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A Late Escape from the Biden Train

Independence Day was as good a time as any to examine what particular independence we purported to be celebrating and why we seemed so willing to abandon it some two and a half centuries after the War of Independence. For if we intend to continue celebrating that independence, we cannot ever consider electing—or, in this case, re-electing—a convicted felon whose policies center on the systematic removal of those selfsame freedoms,

It remains a consummate waste of words to discuss Donald Trump's demerits and deficiencies. Even his supporters admit he's a vengeful, small-minded, and avaricious liar—and they love him for it. If you fall into that category, you've already stopped reading. If you haven't stopped, stop now. You won't like the rest, and if you still have admiration for Donald Trump after eight years of his anti-American misanthropy, you won't understand understand it either.

You may, of course, be one of those who admit Trump is a sleaze, but excuse it by equating him with every other politician. I won't deny our well-founded distrust of elected officials; however, we're not considering the re-election to Congress of a nonentity from Georgia—Congress will survive. We're talking about qualifications befitting the leader of the free world and considering whom to bestow with that responsibility. It cannot be Donald Trump.

Unfortunately, it cannot be Joe Biden either.

Each man must make a hard choice: For Biden to remove himself from candidacy will always be considered a noble act, regardless of the eventual outcome. The last president to do so, Lyndon Johnson, is remembered for his civil rights legislation and his poilitical savvy. He has not escaped the stench of Vietnam entirely, but he also knew he was not the man to deal with it and bowed out. Biden must make the same decision. For Trump the choice is simpler: admit that a felon commanding the country he purports to love would be an embarrassment and then withdraw.

The Republican party is filled with reasonably moderate public servants not beholden to maniacal evangelists or Bible-thumping hypocrites—men and women who would return the party to its base of fiscal conservatism and military strength. Some of them hold their noses and support Trump even today, but many would rally with more fervor behind someone not so unreliable, disreputable, or incompetent.

And the Democrats must rally four-square behind Kamala Harris and stop beating the bushes for some male savior. Yes, there are knocks against her, but as more information spills out, we are beginning to realize that in a job with low expectations, she has done better than most. Republicans will criticize her "work at the border," but she can remind them of the Trump-sabotaged bipartisan agreement reached last winter that would have improved the situation.

Then, of course, there's the issue the Republicans can't run from: abortion. Harris has spoken out forcefully against the Supreme GOP Court decisions since they were rendered and would continue to do so. Beyond that, she understands and appreciates the law. To her, Trump would not be merely an opponent but another miscreant trying to get away with something— a clear reminder of her former position as a prosecutor. She even understands how a government functions and how a world order is maintained. While Trump leads the charge for more nuclear testing, Harris would work to return rights to women and their families.

The ball is in Biden's court. His resignation without the full-throated support for Harris will leave the party in worse shape than it is now. But with his support and that of other Democratic leaders—and her willingness to run, of course—she would stand a chance to challenge and defeat Trump.

Make no mistake—this dilemma is the fault of an imaginative and progressive party that lacks imagination when it counts. Their shock over Biden's debate performance is proof. What did they expect? But now that they've had a few weeks for that to fester, it's time for a lot of people to make some hard choices—the voters among them. The need to prevent another Trump presidency and the further degradation of our fundamental human rights supersedes small policy issues. The job has always been too big for Trump; with Harris, there is a better chance that next Independence Day, there'll still be something to celebrate.


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