Shaking things up

President* Trump,

Do I still wish that Elizabeth Warren were the presumptive Democratic nominee poised to run against you? Definitely. Absolutely. Unequivocally. Do I think she got a raw deal and that sexist bullshit played a huge part in that? Definitely. Absolutely. Unequivocally.

We still have a Warren campaign sign in our yard and I don’t think we’ll be removing it any time soon, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be adding a Biden/Harris sign in the not too distant future. Even though the eventual B/H administration isn’t likely to stir things up to the extent that a Warren (/Harris?) administration would have or to the extent that I think needs to happen, it still promises to be a welcome antidote to the disaster of your administration – a disaster akin to train cars carrying the most toxic, horrific stuff imaginable derailing and erupting in a fiery ball in the middle of a densely populated track of land.

So while, the 2020 presidential signs touting “Any Functioning Adult” to replace you are completely valid, I’m choosing to believe that a B/H ticket and a B/H administration is the logical transitional one to carry us from full-on disaster clean-up post-you to a place where we can take a deep breath and figure out how the hell to build something truly just and sustainable to replace the hollow promissory note we’ve all been trained to pretend we can actually bank on. Phew! That was a long sentence – hope you could follow it ok.

Oh, by the way – is your staff f*cking with you and misspelling things in your little speeches so that you’ll mispronounce words like “fatality”? Did they get you to say “fatility” twice or is that just you? Either way it’s beyond mind-boggling – as in it gives me the creepiest of chills – that even a semi-literate English speaking adult would not know how to pronounce such a word (or “Yosemite” or “Thailand”), let alone the POTUS. Holy crap.

Enough of that; there are two far more important I need to tell you about Biden’s decision to have Harris as his running mate and eventual VP. First, I think it’s absolutely wonderful that he’s strong enough to choose a woman who is clearly not afraid to tangle with him and confront him. It’s one thing for a man to choose another man who’ll go toe-to-toe with him, but in our culture it’s taking it to an entirely different level to actively choose to have a strong, ambitious, opinionated, brilliant woman who you know is going to give you a run for your money. We sure as shit don’t see that kind of confidence in most older White male leaders, so Biden rose quite a few notches in my estimation because of this.

Second, I want to briefly unpack Laura Ingraham’s jab about Biden having stupidly boxed himself into choosing a woman VP because it severely limited the available, potential talent and shouldn’t we always pick the cream of the crop from the whole pool? On its face, this isn’t an unreasonable idea, but it a) presupposes that there’s somehow just one perfect individual whose perfectness will be blindingly obvious against the backdrop of the entire pool, and b) it ignores the millennia of brainwashing that so far has resulted in nearly all of those “perfect” – “I can totally see them in that role” – people just happening to be men. So f*ck that line of reasoning.

Biden pretty darn easily identified 12 incredibly solid, well-qualified women, any one of whom could have been a strong choice and in doing so he essentially jumped up, grabbed the moral arc and bent it several degrees in the direction of justice rather than waiting for the public “to be ready” to accept a Black woman VP (or really, president, since that’s the issue here). He (and she) may be middle of the road when it comes to policy, but dang if this isn’t a welcome radical shift in the conversation.

May we be safe to shake things the hell up.
May we be willing to be shaken up.
May we trust that there are so, so many strong, capable leaders among us.
May we accept that many don’t look like the cookie-cutter version we’ve been force-fed forever.

Tracy Simpson

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