Or...we can trust Donald Trump

Bill Bumgarner is a retired former healthcare executive from northwest Iowa who worked in hospital management for 41 years, predominately in the State of Iowa.

Election year 2024 is upon us.

In recent months, some Bleeding Heartland commenters have voiced reluctance to support President Joe Biden in the November election. The reasons, as best I can surmise, are essentially he’s too old or not quite the new shiny object some younger governors and others appear to be.

Well, those outstanding governors are supporting Joe, because they know he offers the best chance for Democrats to retain the White House and continue to advocate for progressive public policy.

Some member of Congress from Minnesota is running against the president in the Democratic primary. He now enjoys the cold shoulder from many of his colleagues in the House of Representatives who believe, like the flashy governors, that Joe offers the best chance to win.

A few folks have mentioned RFK Jr. or Cornel West as independent candidate options. Please, someone, do the research and convince me how either of these gentlemen is qualified to be president of the United States. Then there’s the No Labels group, which buys into the fool’s gold that a third-party candidate can be elected president. 

As much as we may like it, or not, absent intervening circumstances, either Joe Biden or Donald Trump will take the oath of office on January 20, 2025. 

Biden or Trump. Democracy or a full-out attempt at autocracy. Pragmatically, it’s a binary choice.

Yep . . . Joe is old and he’s not flashy. But he’s been an effective president in a toxic political environment—largely of the MAGA Republicans’ making—while ably confronting complicated and destabilizing international events not in his control. 

Despite what the headlines might suggest, Joe has pursued policies that are resulting in a substantially improved economy. Inflation is falling to pre-pandemic levels. Job growth is high, and unemployment is low. The stock market is approaching record highs (which is the business community confirming that present economic trends are, in fact, positive). We can stick with Joe to build on this progress, or . . . we can trust Donald Trump.

Under Joe’s leadership, we’re also experiencing increased economic fairness. Wage growth for everyday working Americans has actually outpaced the most highly compensated for the first time in forever. Or, I guess . . . we can trust Donald Trump to represent the interests of the working class.

International affairs will always be complex as we’re now experiencing most acutely by conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East. Joe brings discipline, careful diplomacy and good judgement to those challenges. Or . . . we can trust Donald Trump to put the interests of the United States above those of Vladimir Putin and the other autocrats he so frequently praises. 

Joe is fighting hard, along with Democrats throughout the country, to do what he can during a time of divided government to defend a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions. The same goes for combating the public health crisis that is gun violence and protecting voting rights. Raise your hand and your voice if you prefer to trust Donald Trump to lead on any of those important issues.

Investment in long overdue infrastructure projects and reversing the ravages of climate change has received a significant step-up on Joe’s watch. Or . . . we can trust Donald Trump to prioritize these critical priorities ahead of more tax cuts for the affluent, a well-worn GOP dogma that insists the most wealthy always need a little more.

Also, crime is falling. NATO is larger and stronger. Access to affordable health insurance has expanded. The national debt has declined from its Trumpian peak. And Joe’s resolve and veto pen would continue to stop any MAGA crazy stuff that might cross his desk.

In the end, the point is clear. Supporting Joe, and all Democrat candidates from dog catcher to president, is the only real choice to preserve our hard-won democracy and advance the best interests of all Americans. 

While so many in the GOP cower under Donald Trump’s thumb and his demand for total fealty, let’s not lose sight that most progressives, in all our diversity, largely agree on the issues that represent core Democratic values. The smart play is to unite behind Joe and progressive candidates nationwide and win the day.

Top image of Donald Trump speaking in Sioux Center on January 5 is a screenshot from the Right Side Broadcasting Network livestream.

About the Author(s)

Bill Bumgarner

  • Do you know the difference between democracy and a sow’s ear?

    Pore Walt Whitman feels at one with God (as per his biographer), and he sees the miracle and mystery of creation, down to the “mossy scabs of the wormfence, and heaped stones, and elder and mullen and pokeweed.” Walt Whitman’s earthy poetry would, no doubt, be forbidden in Gov. Kim Reynolds’ ideal school library. Consider:

    Did you, too, O friend, suppose democracy was only for elections, for politics, and for a party name? I say democracy is only of use there that it may pass on and come to its flower and fruit in manners, in the highest forms of interaction between people, and their beliefs – in religion, literature, colleges and schools- democracy in all public and private life. — From Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)

    Some think Whitman, in his reference to manners, he was talking only about being polite. It’s that and more:

    I say that democracy can never prove itself beyond cavil (pettiness), until it founds and luxuriantly grows its own forms of art, poems, schools, theology, displacing all that exists, or that has been produced anywhere in the past, under opposite influences. Indirectly, but surely, goodness, virtue, law (of the very best) follow freedom. These, to democracy, are what the keel is to the ship, or saltness to the ocean. (Leaves of Grass)

  • RFK Jr or Manchin or Stein or West- not Biden or Trump

    Can’t see myself voting for the diminished capacity president again or the revolting former prez either. Not in good conscience. Will see what the “No Labels” group has to offer and find Manchin an intriguing alternative. Biden is worse than Carter and I voted for that clown twice. Never again!