Cartoon: How Politicians “Lead”


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So yesterday someone was telling me that “the Democrats have had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the left on this” – “this” being health care, in this case, but you could say the same thing about any number of issues. I thought “hey, I did a cartoon about that years ago” and searched around, and couldn’t find it on any of my webpages.

I think I simply forgot to post this one. So here it is!

As I said, it applies to many issues, but the issue I had in mind when drawing this was same-sex marriage — one of many issues in which the Democratic base got there years before the politicians did.

People forget that Joe Biden began his career as a pro-life Democrat — he even supported a constitutional amendment to undo Roe v Wade. But over time, the base became too solidly pro-choice for a pro-life Democrat to be a viable presidential candidate. So Biden changed. And he continues to change, such has his newfound opposition to the Hyde amendment.

I don’t say this to criticize Biden. It’s good that he changed. We want our politicians to move to the left!

If elected, Biden will not be left enough for my tastes. But at the same time, his administration will probably support policies well to the left of Barack Obama or Bill Clinton’s administrations. Because we dragged him there.


TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

This cartoon has four panels. Each of the panels shows the same location: A abstract, mostly empty space. But there’s a white line dividing the space in two. On the left side of the space are three activist-looking people – a woman wearing a sleeveless turtleneck and glasses, a man wearing a hoodie and a knit hat, and a woman with a short spiky hairdo.

On the right of the line is a handsome man in his 40s or 50s, with neatly combed hair, wearing black pants and a business shirt with a necktie. He basically looks like a politician. Also to the right of the line is some sort of pole sticking straight up from the ground (I was thinking it was a lamppost when I drew it, but since we’re only seeing the bottom six or seven feet of it, we don’t see the “lamp” part in this cartoon).

PANEL 1

The Politician is clinging to the lamppost with both hands. A rope is tied around his ankles, and Glasses, Knit Cap, and Spiky are pulling hard on the rope, as if they’re in a tough game of “tug of war,” trying to pull the Politician to the left. They’re pulling so hard that the politician’s legs and body are horizontal, and he’s a couple of feet off the ground. The three activists have expressions of effort and determination; the Politician is wailing.

GLASSES: C’mon!

KNIT CAP: We’re going this way!

POLITICIAN: Can’t we be patient?

PANEL 2

As the three continue to pull on the, the politician has lost his grip on the lamppost. His fingernails are leaving scrapes on the ground as he struggles not to be pulled left.

GLASSES: Why is he being so stubborn?

SPIKY: Heave!

POLITICIAN: Nooooooo! It’s not the time yet! It’s not safe!

PANEL 3

The Politician has been pulled to the left of the line and is looking around fearfully. The three activists are panting, bending over or sitting on the ground or leaning against the side of the panel, clearly exhausted.

PANEL 4

The politician has stood up and is taking a prideful pose, The activists are reacting to what he says with surprise.

POLITICIAN: I’m proud my leadership got us over the line!

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41 Responses to Cartoon: How Politicians “Lead”

  1. 1
    RonF says:

    “I don’t say this to criticize Biden. It’s good that he changed. We want our politicians to move to the left!”

    Sounds like a man whose only principle is “I want to stay in power.”

  2. 2
    Ampersand says:

    I think saying ONLY principle is unfair.

    But I’m sure that Biden wants to be and stay in power. But I’m pretty sure that you could say the same thing about 100% of Presidents. (Even if they eventually ended up not wanting power, they sure didn’t begin that way.) If you don’t have a LOT of ambition, you’re not going to go through the extraordinary effort it takes to become President.

  3. 3
    nobody.really says:

    Fun cartoon, illustrating a familiar perspective in a tangible way. The people pulling the politician see only their rope, and the politician inexplicably resisting. But surely we all recognize that it’s a myopic perspective, right?

    A fairer depiction would show vast teams of people attached to vast networks of ropes, pulling in every direction–and the politician dragged back and forth like a marionette being fought over by a pack of toddlers. In this revised version of the cartoon, the cause of the politician’s resistance would be made plain. But the politician’s hypocrisy in claiming leadership would be just as apt.

    Sounds like a man whose only principle is “I want to stay in power.”

    I think saying ONLY principle is unfair.

    But I’m sure that Biden wants to be and stay in power. But I’m pretty sure that you could say the same thing about 100% of Presidents.

    I was having the OPPOSITE reaction: How nice to observe the behavior of a candidate who seems to actively court majority opinion. What a contrast to a candidate who seems to actively repel majority opinion, and instead seeks to win by paying foreign powers to invent scandals about his opponents.

  4. 4
    Sam Cole says:

    Good comic, and it also illustrates why, pragmatically, you should vote based on who’s likely to have a place at the tug-o’-war rope, not based on the candidate herself. (Although, of course, all things being equal, you’d prefer the candidate not to need to be dragged across the finish line.)

  5. 5
    nobody.really says:

    [I]t also illustrates why, pragmatically, you should vote based on who’s likely to have a place at the tug-o’-war rope, not based on the candidate herself.

    “They think the way you solve things is by electing the right people. It’s nice to elect the right people, but that isn’t how you solve things. The way you solve things is by making it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing.”

    Milton Friedman

  6. 6
    Kate says:

    Biden won the Democratic nomination in large part because the African American base judged him to be their best ally. This Facebook post, is what made me understand why, and in the process transformed me from a half-hearted supporter of Biden, to an enthusiastic one.

    Let me explain something to you about Joe Biden and why some of the shit that he’s done in his past doesn’t matter. This old rich white man played second fiddle to a black man. Not just any black man but a younger black man a smart black man. Not just for a day. Not 1, not 2 but eight years. He took his cues from this black man who had more power than him and was virtually unknown when he took the presidency and Joe Biden had been around forever. He was willing and proud to be his wing man. Not once did he try to undermine him, this black man. Instead Joe walked in lockstep with him he respected him, he loved and trusted him. He was lead by him and he learned from him. And Joe did not have a problem with it. You tell me what 40+ year “establishment” white politician has ever done that. Joe Biden is cut from a different cloth. And black folks understand that and for good reason. He has shown it. This is what showing up and being an ally looks like. When black people say they know Joe this is how we know. – Laurie Goff

    This is not “..a man whose only principle is “I want to stay in power.””

  7. 7
    nobody.really says:

    This old rich white man played second fiddle to a black man. Not just any black man but a younger black man a smart black man. Not just for a day. Not 1, not 2 but eight years. He took his cues from this black man who had more power than him and was virtually unknown when he took the presidency and Joe Biden had been around forever. He was willing and proud to be his wing man. Not once did he try to undermine him, this black man. Instead Joe walked in lockstep with him….

    ….maybe.

    Recall: When Biden “came out of the closet” in his support for same-sex marriage, that was emphatically not “walking in lockstep” with Obama’s official position. Ergo, claim rebutted.

    Except … perhaps Biden was walking in lockstep with Obama’s unofficial position? That is, perhaps Obama was unwilling to risk his political future on same-sex marriage–but was willing to risk Biden’s. So he launched Biden in a trial balloon.

    So maybe Biden was just a good soldier following orders. Maybe he was a willing volunteer for a dangerous mission. Maybe he was a loose cannon, breaking from his boss’s position. Regardless, he’s showered in glory now.

  8. 8
    Kate says:

    nobody.really @7 Yea, that’s the only possible exception I can think of in the eight years of Obama’s presidency as well. In the big scheme of things, it seems like a kind of petty gotcha. I’m not really clear on what your point is.
    Most importantly, if Obama and the African American base don’t hold that gaffe against Biden (because I do think it was a gaffe – it certainly didn’t look planned), I think it would be odd for me, as a white progressive who strongly supports gay rights, to hold a grudge on their behalf over something that, if they were ever concerned about in the first place, they are clearly over now.

  9. 9
    Görkem says:

    I feel torn on this.

    Yes it is true that the African-American community strongly supports Biden, not only over Trump, but even over other Democrats, including some African-American candidates. However I don’t think a broad, electoral endorsement amounts to a specific endorsement of Biden’s racial politics. Biden is not the first white Presidential candidate to get strong support from the African-American community – these voters also turned out in large numbers for Clinton, in 1992 and 1996, despite Clinton often pursuing policies that were not in the community’s interests.

    So I am not sure if it is true that the African-American community don’t hold this gaffe against Biden. It may be that they do hold it against him, but that it’s balanced by other things.

    Having said that I 100% agree that it is not the point of white people to litigate this. I’m just saying that the African-American’s expressed electoral preference is not necessarily their expressed assessment of somebody’s credentials re: racial politics.

  10. 10
    RonF says:

    Good cartoon. Although I must say I’ve always thought of it more as a politician watching a parade from the sidelines, waiting until the cheering starts and then running out into the front row like he was there leading it all along. But I have no talent to draw, never mind construct cartoons.

  11. 11
    RonF says:

    This is not “..a man whose only principle is “I want to stay in power.””

    I don’t know about that. Then-Sen. Biden had run for President in 1998 and 2008 and failed both times. Perhaps he saw being Pres. Obama’s V.P. as his only shot at getting that close to the Presidency and perhaps winning it in the future, and played the political game accordingly. I’m not saying that this is proof that he did, but I certainly think it’s a possibility.

  12. 12
    Katr says:

    But he didn’t run in 2016, which at the time he likely saw as his last chance at the presidency. Whether it was because of his son”s illness, because he stepped aside for Hillary or some combination of the two something was more important than staying in power at that point.

  13. 13
    Ampersand says:

    It seems very likely that one reason Biden agreed to be vice-president is that it might help him become President.

    However, there’s a HUGE difference between that and the idea that staying (or getting) in power is his “only principle.”

  14. 14
    Ampersand says:

    Good cartoon. Although I must say I’ve always thought of it more as a politician watching a parade from the sidelines, waiting until the cheering starts and then running out into the front row like he was there leading it all along.

    Thanks!

    I think it’s more than just politicians jumping in front of the parade (although that happens too). Activists actively put pressure on politicians.

  15. 15
    RonF says:

    Well, I’ll grant that saying that it was his only motive is hyperbole – that in any case I certainly can’t prove. I’ll bet it was on the list of his motives, though, and near the top.

    Sure. Activists form the parade and lead it. Then the politician, with his or her finger in the figurative wind, determines “O.K., this is now popular enough that I should get in front of this issue” (in my view a prime example being Sen. and then Pres. Obama on gay marriage) and runs to the head of the parade, shoving the activists to one side and playing to the camera. You should have had reporters and cameras in that last panel, now that I think of it, focusing on the politician while the people who did all the work were off-screen and unheard.

  16. 16
    Kate says:

    There’s also this testimonial from Lindsey Graham.
    https://youtu.be/kLMYW8jFPHg

  17. 17
    Kate says:

    I’m not saying the man is without faults by any stretch of the imagination. Reports of his unwanted touching in particular trouble me. But, I do think most of his changes in positions over the years are the result of genuinely listening to and learning from marginalized people, not just opportunism.

  18. 18
    Mookie says:

    For all the shameless rewriting of history this ‘toon’s boastful party leader/nominee/figurehead weaponizes, he didn’t create the Great Man approaches to filling government seats that some countries, democratic or otherwise, like the US seem to rely upon. Divorce the leader’s position within the party from the general election, parliament-style, and these objections over personal style (not substance) will cease to have any meaningful relevance.

    Otherwise, this is in fact how our own system is meant to work; because we vote directly for our executive office on a dual state and federal ticket, latter hopefuls ought to bend their will and policies towards the party majority. Stubbornly asserting some kind of atomized, idiosyncratic, highly attenuated platform, over the objections of party leaders and the party’s electoral base, while also resisting the wildly popular needs and demands of both is how we get autocrats holding parties and nations hostage (in the case of present-day GOP, the party’s singular reliance upon an endless stream of wafer-thin, lightweight, disengenuous trolling for its own sake and for ample expression of grievance has become the petard upon which they are now hopelessly, irrevocably hoisted).

    The state we are in, re Biden, is, in fact, a desirable one. The Democratic Party—which will invariably resort to a default center-right or -left mean because, statistically speaking, it now always captures the majority of the electorate as the country’s most popular and diverse party in a two-party system—should always mercilessly hold its leaders’s feet to the fire. It’s the only way forward. They won’t do it themselves not because they are inherently and personally conservative or reactionary (recall Rodham Clinton in 2016 seriously considering floating the concept of UBI) but that, unlike the opposition, they respond positively to the consciousness-raising activities of “average” Americans by activists who understand the value of incrementalism, even when they push for more. Our most liberal geriatric office-holders are unaccustomed to pushing any envelope themselves for obvious Both Sides reason, but soon their tickets will expire.

    For the moment, all is right in the world when the adults see reason and then pragmatically market themselves on the strength of these modest-in-practice revelations. This is neither scandalous nor controversial. It’s a small sign that the system still works, at least in some corners.

    If you want to blame somebody or some entity for the fact that even minor feats of progress the majority of ourselves earnestly yearn for but that can only be reluctantly achieved when the one willing party manages to capture 54% votes of a rigged election, you know where to look.

    Meanwhile, it’s the same general pattern evinced by the conservatives, with the added deficit that their elected officials and operatives are being radicalized towards greater fascism, less progress, more atavism and chaos. The act of being pulled towards the future is not, in fact, what’s objectionable at all.

  19. 19
    nobody.really says:

    Stubbornly asserting some kind of atomized, idiosyncratic, highly attenuated platform, over the objections of party leaders and the party’s electoral base, while also resisting the wildly popular needs and demands of both is how we get autocrats holding parties and nations hostage….

    Certainly, Gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinions high respect; their business unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasure, his satisfactions, to theirs,—and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own.

    But his unbiased opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure,—no, nor from the law and the Constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serv[es] you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

    Edmund Burke, Speech to the Electors of Bristol (November 3, 1774). This was Burke’s acceptance speech upon being elected to Parliament. Perhaps not surprisingly, he did not win reelection.

  20. 20
    Görkem says:

    @nobody.really: Do you agree with Burke?

  21. 21
    nobody.really says:

    Do you agree with Burke?

    I do. I generally wish that people would speak and act authentically. Voters could then observe people, and elect the ones that combine (1) an authentic similarity with their views, and (2) some skill at governing.

    Such a guileless world would resemble The Invention of Lying. And in that film, we observed that people who were willing to dissemble could achieve tremendous things relative to people who were not. Politicians who speak and act with candid authenticity will likely lose to politicians who do not. And thus we have the situation we observe.

    We can blame politicians for their duplicity. Yet, as Milton Friedman hints, the problem arises not from the politicians, but from the situation. I think Al Franken remarked that the only time he ever voted for a politician who shared all his views was when he voted for himself–and even then, only when he voted for himself the first time.

    What is the alternative to Burke’s view? I’m furious with Republicans who go along with Trump and cover for his crimes. But when Trump is gone and we turn to accuse them, I expect many will say, “Hey, I was just representing the views of my Republican constituents.” Will you let them pass the buck with a just-following-orders defense?

    In sum: Yes, I agree with Burke–and I understand the systemic reasons why few politicians act like Burke.

  22. 22
    Görkem says:

    The problem with Burke’s view is that sometimes the politician’s own political compass returns a substandard result to what would happen if they deferred to their constituents.

    I am sure you are familiar with the scenario where a Congressman (or MP, since Burke was talking about the UK) spends years, even decades becoming more and more of a political insider, until his values are mostly aligned with the political micro-culture and not the farmers, workers, small businessmen and entepreneurs who actually represent his constituency. Is it really better for this representative to ignore their concerns in favour of his own personal judgement, when that judgement is shaped by his enculturation into an isolated, inward-looking elite group?

  23. 23
    nobody.really says:

    Is it really better for this representative to ignore their concerns in favour of his own personal judgement, when that judgement is shaped by his enculturation into an isolated, inward-looking elite group?

    You accurately describe the dilemma: We could have representatives who become “political insiders,” and thereby fail to reflect the will of their constituents. Or we could have representatives who do anything with absolute impunity so long as they can point to the fact that their (anonymous) constituents wanted them to.

    Here, we see two human foibles against each other. Yes, through socialization, representatives become less “representative” of their constituents. And yes, mobs of anonymous people will espouse more extreme and tribalist behavior than people are willing to espouse in person.

    At least in the case of the authentic, if socialized, politician, we have the remedy of elections. Moreover, what you call “becoming an insider” another person might call “learning.” Every profession entails specialization, and it’s naive to think that the public will understand all the practical constraints and opportunities of governing (let alone campaigning). As Henry Ford probably didn’t say, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

    The US has faced various waves of political fundamentalism, wherein the public rises up to demand change. Thus, you can often find polls showing that the public thinks that the federal government is too large, too wasteful, and spends too much. But when asked about what programs to cut, you find almost no support for cutting anything–other than foreign aid, which the public imagines to reflect some massive share of the budget. The public is simply wrong.

    Trump’s election arguably documents that there is widespread popular support for building a wall across the US southern border would eliminate illegal migration. Evidence shows that most people living in the US without documented immigration status arrived legally, and simply outstayed their visas. If you were a representative in a Trump-supporting district, would you vote for this boondoggle just because it was popular? Indeed, the Vietnam War was popular for a while, too. If you understood that it was simply a waste, would you have voted for it anyway just because your constituents supported it?

    You may well have. You may have campaigned against an incumbent, complaining that he had become a craven tool of Washington, and that we need a person of principle–someone such as yourself–in Washington instead. And you may have won. And, upon arriving in Washington, you may have learned that to retain your office, you really need to jettison those principles and pander to whichever group wields the most influence in your district. Thus, you would reject a Burkian point of view, and instead adopted a policy of pandering–not by rejecting the ways of the “political insider,” but by adopting them.

    I find this dynamic an intractable problem of democracy. Democracy remains the worst form of government ever devised–except for all the others.

  24. 24
    LTL FTC says:

    I agree with #3 that there are really multiple ropes: special interests who care about only one or two things, broad activists, institutional momentum, the limits of what is possible given the strength of other political actors, etc. That the people pulling see nobody else but themselves and the politician should really be read as a condemnation of the pullers.

  25. 25
    Görkem says:

    “Moreover, what you call “becoming an insider” another person might call “learning.” ”

    I personally wouldn’t call it that, but I know you are an American conservative so I provided you with a narrative calculated to touch on your particular concerns.

    I am amused though, you simultaneously talk about elections as a corrective, but then describe politicians who shift their politics to fit what their electors want as “pandering”.

  26. 26
    nobody.really says:

    I am amused though, you simultaneously talk about elections as a corrective, but then describe politicians who shift their politics to fit what their electors want as “pandering”.

    Happy to amuse. Care to let the rest of us in on the joke?

  27. 27
    RonF says:

    Actually, what I would prefer is a candidate who says “Here are my principles, which are what I will base my votes on. Here is how I would currently vote on the issues of the day based on what I know about them. If you like these better than my opponent’s, vote for me. If you like his better, vote for [him,her].”

    I can see a politician changing their vote based on learning things they did not know as long as that is based on a set of principles that remains constant. What I don’t like is a politician who changes their principles based on what’s likely to keep them in office.

  28. 28
    RonF says:

    Trump’s election arguably documents that there is widespread popular support for building a wall across the US southern border would eliminate illegal migration. Evidence shows that most people living in the US without documented immigration status arrived legally, and simply outstayed their visas. If you were a representative in a Trump-supporting district, would you vote for this boondoggle just because it was popular?

    Has he really said that it would eliminate illegal migration into the U.S.? Or did he state that it would stop (or at least slow down) people from illegally crossing the border?

  29. 29
    Mookie says:

    I don’t think anyone here is suggesting Trump himself said a wall would “eliminate” ‘illegal’ immigration. That is the implication of his public remarks and nobody.really is correct in saying that is how the border has been successfully sold to the anti-immigration movement.

    He is, however, among many people who have claimed a wall would reduce ‘illegal’ immigration, which is not true and not supported by evidence, and he has also touted that his “agreement” with Mexico to adopt policies the US itself will not will “greatly reduce or eliminate” ‘illegal’ immigration into the US by way of the Mexican-US border. which is also not true and not supported by evidence.

    Again, the skeptics among us, who represent a plurality, are asked to ignore reality, the consequences of these policies, in order to assuage the feelings and grievances of the anti-immigrant movement who are willing to accept security theatre, likely because it creates carnage and elicits lib tears, not because it is effective, reasonable, rational, or in any sense constructive.

    Vice- and cruelty-signaling, yet again, rule the day.

  30. 30
    Erl137 says:

    Great cartoon! Amp, I’m wondering about the direction of the panel. To me, the choice to have activists pulling “to the left” is an interesting political metaphor but also cuts against the implied direction of “progress” in left-to-write cartoons; it feels like the activists are pulling the politician “back”.

    What led you to go that way? Balancing the factors I described, or something else?

  31. 31
    Ampersand says:

    Interesting point! I drew this one quite a long time ago, so I don’t remember for sure. But my guess is in my mind the activists were leftists, so I put them on the left.

  32. 32
    nobody.really says:

    I’m wondering about the direction of the panel.

    I figured the politician’s hypocritical statement was the punch line, so you wanted to have that last. As we read left-t0-right, the reader sees the astonished faces of the constituents, ponders “What triggered that reaction?,” and then reads the legislator’s remarks. That seems funnier than reading the remarks and then seeing the reactions.

    (By the way, I LOVE having one constituent leaning against the frame of the cartoon!)

  33. 33
    RonF says:

    Mookie @ 29:

    I don’t think anyone here is suggesting Trump himself said a wall would “eliminate” ‘illegal’ immigration.

    Good.

    That is the implication of his public remarks

    No, it’s not. The implication is that it would reduce it. It’s incredibly deceptive when people say “Public Figure ‘A’ said “XYZ” but what that really implies/what he really meant was [something else].”

    and nobody.really is correct in saying that is how the border has been successfully sold to the anti-immigration movement.

    It’s been successfully sold to people who oppose illegal immigration. I don’t think it’s of much use to whatever anti-immigration people there are, since there’s still plenty of legal immigration.

    He is, however, among many people who have claimed a wall would reduce ‘illegal’ immigration, which is not true and not supported by evidence,

    Hm. That flies against common sense. What can you offer to support your assertion?

    and he has also touted that his “agreement” with Mexico to adopt policies the US itself will not will “greatly reduce or eliminate” ‘illegal’ immigration into the US by way of the Mexican-US border. which is also not true and not supported by evidence.

    Not sure what you’re talking about here. And I finish with a question – why do you put the word “illegal” in the phrase “illegal immigration” in quotes? Do you dispute that there is a distinction between immigrating into the U. S. legally vs. illegally?

  34. 34
    Corso says:

    @27

    Actually, what I would prefer is a candidate who says “Here are my principles, which are what I will base my votes on. Here is how I would currently vote on the issues of the day based on what I know about them. If you like these better than my opponent’s, vote for me. If you like his better, vote for [him,her].”

    This. A million times this. I’m not an American, so I have the privilege of not having to vote in their election. But as an outsider looking in, The Biden/Harris ticket hits me as one particularly devoid of principles.

    I’m not saying that people voting for Biden are devoid of principles… Never that. I’m saying that in 50 years of leadership, Biden has effectively lead from the rear on almost every topic the Democrats seem to hold dear. It’s one thing to say that your positions have changed over time, it’s another to say that every position you’ve held has changed over time. And particularly when primarying against someone who has been in politics just about as long as you have, but with significantly more consistency (Bernie).

    A sizable contingent of today’s Democrats seem almost afraid to take a principled stance against the general party line on any topic, and that erodes confidence in their willingness to actually govern the way they say they will. They might govern better than Trump, but so might a post-it note. Ideally, you’re voting for something, not against something.

  35. 35
    nobody.really says:

    It’s one thing to say that your positions have changed over time, it’s another to say that every position you’ve held has changed over time. And particularly when primarying against someone who has been in politics just about as long as you have, but with significantly more consistency (Bernie).

    Hm. Maybe. But could you make it rhyme?

    Burr:
    Talk less!
    Smile more!
    Don’t let them know what you’re against or what you’re for!
    Shake hands with him!
    Charm her!
    It’s 1800; ladies, tell your husbands, vote for Burr!

    * * *

    Hamilton:
    The people are asking to hear my voice
    But the country is facing a difficult choice
    And you were to ask me who I’d promote…
    …Jefferson has my vote.
    I have never agreed with Jefferson once….
    We have fought on like 75 different fronts.
    But when all said and all is done…
    Jefferson has beliefs. Burr has none.

  36. 36
    Görkem says:

    “Ideally, you’re voting for something, not against something.”

    I am not American either, but I think Americans in 2020 do not have the luxury of putting this principle into effect.

    Although having said that, this is hardly a principle foreign to the countries whose political systems are compared favourably to the USA’s – Swedish politics have historically to a very great extent revolved around people being either for or against the Social Democrats.

  37. 37
    Celeste says:

    I am not American either, but I think Americans in 2020 do not have the luxury of putting this principle into effect.

    Yeah, as I’ve said elsewhere, the choice really is, “are you in favor of a mass-murderer who has destroyed the US economy, tortured innocent children, and killed 200,000 Americans through incompetence, laziness, and sociopathy … or not?”

    Biden wasn’t my first choice by any means. He was one of my very last choices, really only above Bloomberg & Gabbard, but good god, debating the niceties of policy points at a time like this seems silly. I’m voting for the guy who will at least fucking try to make things better.

  38. 38
    Jeremy says:

    Biden acceptable under the circumstances

  39. 39
    Ampersand says:

    Biden acceptable under the circumstances

    LOL!

  40. 40
    Görkem says:

    Biden: Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good, and don’t make the good the enemy of the OK

  41. 41
    Petar says:

    Biden acceptable under the circumstances

    LOL!

    Where’s the joke? That’s 100% how I look at it.

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