The decade's most triggering comedy
In an article accompanying Time magazine’s selection of former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), as Time’s “Person of the Year,” author Charlotte Alter described the duo as having “offered restoration and renewal in a single ticket” while referring to President Trump as a monster, writing, “Defeating the Minotaur was one thing; finding the way out of the labyrinth is another.”
The Minotaur was a creature in Greek mythology with the head and tail of a bull and human body who devoured humans.
Alter, the daughter of author Jonathan Alter, who has written books titled, “The Center Holds: Obama and his Enemies,” as well as “His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, A Life,” said of Biden:
They said he was too old, too unsteady, too boring. That his pledge to restore the “soul of the nation” felt like antiquated hokum at a moment when Hurricane Trump was tearing through America, ripping through institutions, chewing up norms and spitting them out.
She quoted Biden, claiming, “I got widely criticized saying that we had to not greet Trump with a clenched fist but with more of an open hand. That we weren’t going to respond to hate with hate.”
As far back as July, Biden stated of Trump, “The way he deals with people based on the color of their skin, their national origin, where they’re from, is absolutely sickening… No sitting president has ever done this. Never, never, never. No Republican president has done this. No Democratic president. We’ve had racists, and they’ve existed, they’ve tried to get elected president. He’s the first one that has.”
At the nationally televised presidential debate between Trump and Biden in late October, Biden gestured to Trump and declared, “Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most racist presidents we’ve in modern history. He pours fuel on every single racist fire. Every single one.”
To him, it wasn’t about fighting Trump with righteous vengeance, or probing any deeper rot that might have contributed to his ascent. Biden believed most voters simply wanted reconciliation after four years of combat, that they craved decency, dignity, experience and competence. “What I got most criticized for was, I said we had to unite America,” he says. “I never came off that message.”
Alter posited that “experts” felt America has a “chronic condition” of racism, writing:
Yet Trump, many experts argue, is not the aberration Biden describes but rather a symptom of America’s chronic conditions: a legacy of racism and widening inequality that undermines both its ideals and its functioning.
When it was reported just prior to the presidential election that projections showed President Trump winning large swathes of votes in the Upper Midwest, Alter tweeted to her audience, “Keep calm people.”
keep calm people https://t.co/swiOO962v7
— Charlotte Alter (@CharlotteAlter) October 29, 2020