Stacey Abrams: Biden is still best bet against Trump

Most of the voters Biden has won and needs to win again already know his foibles — and they aren’t turning in droves to say, “I’m now voting for the bombastic fascistic liar.
President Joe Biden greets supporters on June 28 at a Waffle House in Marietta. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

President Joe Biden greets supporters on June 28 at a Waffle House in Marietta. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Voters have been treated to a post-debate drama that has almost exclusively focused on performance versus principle. Good people stumble. Liars lie. In the face of the latter, we have become myopically fascinated because, for some, soothing anxiety seems easier than confronting the slow-motion death of democracy.

Let’s be clear: The wishful benefits of a contested convention or a late-stage exit are vastly outweighed by the potential harm. President Joe Biden has the integrity, moral character and record needed to beat Donald Trump in November. Our path to victory lies in standing by Biden and understanding the high stakes of this election.

Credit: Handout

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Credit: Handout

The anti-Biden doom loop feels loud right now, but it is largely a phenomenon among those who obsessively follow the news or want to make the news. Most of the voters Biden has won and needs to win again already know his foibles — and they aren’t turning in droves to say, “I’m now voting for the bombastic fascistic liar.”

Former President Donald Trump has made clear his plans to be a “Dictator on Day 1,” and has openly called for the termination of our Constitution, threatening the very foundation of our democracy. His return to power would deepen this threat, normalizing behavior that undermines our democratic institutions. He is a self-serving felon whose dictatorial tendencies presage a glide path to authoritarianism.

Trump has repeatedly fetishized the use of the military as domestic law enforcement, seeded a hand-picked judiciary that shrugs off the necessity of regulatory oversight and has legalized corruption, and he continues to celebrate the rise of repressive foreign states as emblems of power. Much of Democrats’ current turmoil is the vain search for a guarantee of his defeat — one that cannot be secured short of our joined efforts.

As for the narrow sliver of swing voters who are the constant preoccupation of the chattering class, they are not choosing based on age or infirmity but an alchemy we can’t control or predict. We have to make the case to these voters on the issues that matter to them. These voters have to know that a Trump presidency would bring more crackdowns on access to abortion and even contraception, and that the failed real estate maven will not tackle the housing crisis. That Trump’s economic plan and promised tariffs would reignite inflation and risk a major recession. He will cost us jobs again, not create them.

Our aggressive focus must be on engaging voters who don’t think about politics every day. The ones who haven’t made up their mind about whether they’re going to vote rather than for whom they’d cast that ballot. If that voter gets dedicated, direct attention over the next four months in key states such as Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Biden can secure a decisive victory.

We who believe in the preservation of the American Dream have a lot of work to do to remind voters that Biden is the one who rescued our nation from Trump. In our darkest hours, Biden worked day in and day out to make our country stronger, safer and more prosperous. And he continues that hard work. Yet, the results of his extraordinary record have not been keenly felt by all.

During this first term, the Biden-Harris administration has planted the seeds needed to restore America’s manufacturing jobs, protect our climate, modernize our country’s infrastructure and expand health care access to millions. However, as with any planting, the harvest isn’t immediate. A reelected Biden will tend this progress, and we will reap the benefits. Trump has sworn to raze the ground and salt the Earth. It’s that simple.

If we introduce a new, untested candidate at this stage, Democrats will risk destroying what they seek to save. A last-minute replacement with no established campaign infrastructure, resources or significant national record is certain to fragment our efforts and weaken our message.

Democrats must not fall victim to overcomplicating our political strategy to satisfy the fever dreams of a silver bullet to success. Instead, we should focus on what we do best: building a strong, unified campaign from the grassroots to the grass tops — not the other way around. As Democrats, our strength lies in our ability to stay focused on the people who need help, avoiding unnecessary gambits that could jeopardize our mission.

Joe Biden’s leadership over the last three and a half years has provided stability and progress, and it is crucial that we continue to support him. Ignore the allure of the doom loop, and rather than indulge in useless worry, we must do the critical work of getting Biden reelected president. He is our best guarantee for a more just and equitable future for these United States of America.

Stacey Abrams, a former Georgia House of Representatives minority leader, is an author, producer and founder of Fair Fight Action, Fair Count and the Southern Economic Advancement Project.