Update: Since this was written, the 42-year-old New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced her resignation, stating that she “‘no longer had enough in the tank” to do the job.
Each time that I have written about the urgent necessity of generational change in American politics it has triggered a mild hysteria. Oftentimes, it has resulted in alarming written devotionals that seem indistinguishable in their fervor from their MAGA counterpoints that shout down — or take great umbrage around the notion that the people have a voice in American politics, and that our society isn’t organized by tribes around politicians. The great unknown in American life revolves around the Democratic Party, not the Republican Party.
There is nothing left to learn about a political party in which Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar and George Santos are leaders and powerful figures because they sustain the unstable crown atop the head of the Speaker in Name Only Kevin McCarthy. The rottenness and malice cannot grow any more fetid or toxic. It is.
The open question is what would the Democratic Party do if a Trump rose within its ranks. Would it be defiant? Or would it yield? Would it surrender? In the end, only two Republican members of the US House of Representatives drew a line in the sand. How many would do the same in the Democratic Party? It makes me wonder when I read some of the reactions from people who erupt in volcanic indignation around the assertion that the United States of America should not have a president nearing 87 years old in 2029.
To be clear, my position doesn’t take away from President Biden’s significant accomplishments. He has substantially achieved the premise of his candidacy. He defeated Donald Trump. He restored sanity and stability to the Oval Office. His leadership of NATO and the global alliance during the criminal Russian war in Ukraine has been every bit as skilled as President George H.W. Bush in the Middle East during Gulf War I. The infrastructure legislation has claim on being one of the 10 most significant domestic policy achievements of the last 80 years. Its legacy will be the creation of world-class 21st century infrastructure across the United States to every pocket of the nation.
Yet, some have declared that it is unthinkable that there could be any Democrat who could conceivably win a national election aside from President Biden, or that the choices are limited to the extremely capable Governor of California Gavin Newsom, the Secretary of Transportation and Fox News tormenter Pete Buttigieg or the Vice President Kamala Harris.
One thing is for sure: should President Biden follow in the footsteps of George Washington and show the wisdom and grace to know when it is “time to say goodbye” then the Democratic Party — the oldest in the world — will choose a nominee for president. The competition isn’t a crisis. It’s an opportunity. The next presidential election gives us the next chance to fulfill the American covenant laid out in our founding documents. We must take it, and also think about the small pool of people who are considered as credible candidates. The idea that high political office should be the sole domain of professional politicians or careerist strivers is a particularly dim-witted lunacy of our age.
For example, soon there will be a United States Senate election in California to replace an 89-year-old US senator who is suffering from severe dementia and unable to fulfill her constitutional duties. This fact is known and covered up by her staff, her colleagues and the Democratic Party. It is appalling. The US Senate is not a hereditary peerage. The office of a United States senator belongs to no group and no individual.
Why should the only candidates being talked about for promotion to the US Senate be House members? Maybe that’s part of the problem. Maybe it might be a good thing to expand the political palette a bit.
One of my favorite destinations on Substack is to read Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
He is a wise man, who has had an interesting life and seen a lot across more than 50 years of activism. The US Senate could use a man like him. It needs soldiers, philosophers, statesman, writers, teachers, nurses, musicians and less lawyers. It needs men and women of the highest public character — not saints — but people who will never, ever break faith with their country, and in the end, do the right thing.
The United States of America is nearly 250 years old. Abraham Lincoln saved the country through the beneficence of his wisdom and grace. He endured crippling depression and staggering personal loss. He carried on with the work, and never betrayed either his integrity, oath or countrymen. He martyred himself so that government “of the people, by the people and for the people” would not perish from Earth.
The American story is a story about conflict between virtue and vice, freedom and tyranny. Each side has had its advantages, and each era has produced Americans who had the quality of character to face down the challenges of their time.
There have been few Americans who have had a greater impact for the good than the man who died 12 years ago yesterday.
He was a remarkable man who shaped the nation, spread freedom, stood on principle and made the world better. His name was Sargent Shriver, and his daughter Maria, a remarkable American in her own right, wrote a heartfelt tribute to her father, an American giant that I’d like to share with you:
Later today, I’ll share a story about Sargent Shriver, and how an act of decency, forged from conviction and skillfully delivered, changed the history of the Democratic Party, the civil rights movement and American history.
This nation is overflowing with genius and leadership. We just need to know where to look for it.
Your substack articles were the first I ever read on substack, and they continue to be so. When I was on twitter, it was you that I looked forward to reading. Well, you and Tim Miller. ☺️ As many have said before me, you are extremely articulate.
Once I came out of the Republican tent, I considered you my "enemy". Now, I look forward to every word you have to write every day. And, I consider you my friend. Thank you for being YOU.
I love reading your substack articles. You are incredibly articulate and I agree wholeheartedly with what you wrote. I wish the Dem party would take your words to heart. Why don’t YOU run for office? You’d get my vote!!!!