With Gratitude To President Biden, It Is Time To Rally Around Kamala Harris

By Dr. Ron Daniels

Photos: IBW\YouTube Screenshots\Wikimedia Commons

I sincerely believe Joe Biden is a decent, caring human being who has been an outstanding President. However, I am also convinced that it is time to express our gratitude to Biden for his exemplary service and respectfully ask him to step aside. It’s time to rally around Vice-President Kamala Harris to lead the Democratic Party and this nation to victory over Donald Trump and the MAGA Movement.

With the race between Biden and Trump essentially deadlocked for months (which is scary) with large numbers of American voters expressing consistent concern over the age of both candidates, Biden’s political advisors and strategists made a bold decision to “shake-up” the race by calling for the earliest presidential debate in the history of presidential debates. Their gambit was that Biden would put the “age” issue to rest by winning the debate as he did against Trump in the first debate in the 2020 campaign.

It was a bold move that backfired badly. Within the first few minutes of the debate the optics of Biden’s appearance and slurred, mumbling speech confirmed the worst fears of vast numbers of voters that he was too old to serve another term as President. Though an “old” candidate himself, whose incoherent utterings at rally’s have not been sufficiently highlighted in the media, Trump proceeded to vigorously pummel Biden with a line of outrageous lies that were not challenged by the Moderators or more importantly, not countered consistently and effectively by a tired, weary looking and all too often incoherent President: a disturbing scene that led political commentator Dr. Julianne Malveaux to describe as a debate between the “Mumbler-in Chief and Liar-in-Chief.”

Trump was pathetic, but Biden was a disaster, not only because he looked old, but his performance also revealed some serious slippage in his cognitive capacities which solidified the perception in the minds of large numbers of voters that he should not be re-elected President. No matter what Biden’s supporters may think, “perception is reality.” Therefore, the path forward out of this painful predicament must be based on that reality!

Democrats are not only in danger of losing the White House, but there is also a legitimate concern that if Biden hangs on, the negative impact on down ballot races for the Senate and House of Representatives could be devastating. Under these dire circumstances, it’s time for bold, decisive action. I believe Biden must be persuaded to graciously and enthusiastically step aside and pass the torch to the person he selected to be the first Black Woman Vice-President of the United States, Kamala Harris.

Biden deserves praise for the extraordinary accomplishments of the Biden-Harris administration in the face of one of the most severe crises in the history of the nation, the global COVID-19 Pandemic which precipitated an economic collapse with “Great Depression” levels of unemployment, business and home foreclosures, homelessness, hunger and poverty. Lest we forget, it was Joe Biden who outlined a bold agenda to “Build Back Better” and skillfully navigated a rigid, seemingly unshakable partisan divide to successfully pass the most impressive and impactful series of social and economic legislation bills since Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ).

And, because of an inexplicable reluctance to tell the story or ineffective messaging, it is easy to forget the fact that Joe Biden not only selected a Black woman to be his running mate, he selected the first Black woman to the Supreme Court and proceeded to advance a “Lift Every Voice” Black Agenda which translated into issuing an Executive Order on Equity; vigorously supported the George Floyd criminal justice reform act and John Lewis Voting Rights Act; massive increases in  funding for Pell Grants and Historically Black Colleges and Universities; billions of dollars in the Department of Transportation to rebuild Black communities decimated by urban renewal and more recently by gentrification; and 5 billion to address gun violence in Black communities based on the Live-Free Model that only failed to be enacted due to reductions in the size of the bill demanded by conservative Democrats as a concession for their vote to ensure passage. Biden has yet to enact the HR-40 Commission by Executive Order but has signaled support for a “study bill.”

You can make the case that Joe Biden has the most significant civil rights record since John F. Kennedy (JFK) and LBJ. Plaudits are in order for Biden’s extraordinary record of accomplishments, but all that he has achieved is definitively endangered by the prospect of victory by Trump and MAGAISM. Democracy is in danger and Black America is in danger if the Democrats fail to win the White House. And, that prospect looms large in face of the troubling revelations about a decent human being and exemplary public servant that the nation and the world witnessed during the debacle of July 27th and its aftermath.

We respect, appreciate and admire you President Biden, but the perilous historical moment we face demands that we rally around Vice-President Kamala Harris to lead the Democratic Party joined by independents, disaffected Republicans and people of conscious and good will to a resounding victory over Trump and MAGAISM!

President Biden, I predict that an enthusiastic statement from you announcing that you are passing the baton to Vice-President Kamala Harris will be an electrifying moment; a historical moment that will break the current stalemate in the campaign for president. Kamala Harris is an extraordinary leader who will brilliantly present and defend the milestone legislative record of the Biden-Harris administration and articulate the urgency and vision for “finishing the job” in this moment of grave threat to democracy.

As a Black woman with Caribbean and Asian South Pacific Island roots, I predict that Black women, women of color and women of all backgrounds will rise-up and rally around Kamala Harris as she leads the charge to protect women’s reproductive rights and fulfills Biden’s pledge to pass federal legislation restoring the rights enshrined in Roe v. Wade.

Polls have consistently indicated “lukewarm” support among Black voters as the most reliable base of the Democratic Party. Well, that’s about to change. The Black base will be fired-up as Kamala Harris clearly and articulately shares the substantial record of accomplishments on racial justice issues by the Biden-Harris administration, and continues to fight for the Floyd and Lewis Acts and openly embraces HR-40 (polls commissioned by the organization Reparations United indicate that pledging to enact the HR-40 Commission by Executive Order will motivate unlikely voters, especially younger Black voters, to come off the sidelines and engage).

As the esteemed, legendary, elder statesman Rev. Jesse L. Jackson might say, rallying around Kamala Harris will “Keep Hope Alive,” that victory over the retrograde, reactionary forces of Trump and MAGAISM is not only possible but certain. So let us not equivocate or hesitate; we need an urgent and immediate groundswell positively urging and encouraging President Joe Biden to endorse his loyal, dedicated running mate, Vice-President Kamala Harris as his replacement as the Democratic Party’s candidate for President of the United States. That historic announcement will mark the beginning not of a Blue Wave, but a tsunami, a massive wave of Rainbow voters marching on ballot boxes to defeat Trump and MAGAISM and rescue democracy; a momentous victory that will pave the way to resume the essential complex task of creating a “more perfect union.” Keep hope alive. #RallyAroundKamala

 

Dr. Ron Daniels is President of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century, Founder of the Haiti Support Project and Distinguished Lecturer Emeritus, York College City University of New York. His articles and essays appear on the IBW website www.ibw21.org. His weekly radio show Vantage Point can be heard Mondays 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EST, USA on WBAI, 99.5 FM, Pacifica in New York, streaming live via www.ibw21.org. To send a message, arrange media interviews or speaking engagements, Dr. Daniels can be reached via email at [email protected] 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *