of months, the reality is that one of these two candidates is going to be elected (or re-elected) in November.

Trump has the advantages of incumbency and the bully pulpit, along with all the free media coverage he has enjoyed since he came down that escalator in 2015. Along with the GOP doing their best to suppress the vote of likely Democratic voters, Biden needs all the help he can get.

As a gun-owner, I don’t completely agree with Biden’s stance on guns either (though my views on this are now more nuanced than when I was younger), but IMHO, this doesn’t make him “unacceptable” by any stretch.

Trump is different. For the reasons I outlined in my last post, he really is unacceptable, and I will do everything in my power to ensure he is not re-elected. This includes my voting for the other major-party candidate, and not throwing my vote away on a third-party candidate or write-in.

Even if you like assault weapons (and believe Biden will change the law somehow), that one issue hardly seems important enough to justify re-electing Trump. I’m firmly pro-choice, but if Biden was pro-life he’d still get my vote. I’m in favor of fighting climate change, but if Biden was ignoring that problem, he’d still get my vote. I very much enjoy recreational boating, but if Biden proposed outlawing pleasure boats, he’d still get my vote (although I’d do what I could to stop that policy from being implemented.)

In other words, there is no one issue that would “disqualify” Biden in an election against Trump. A candidate can disagree with you on an issue, even an important one, and still be light years ahead of the incumbent.

Okay, here’s an analogy that pretty much goes point-for-point on your characterization of Biden:

You are a hospital administrator and you have to recommend a new chief surgeon to the hospital board of directors. They’ll probably take your recommendation if it’s one of the top two candidates (they both have tons of connections and influence), but they will ignore it if it’s anyone else and flip a coin for 1 of the top 2.

Candidate 1 is in his 70s and has been a surgeon all his adult life. He’s got tons of connections in the medical world (some good and some bad, but there’s no doubt he’s got tons of surgery experience). He was the assistant chief surgeon for 8 years 4 years ago, and about half of the medical community thought he did well, and half thought he did poorly. There are some whispers that he’s losing it a bit, but no real hard evidence of any mental deficiency. The big thing you don’t like about him is that there’s a controversial life-saving technique that he thinks is too risky and should be banned or at least heavily restricted, and you think it’s a terrific technique that doctors should be able to use per their judgment. It’s doubtful that he’d have the power to ban it even as chief surgeon, but you really don’t like that about him because you think the technique is so important.

Candidate 2 is the current chief surgeon. He’s never been a doctor before and got there on a fluke 4 years ago. He spends very little time at surgery, and much of his time trying to screw over the doctors and nurses he doesn’t like. When he does attempt surgery he’s objectively terrible at it, though about a third of the community thinks he does great no matter the evidence. There’s a current outbreak of a bacterial infection in the wards that he spent months downplaying and denying, blaming it on conspiracies and such. There are far more than whispers that he’s lost it and he spends a huge amount of his time sending out cryptic and disturbing memos to the hospital. He’s fine with the controversial technique.

Who do you pick?

It’s not credible that you wouldn’t pick candidate #1. Chief of surgery is really important, and candidate #1 is very clearly far more suitable for the position than #2.

Nope. Not playing that game. There is nothing you or anyone else can say that will get me to vote for Biden. He disqualified himself by his own words. I really don’t give a damn whether you like it or not, whether you agree with it or not. I have zero obligation to vote the way you think I should, and I ain’t gonna. The only way Dems will ever get my vote on a national level is to nominate a candidate that at the very least will not support an assault weapon ban or registration.