Why the Left Must Reject and Elect Biden at the Same Time


In the next three months, a dozen states will determine whether Donald Trump wins
another four years as president. Those swing states should be central to the work of
progressives who are determined to prevent that outcome.
With so much at stake, we can’t afford the luxury of devoting time and energy to endless
arguments about whether progressives should vote for Joe Biden if they live in
California or New York, or Alabama or Alaska, or other states where the electoral votes
are sure to all go to Biden or Trump.
What will matter are the swing states, generally understood this time around to include
Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas
and Wisconsin. (Also in play are “swing districts” in two states where the statewide
winning candidate doesn’t automatically get all of the state’s electoral votes: Maine’s
second congressional district and Nebraska’s second congressional district.)
There’s no point — or honesty — in pretending that Biden is a decent guy whose public
service has overflowed with compassion. Whether provided by the New York Times
days ago or The Nation last year, the grim evidence of Biden’s callous political career is
During the primary campaign, the organization where I’m national director,
RootsAction.org, supported Bernie Sanders and widely distributed documentation of
Biden’s decades-long record of serving corporate greed, racial injustice and the military-
industrial complex. I’ve denounced Biden’s political record in one article after
another after another after another after another after another after another.
But the choice ahead, Trump or Biden, is painfully real. Magical thinking has its literary
value, but in politics it’s delusional and dangerous to evade the realities of binary
choices when they arise. All too often, discussion of voting can fall into a kind of self-
absorption that focuses on a voter’s emotions about voting rather than on the impacts of
election results on other people.
“It doesn’t matter whether you like Biden or not, that’s your personal feelings, irrelevant,
nobody cares about that,” Noam Chomsky said in a just-released video. “What they

care about is what happens to the world. We have to get rid of Trump, keep pressure on
Biden, just as Sanders and associates have been doing.”
Chomsky added: “Politics is activism, not taking five minutes to push a button. Look
what’s happening in the streets of the country. One of the greatest social movements
that has ever developed, led by Black Lives Matter. Take Sunrise Movement, managed
to put the Green New Deal on the legislative agenda. This generation is going to decide
whether organized human society can survive. And the crucial part of this decision is to
get rid of the major barrier to survival, which happens to be in the White House. Get rid
of Trump, then we have opportunities.”
My colleague Jeff Cohen, who co-founded RootsAction, told Common Dreams that the
“Vote Trump Out” initiative that RootsAction launched with the Chomsky video is “a two-
step campaign: First, vote Trump out. Then challenge Biden from day one. . . It’s easier
to persuade ‘swing voters on the left’ who live in swing states to vote for Biden despite
their hesitancy if they know we’re serious about step two.”
Like it or not, the imperative of defeating Trump is directly in front of us. To make a
progressive future possible, beating Trump is absolutely necessary while very far from
sufficient. To organize against a government headed by Trump is to push against a
thick stone wall. To organize against a government headed by Biden holds out the real
potential of progressive breakthroughs.

Norman Solomon is co-founder and national director of RootsAction.org. He is a Bernie
Sanders delegate from California to the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
Solomon is the author of a dozen books including “War Made Easy: How Presidents
and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.”


  1. Biden is likely suffering from early onset dementia… that’s likely why the democrats do not want him out campaigning. Does anyone really want Pelosi and Schumer running this country…into the ground by increasing the typical tax and (irrationally) spend?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.