Does America Want a Leader or Do They Just Want Dank Memes?
Damn, forgive me but Jill Stein really might be onto something here.
The reality of the 2016 election still has yet to play out with many holding out hope that the electoral college will award Hillary Clinton the presidency, especially on the heels of one very public faithless elector. I can’t really get behind that because I’m a pragmatist but to each their own! I’d gladly eat my hat if I’m proven wrong.
Anyway, you better believe that I COULDN’T believe my eyes when I saw articles flying around social media that said Joe Biden was considering a run for President in 2020. This is part of the problem with the 2016 election, thanks to advertising revenue which is largely generated ONLINE, journalists fell victim to clickbait journalism in order to compete for dollars and readership.
Don’t challenge me on this. I worked at a digital publisher and my sole job was to help generate clickable headlines to drive traffic. It’s a slippery slope but it’s HIGHLY profitable. The more clicks = the more traffic = the more traffic = the more $$ advertisers want to spend with you. On and on it goes like that. Very circular. Only there is no ceiling so the demand only increases.
BUT baaaaaack to Joe Biden for a second. CNBC’s Christine Wang reported in her story, “Joe Biden predicts he will run for president in 2020, adds that he is not yet ‘committed’” as follows:
“Yeah, I am. I am going to run in 2020,” Biden said when asked if he would run for office again. When asked what role he would seek, the 74-year-old vice president responded: “For president. And also, you know so, what the hell man, anyway.”
The vice president said, however, he wasn’t making a commitment to run when reporters asked if he was kidding.
“I’m not committing not to run. I’m not committed to anything. I learned a long time ago, fate has a strange way of intervening,” he said.
Written another way, the headline might as well have read: “Joe Biden might run for president, but then again, he might not. Who can know for sure? Joe Biden, that’s who! But he’s not really saying anything definitive so I guess I’m going to write this.”
But baaaaaack to those dank memes for a second. Man. Folks love a good Joe Biden meme, like this one:
or this one:
Or hell, even this one:
I get it Biden is FUN, he’s LOOSE, he rocks the hell out of some Aviators. He’s from Pennsylvania. Man, what a guy!
But in terms of government, on the heels of what we just experienced with Trump and Clinton, I was genuinely taken aback, looking at so many people post how much they’d love to see Biden run or become president.
How quickly they forget…
[Listen, I know this is all hypothetical and even based on Biden’s quote above, I’d be surprised if he did run, but entertain me for a second…]
You’d vote for the guy responsible for the 1994 Crime Bill? Because you weren’t so kind to Hillary Clinton — who didn’t sign it (Bill), didn’t vote for it (Bernie), and didn’t write it (Joe) but certainly apologized for it.
You’d vote for the guy who chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Supreme Court nominee confirmation hearing for Clarence Thomas in which Anita Hill was attacked and demoralized for calling out sexual harassment?
You’d vote for the guy who (way back in the 1980’s) plagiarized a British politician? Remember how you freaked out when Melania lifted from Michelle Obama? Cool.
These are just a few examples, not to speak of where Uncle Joe fits in on the issues that matter to you. That’s why reading these posts on the heels of the 2016 election feels so stunning.
I get it, memes are fun and viral — not unlike Joe Biden. But running the free world isn’t about going viral or being fun for that matter (see: Donald Trump)…it’s about running the free world! Love me some Uncle Joe, but for the good of the Democratic Party (which I keep hearing needs a new face and bold new leadership), I hope he sits 2020 out.
Only time will tell…
A NOTE FROM ME:
I want to make a note after a quick exchange on FB, I don’t dislike Joe Biden! He’s a hell of a statesman and has served the country well in eight years as VEEP. I do want to be clear that I decidedly wanted to highlight some of the more questionable moments of Biden’s career (Joe has done just as much good, see: cancer research). BUT in politics, if this election cycle has taught me anything it’s that the issues and policies only mean so much in any political climate. The fact that more folks might love Joe for memes or because he’s fun than for his work on X or Y or Z coupled with clickbait journalism feels ripe for problems (not unlike the ones that partially resulted in Trump’s victory) down the line, whether it’s Biden or (insert politician’s name here).