Biden and the Alternatives

Ruth Conniff does an excellent job explaining why it makes sense for progressives to stand behind Joe Biden ("Biden in the Breach," April/May issue). We know he was not the dream candidate of the American left; I myself voted for Sanders in the Democratic primary. But it's not clear that anybody else could have attracted the votes of both wings of the Democratic Party--including independents, the undecided, and people of color--necessary to get our country out of the nightmare of the Trump presidency.

Biden's appointments since his election and his often ambitious proposals, while not all approved or passed, have been in the direction of a more equitable society. Our skewed and lopsided electoral system has deprived him of the votes he needs in Congress to carry out his policies. That's not his fault.

I conclude as Conniff does: Think of the alternatives and give the Republicans and their reactionary friends no ammunition.

--Leo Laventhal

New Orleans, Louisiana

What a breath of fresh air it was to read Ruth Conniff s column. Finally, a cogent look at what has been accomplished in a really short time. As a nation, we are not there yet. Teachers are being told how to teach history by fools. Workers are being told they are not worth a higher minimum wage by people who never did an honest day's work in their entire lives. We just escaped four years of an idiot who claimed he knew everything while proving he knew nothing. There are still people out there who think he was the greatest President ever, and they vote.

This only means we must also vote, in ever-increasing numbers, because, when we do, our representation gets better. It will never be perfect but nothing ever is. In my life, I've seen great progress. We just need to keep it going. We're finally headed in the right direction.

--G.N. Gilchrist

Mills River, North Carolina

I was surprised to see Ruth Conniff indulging in nationalistic fantasy about Biden's having built consensus among European countries. He had very little to do with it, and his speeches have been at best rather tiresome posturing by someone who is too far from the action to understand the reality of the danger. To watch him in a European newscast is to wince at the contrast between his canned rhetoric and the serious statements of European leaders--though when he goes off script it is even worse.

The Europeans have a war of aggression on their doorstep. They also have a sound historical memory...

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