By Susanne Severeid
Joe Biden’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention this past week was like a breath of fresh air. No, that’s not quite right. It was more like drawing back the curtains, throwing the windows and doors wide open, and letting a gust of sweet-smelling oxygen into the dark, stagnant rooms. Biden’s speech was not stuffed with platitudes, but rather had warmth, emotion, compassion, and energy. How, I wonder, can both these candidates for president even be discussed in the same breath?
The current occupant of the White House, so full of hate and viciousness and unable to string two coherent sentences together, is, in my view, the closest thing we have had here to a dictator. And I do not think that is an exaggeration. His policies and words might be banned as hate speech in certain other countries, and he appears to believe he and his ilk can function above the law. Yet, many Americans hang on his every word as if his ramblings and toxic nonsense somehow hold the answer to their problems. Well, after this term, a rational thinker can conclude that he does not hold the answer to anything, other than how to fill the pockets of his family, cohorts and the exceedingly wealthy. As for the rest, let them eat Goya beans. I never believed for a moment, as some speculated, that once president, he would become “more presidential.” Why? His true colors were flying high throughout his filthy campaign.
So, the very real and immediate issue before us now is can we accept the truth? That we have, as a country, allowed this clearly unfit person to remain in office for an entire term while he and his cronies have attacked our norms and values, sown divisiveness, torn infants from their mother’s arms, put children in cages, and said and done things far beyond reasonable protocol and behavior—not only of previous administrations, but of any decent, caring human being. Add to this, there is no concern whatsoever for the other global crisis of this generation: climate change. (Can you imagine what our country would look like today if Al Gore had not had his election stolen?) As for a national strategy regarding Coronavirus, we know what a shameful shambles that is.
It is from this chaos that we must emerge. Not after November, but now. We must shake off the shackles of inertia, exhaustion, cognitive dissonance, and despair. We have a right to be angry. We have been robbed and abused by this administration. Let’s harness the energy of that anger and rid our country of the darkness of these past four years. I agree with Biden, Obama, and others who say that the very “soul” of our nation is at stake in this election. Biden’s speech gave me a sense of hope. I have decided to stop paying attention to the crazy tweets and rants and, instead, focus on what I can do to bring about change in November, both nationally and at the state and local levels.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are stepping up with full-throttle courage and dedication. Let us step up too, and do what we can to send this current, corrupt administration and its toadies packing.
Susanne Severeid is an award-winning author, public speaker and performer with a background in international journalism. www.susannesevereid.com