On the aftermath of Joe Biden's less than stellar June 2024 debate.

It’s been several days since the Joe Biden debate debacle. A couple of new crises— aggressive glare in the direction of the Supreme Court of the United States —have even surfaced since. News cycles never seem to slow down. I have been chewing on my reaction to the debate performance.

My current bottom line: anyone who understands what’s going on in the world, even loosely is voting for team and not candidate. No debate will change that. The only people who matter right now are “low-information” undecided, likely voters. Whatever they believe will determine the path forward for our country in this existential election.

Franklin D. Roosevelt is regarded as one of the most successful US Presidents. FDR was in office in a wheelchair for all terms of his presidency, and was in the final days of his life at the end of World War II while in office. The Germans actually surrendered during FDR’s 30-day mourning period. The US government continued to succeed during its most trying periods under his watch, and later the watch of his Vice President Harry Truman.

Joe has been one of the most successful presidents of the modern era. Joe can handle it, and if he can’t, there’s literally a line of succession. The government will be fine. The country will continue to work. There is no world in which an even moderately informed voter who is likely to vote for Biden will instead vote for Trump because they fear for Biden’s health.

It’s the low-information voter whose judgement I fear the most; the both-sidesism people (“They’re all bad!”).

Another scary angle is people who vote for opposite parties for president and congress. A GOP-blocked Congress can do a lot to hem in Biden, because Biden adheres to norms. A Trump presidency with a Democratic-led Congress can do a lot more damage by appointing more SCOTUS justices, and appointing cabinet members who will be tasked with dismantling the departments they head to “give power back to the states”.

Basically, if Trump wins, we no longer need alternative-history fiction to imagine what would have happened if the Confederacy won. We’ll see it in action. Except since it’s not 1865, the US is now the dominant world superpower with nuclear weapons… and “rivals” who also possess such weapons.

How did we get here? Two things coming to confluence at the same time.

Conservatives have been marching in this direction since the 70s. Since the GOP knows demographically they are unlikely to ever again be able to be legitimately voted to power on their policies, they must gerrymander and use other underhanded tactics to retain any power. I genuinely wonder if they will ever again win the popular vote for President? Seeing power slipping, they have surrendered all hope to the momentum of the alt-right, conspiracies, and a cult of personality around a known con-man that has no moral convictions(1) himself, and will tell them anything they want to hear in order to achieve or retain power. He will in turn be their strong man to set up a regime that cannot be overturned at the ballot box. He already made the crucial first step of capturing the Supreme Court, and freeing them to make decisions based on their political beliefs, and not following the traditions of American law.

(1) He does, however, have dozens of felony convictions.

Both parties are under the grip of leaders who are too old, and have not relinquished power early enough to allow the next generations leadership experience. Therefore regardless of which team is your team, the only people with a legitimate path to major party nomination for president are those who have been playing the longest.

This same mindset is what kept Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the bench until her death, allowing DJT to replace her with a right-wing sycophant. Younger generations need the opportunity to experience leadership by doing. Because they have not had that opportunity, there are no legitimate alternatives to Joe Biden in the Democratic Party.

Choices at the ballot box would not be a problem if we implemented Rank Choice Voting for Congressional and Presidential elections as they do in Maine.