Hope Rises

Joanna Cohen
Aug 12, 2020 · 4 min read

Biden-Harris is our ticket out of our long national nightmare

Thapanee Srisawat for Unsplash

I wasn’t sure about Kamala Harris.

When she was running for president, I found her bland. She just didn’t make much of an impression on me.

But she sure did today.

I just listened to her speech from her first appearance with Joe Biden since being selected as his running mate and… damn.

Honestly, I was surprised more than anything — in the best way. I expected to tune out about 30 seconds into it, when she’d go into her talking points, canned lines, and attempts at humor that had been focused-grouped within an inch of their lives.

That’s what I did with Hillary Clinton when she was running for president. I disengaged. Because so much of it came off as overthought and overmanaged. It was as if she didn’t trust her audience, or herself, enough to say what she really thought. A strange combination of entitlement (if anyone’s earned this job, I have) and insecurity that always left me cold.

This was different.

This got me fired up.

This was a woman — a team — that’s strong, focused, and prepared. One of the first things Harris said in her speech is that’s she’s ready to get to work. And I believe her. I believe them. I think Biden and Harris are stepping up to do a job, two jobs, that must be done, done right, and done now.

There’s no time for bullshit. (As my husband said, maybe that should be their campaign slogan.)

Maybe it’s the urgency, the fact that the stakes are higher than ever that inspired Harris to deliver a speech that was more direct, confident, and convincing than any I’ve heard from a politician in a very long time.

She was engaging and clear. She was concise yet still managed to get it all in — her background, her experience, her goals, her family — striking just the right balance between politician and human being.

Harris also showed she’s a fighter, tough and smart. “Let me tell you, as somebody who has presented my fair share of arguments in court. The case against Donald Trump and Mike Pence is open and shut,” she said.

Because of that home run of a speech, I feel, for the first time since Trump was elected, a sense of hope. I am cautiously allowing myself to imagine that our long national nightmare might actually be coming to an end.

How energizing, how uplifitng and heartening, would it be for this country to have leaders at the top who actually care about the people who live in it? Who care about justice and fairness? Who respect the rule of law and the Constitution? Who believe in science, unity, and treating others with dignity and compassion?

What a revelation it would be to have a president who wants his vice president to— as Biden said in his speech today — “always tell me the truth… to challenge my assumptions if she disagrees, to ask the hard questions.”

Could you ever in a million years imagine Trump saying that? Welcoming a diversity of opinions and ideas? Inviting intellectual challenge? Asking for the truth?

We can do this, people. Take this country from its lowest possible point and rise again. Be done with the embarrassing, enraging nonsense we’ve had to endure for nearly four years and earn back our good standing in the world. Show our allies that the feeble-minded, ignorant, egomaniacal, racist bully who currently occupies the White House does not represent America. America is better than that. Better than him.

We can relegate Trump to a tiny speck in our collective rearview mirror, turn him back into a irrelevant buffoon (perhaps a pumpkin is a more apt image), who had his moment — and now that moment is over.

There are 82 days until the election. And it’s for sure gonna get ugly. But we gotta hang in there. Keep our eyes on the prize.

Is Biden perfect? No.

There’s the 1994 crime bill. His treatment of Anita Hill. The handsiness. The record player references.

Is Harris perfect? No.

There’s her record on mass incarceration. The charge that she’s too ambitious (whatever that means) and that she was brutal to Biden during the first Democratic debate.

But there are 82 days until the election.

To any far-left progressives or Democratic Socialists, Bernie Bros, or supporters of The Squad, I say, I plead: Get on board.

Do not sit this one out because Joe and Kamala are too “establishment.” Do not cast a protest vote for Kanye West. Do not fail to fill out your mail-in ballot because it’s too complicated.

We need you.

Once we get a Democrat in the White House we can — and will — address all of it. Correct the mistakes of the past and, at last, get on with building a better future.

For the first time in forever, I feel like it’s possible.

The KickStarter

A Medium Publication for Aspiring Writers, Entrepreneurs, Innovators, and Marketers.

Sign up for "The KickStarter" Newsletter

By The KickStarter

Stay tuned about the weekly distribution list, trending stories, and progress updates from our publication. Take a look.

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Joanna Cohen

Written by

Writer, athlete, mom, sports fan. New York City native. Probably the only person on earth who has interviewed Derek Jeter and written dialogue for Susan Lucci.

The KickStarter

A place for passionate writers, innovators, entrepreneurs, digital marketers, side hustlers, and anyone who is ready to help people solve their problems.

Joanna Cohen

Written by

Writer, athlete, mom, sports fan. New York City native. Probably the only person on earth who has interviewed Derek Jeter and written dialogue for Susan Lucci.

The KickStarter

A place for passionate writers, innovators, entrepreneurs, digital marketers, side hustlers, and anyone who is ready to help people solve their problems.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store