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HOW BIDEN CAN WIN

AN OPEN LETTER TO JOE BIDEN

FROM SOME PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS

 

Sometimes doing the right thing is the politically smart thing.

We are a small, new non-profit. We don't claim to be a major operation. We don't have millions of dollars. But we do have some moral and political points that Joe Biden should hear.

What does Biden have to do to win?

Even though Biden is now the official 2020 Democratic Presidential nominee, Biden is still failing to relate to many progressives and young people. He has more potential to relate to these demographics than he thinks.

Below is our outline for what Biden needs to do:

CHOICE OF VICE PRESIDENT

This is a choice that could make or break his campaign.   Joe Biden needs someone who is a unifying figure with rock star status. A powerful leader who can bring people together.

We believe that woman is Michelle Obama.   We understand that in the past she has said she does not want to run, but perhaps she would reconsider if asked directly.... in light of the historic crisis that our nation now faces

Mrs. Obama is one of the most admired women in America. 

On the choice of Michelle Obama, Biden has said, "I'd take her in a heartbeat. She's brilliant. She knows the way around. She is a really fine woman. The Obamas are great friends."

CNN has said, "There is no single person in America Biden could pick as his VP that would increase his chances of victory more than Michelle Obama. Period."

AMERICA'S HEALTH CARE CRISIS

America is in the middle of a health care emergency that is literally killing and injuring thousands of people.  Why?  Because we are the only modern state that does not have health care as a right. Now that America is in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, health care is a matter of national security.

What needs to be done in the case of health insurance?

Biden needs to make it absolutely certain that in his first term, America will join the rest of the world in providing healthcare as a right.  This is an emergency.  We need emergency action.  In particular, he needs to put an end to high deductible policies for people who have health insurance.  Middle-class families cannot afford $6000 deductibles.  He also needs to end the lunacy of "open enrollment" which makes it illegal to buy health insurance outside of a tiny time period.

What Biden needs to do is to suggest that he will call a health care summit in Washington very early in his administration and simply do whatever is needed to be done to get universal coverage for the American people. The distinction between Biden vis-à-vis his former competitors, Sanders and Warren, is that Biden will not be committing to blowing up health insurance before replacing it. Yes, that’s an important point. We are not sure what exact details will come out of this, but Biden needs to be much stronger on this issue and much more unequivocal about committing to universal health care as a goal.

THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS AND THE GREEN NEW DEAL

In the case of climate change, there needs to be something similar to the Green New Deal concept. The details are debated among Green New Deal supporters, but there’s a number of different green new deal plans floating around Washington. How to sort all that out—again we don't have the exact details—but an unequivocal commitment to developing a Green New Deal by Biden is absolutely necessary.

He also needs to host a Green New Deal Summit.

STUDENT DEBT AND BANKRUPTCY RIGHTS - AN AREA WHERE BIDEN IS FAILING WITH YOUNG VOTERS

We are very glad to see Vice President Biden endorsed bankruptcy rights for student debtors

The student debt crisis in this country is a national emergency of the first order. Entire generations of young people are being strangled. No other country has a system like this. There’s $1.6 trillion of student debt right now. Thanks to Joe Biden and other politicians, this debt is the only form of debt in this country that cannot be discharged by bankruptcy. This is an absolute outrage and a criminal situation that needs to change.

However, we're not sure that mass forgiveness of student debt is the answer. Before dropping out of the 2020 Presidential race, Sanders and Warren promised a mass forgiveness of student debt. These are well-intentioned ideas, but the US government is a financial basket case right now. How are we going to pay for trillions of dollars for the Green New Deal and goodness knows how many other progressive projects?

NEOCONSERVATIVE FOREIGN POLICY LEGACY

A key weakness for Biden is his neoconservative foreign policy legacy. It is difficult to exaggerate the scale of disaster produced by the US foreign policy establishment since 2001. Brown University recently calculated that $6 trillion had been flushed down the drain. Meanwhile, millions of people have been killed by American foreign policy overseas in a series of failed wars. This was a key factor in Trump's election in 2016. It is not at all clear that Joe Biden understands this fact. The appointment of Nicholas Burns as a key advisor to his campaign is clearly a disturbing event.

Looking at the Obama continuation of neoconservative policies is not encouraging. The surge in Afghanistan was a complete failure. Obama hailed Yemen as a proven success in terms of America's alliance with Saudi Arabia. Today, that policy has killed 200,000 people and created the greatest humanitarian disaster in modern times. We could go on, but Biden clearly needs to signal that he understands that neoconservative foreign policy has been a disaster. He needs to reach out to people who oppose this policy. We are not going to go into the details. But this is a factor.

NEOLIBERAL ECONOMICS AND THE CRISIS OF THE MIDDLE CLASS

Biden also needs to address the failures of neoliberal economic policies. The neoliberal trade policies started in the 1980s, but accelerated under Clinton, Bush and Obama. They have turned into one of the greatest catastrophes in American economic history. America went from being the world's largest creditor to having a negative $10 trillion balance in assets and liabilities. Entire US industries have been wiped out. And we are now dependent on a totalitarian dictatorship, China, for key parts of the US economy. This has just been an utter disaster. The fairy tale jobs promised by the political establishment to replace the industries that were destroyed by these trade policies have largely been just that, fairy tales.

Biden needs to show that he understands the crisis of the middle class. Unfortunately, in 2016, Joe Biden seemed to be going along with Obama, telling everybody how great the economy was and how wonderful everything was. This was a slap in the face to American workers who had their lives ruined and this kind of talk obviously should not continue today. We don't have the time to get into the exact details on what should be done about this issue, but the point is to show an awareness of the disaster facing America's middle class.

DEVELOPING A STRONG CAMPAIGN MESSAGE

Overall, there needs to be an idealistic message coming from the Biden campaign about the future of America. One of the strengths of Biden was in his initial campaign speech calling to bring the country together, to heal the country, to have people start talking to each other. This is a very powerful message. So putting together these concepts is a winning campaign for Biden.

Biden's strength is his reputation of bringing people together as well as his national stature of having served as Vice President of the United States for eight years. He is also a strong speaker. Though this is not being developed and this needs to change. In particular, in terms of Internet and television ads, his personal strengths and experience need to be addressed directly.

The Biden campaign needs to change direction.  Unbelievably, on some of Biden’s social networking sites, he seemed to be focusing mainly on the fact that he’s against Putin. Please, this is not the main issue that middle and lower class Americans care about most. Furthermore, the connection of Biden with the US foreign policy establishment, which has laid a trail of trillions of dollars in lost wars and millions of deaths around the world, is not a good thing. That is also a huge liability of Biden and that needs to be changed.

Biden should also take care of his health.   He needs to conserve his energy to do some really great short spots for TV and internet.

That’s the agenda. That’s the road to victory.