Now that Joe Biden is the official unofficial Democratic nominee, all the other candidates have dropped out and endorsed him, and former President Barack Obama’s endorsement is seen as his official unofficial coronation, the question is: now what?
To win the White House and the Senate (without which the presidency has only marginal value) and hold the House, Democrats will need Obama-like turnout numbers in the black community and among young voters (under 30-35). Biden does very well with older voters (over 50), including older black voters. But when it comes to younger voters, including younger black voters, he ain’t got it like that.
I spent a good portion of my adolescence working in my father’s barbershop, where I had the benefit of regularly hearing old black men talk about politics and life. Now I’m one of those old men. So, I thought I’d have an imaginary conversation in the barbershop about all this is.
Me: Hey, what’s up, y’all?
Barbershop: We were just talking about you. We’re having this argument about Biden, Democrats, Trump and the election. Brothers got a lot of different opinions, and some of these young ones are a little salty or indifferent. I told ’em you were due to come through, and damn if you didn’t walk in!
Me: Yeah, well, timing is everything, but before I tell you what I’m thinking, I want hear what y’all thinking.
The argument starts back up, and everybody is heard from.
Barbershop: Ok. But since you do politics, what we still wanna know is: what do you think?
Me: Well, I heard all y’all, but I was really listening to the younger brothers.
Look, here’s the truth of the matter, if you’re young (say, 30 or under), the only thing exceptional about America is how screwed up it is, and it’s been screwed up your whole life. You got a legitimate list of grievances and injustices
And it’s clear why so many of you were favoring Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, because they were the only two who correctly identified that Trump wasn’t your problem; the system is the problem. I’ll be the first to say: you’re right. On his best day, Joe Biden ain’t the answer to no problem you got.
This means nothing about if this ended up the way you wanted or needed it to. So, I’m not gonna tell you you’re in a good place, ‘cause you’re not. Not gonna tell you to like where you are, ‘cause you shouldn’t. And know you wanna kick somebody’s ass about all of this, and, well you should. But you can’t. But here is where we are, and from here is where we have to decide our next move.
Here’s something to consider
If Trump wins in November, your bad gets worse. If Biden beats Trump, your bad is unlikely to get better, if he’s left to his own devices. So, in November, beat Trump so your bad won’t get worse. Then, in January 2021, go to war on Biden and establishment Democrats and take what you think you got coming.
Now, I know all of this is kinda messed up, but life is kinda all messed up (something we fail to teach our young now). But in life, if you gonna be a playa, you don’t get to sit it out, ‘cause if you do, you’re gonna get played. So, whether it’s politics or life, the only question you really gotta answer is: are you gonna be a playa, or are you gonna get played? Ain’t nothing else.
I’m not trying to tell you what do, just telling you how an old man sees it
Barbershop (young brother): Thanks, man, I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it. I got a little one, so I’m gonna have to think on it.
Me: Let me say this to you: I hope I see you in November. But, if I don’t, I’ll understand, and I’m not mad at ya, cause you’re grown and it’s your call. But, just remember: whatever you decide, you’re gonna live with the consequences.