My Open Letter to Mr Biden as an Australian
Shôn Ellerton, August 23, 2020
Mr Biden, please give me a reason to vote for you. I hope my open letter is clear.
Dear Mr Biden,
I’m not expecting that you will ever read this with your busy schedule; however, I feel obliged to write something on your 2020 campaign for the presidency.
I’m an Australian but was born and raised in the great state of Colorado and I also have family who currently reside in the beautiful states of California and Washington. I would also like to point out that I lived over fifteen years in the United Kingdom before emigrating to Australia.
I cannot think of anyone who is not perturbed as to what is going on with the presidential election this year. Us Australians have strong ties with the United States and China, although our relationships with China have somewhat been tarnished by the recent events with our government’s request to investigate the Wuhan labs over the COVID-19 virus. Many Australians are genuinely worried should Trump win the election and that includes me.
I’d like to think of myself as being one of those sceptical critical thinkers who takes great pains to do research on a variety of news sources to get the information I need. In all honesty, what really happens within the upper echelons of politics could be so obfuscated to us mere mortals, that it is not implausible that we will never really knows what goes on up there. It’s no wonder the conspiracy theorists have such a field day in the lofty world of higher politics.
I’ll be honest here. I am not a fan of mainstream media. The New York Times will push your agenda to your advantage, whilst Fox News will be against you all the way. However , there are a few good neutral sources of information out there including one of my favourites, The Conversation, and, of course, the myriad of local news outlets and live video footage ubiquitously available on many social media platforms. In sum, I am very wary of news bias and need to read from a wide variety of sources to get a reasonable deduction as to what is really happening.
In addition to my day job as an engineer and IT professional, I’ll also mention that I am an avid reader of philosophy, a reasonably good writer of articles covering a wide variety of subjects and take in a wide variety of podcasts from intellectual thinkers, many of which belong to the IDW (The Intellectual Dark Web). The IDW comprise a wide variety of writers, keynote speakers and thinkers encompassing both male and female, black and white, left and right. Some are political and some are not. However, they all share one thing in common, and I suspect, with most people. Liberty, freedom of speech, equal opportunities for all, and most importantly, peace.
I’m going to come clean here. In 2016, I had high hopes for Trump. I was hoping for some sort of an economic miracle. After all, Trump is a businessman and I got the impression that this was the sort of president who could use his business acumen to get the economy up and running stronger than ever. There are those who proclaim that he was a terrible at business after having several business failures; however, they tend to forget that many business prodigies have had several failures before becoming successful. I also hoped that Trump would delegate those matters which he is not so familiar with to those who have that expertise. This attribute of self-consultation and lack of delegation, alone, makes Trump a potentially dangerous leader. Prior to Trump, I was against the continuous meddling of the United States with foreign affairs, particularly with those in the Middle East, something the previous administration could not get their hands off from. I genuinely thought Trump would focus on the American people and keep paws off from international affairs, or at least, as minimal as possible.
Much of mainstream news and many of my family members, friends, and colleagues continuously harp on that Trump did absolutely nothing good for the American people. This kind of rhetoric is way too simplified for me to take seriously as I am aware that Trump has been active in doing good things as well as bad. The same goes for any political party if you want my opinion on this matter.
To play Devil’s Advocate, Trump has had the occasional bout of logic which can be backed up to some extent. For example, his view on the Paris Agreement in which China is treated as a developing nation rather than a developed one giving them leniency on their carbon emission targets. I wrote about his in my article titled, Did Anyone Actually Read the Paris Agreement? The other bout of logic is that of the universal postal vote. I agree with Trump that universal mailing ballots are problematic. But what is not so widely known to many of us, especially those who are overseas, is that around forty states already allow ‘no-excuse’ absentee mail-in voting, which means you do not need a special reason to vote by mail. I will also point out that it is an easy process to go online and register to get your ballot in the mail. Speaking with my project manager and data engineer’s hat on, universal automatic mail balloting, in which mail ballots are automatically sent to every address, is not as easy as it sounds—I will write more about his in a future article. This leaves around ten stubborn predominantly red states that require reasons for absentee mail-in voting. Now whether Trump is making any effort to influence these Republican states to change their policies to be in alignment with the rest of the states, I am not so sure, and if this is the case, this goes against Trump in my opinion. It also appears to me that cronyism is systemic around the world of Trump if what I have read from many sources in the media being correct. However, saying that, I am also deeply concerned that your campaign may be getting a boost from BLM or other similar groups. I hope I am wrong.
Let me tell you what worries me about the Republican mentality, Mr. Biden. It is the increasing divide between rich and poor, the systemic cronyism and the upholding of ideals which may be very restricting to certain communities and the marginalised. Republican governments tend to mean less government if you take the Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton analogy; however, it seems to me that Trump’s government is, by no means, taking a less government approach, but rather, to capitalise on it. Yes, I believe in a meritocracy and that if you work hard, you get rewarded commensurately, but it is not always so straightforward. I have been laid off before and I know that, without any form of a safety net during hard times, it can cause horrendous stress to families in such circumstances. The other thing which bothers me about the Republicans is their view on socialised medicine, public transport, the right for women to abort, and for anyone to choose to commit euthanasia. Having lived in Europe for so many years, I have taken a reasonable liking to the policies set out by Switzerland and some of the countries of Scandinavia regarding fair taxation to support those in welfare, public facilities, public transportation and medical services. And yet, the Republicans cringe against such policies.
As for Trump’s demeanour, it certainly is not likeable, many will agree. He probably tweets while ‘on the can’ often in capitals as if to send a message that he is shouting. He insults anyone he does not like. He only acted against the social media platforms on censorship when he, himself, got censored. Whether this was coincidental is conjecture, but I doubt it. He still seems heavily invested in his own businesses while in office despite the claim during his election that he would divest his assets and disassociate the running of his businesses while in office. Technically (in terms of legality), he might be doing just that, but there seems reasonable evidence to show that he is doing rather well for himself and for his businesses. At least as far as the news proclaims. I could be wrong. I could be very wrong on many things.
As for both you and Trump, I am decidedly sick and tired of having to listen to each of you and your other campaign speakers tearing each other’s parties apart. I wish you can both discuss what each of your party could do best instead. Even better. Work together. The nation is under a pandemic, you have widespread civil unrest and now, just to add in all the chaos, some nasty fires in California. To be fair to you, Mr Biden, you have been far less venomous in what you say against Trump as Trump is to you. However, some of your other speakers in the recently held DNC have been just as vitriolic, if not more so, than Trump’s.
Biden, why not set a precedent which will spark a wave of enthusiasm with so many new prospective voters? Stop telling the other side that they are a bunch of idiots who want to destroy the country. Stop telling us that they are responsible for the pandemic and systemic racism. Stop telling us that they are ruining millions of people’s lives. Sure, let the Republicans keep debasing and insulting you, but does that mean you have to do the same? Please stop with the overgeneralised vague hyperboles. It is doing your campaign no credit whatsoever. Certainly not for me and for many others. The DNC was a great opportunity to relay to the American people what the Democrats could do to make America a great place.
I am writing this letter to you, Mr Biden, because I strongly believe your campaign is at risk. We have unedited live video footage from countless user’s mobile phones showing needless looting, rioting and violence in an accelerating climate of crime across many of your cities in the United States. Mainstream press cannot hide this, Mr Biden. It is happening for real. We are living in a social media panopticon. Nobody wants rioting. You do not. Trump does not, or, at least, I assume he does not. However, what I do know is that those who live near these areas want all this madness to stop regardless who is in power or not. People are getting hurt, Mr. Biden. There are accounts of people who are running businesses not supporting BLM that are getting hurt. That is truly terrifying. First and foremost, you need to tell the American people how you are going to restore peace to the nation. That is what we want. That is what I want.
Mr. Biden, as an X-Gen growing up in late 80s Colorado, my view of the Democrats was more in line of what Libertarians would have been at the time. Free speech, pro-choice, and equal opportunity, but not necessarily equal outcome. I had the view then that the Republicans were more restricted on censorship, particularly anything to do with the Church, for example. Religion, in my opinion, is a very private affair, and I never approved of any religion be forced down one’s throat. I also remember those in the gay community during the AIDS epidemic and how badly they were generally treated by the Republicans during those years. But things have changed. I am fairly convinced that these days, it the Republicans that are fighting for free speech whereas the Democrats seem intent on introducing narratives that make free speech difficult, or even, dangerous. This, alone, could be a big Achilles heel in your campaign.
Mr. Biden, I watched quite a lot of the recent DNC (Democratic National Convention) footage but not all of it. There was a lot of it you know! Now maybe I missed it, but I do not remember hearing much of what was said about what the Democrats plan to do once they get into power. I am not talking about general platitudes or generalities. For example, to say that the Democrats is going to make the country a more equal and fairer place without elaborating on how is, frankly, as useless as a third eyebrow. I’m not denying that there is inequality in our system, but for some of your speakers in the campaign to blame all the ‘badness’ in what’s happening today from systemic racism and inequality is asinine. Some of the speakers proclaim that Trump, himself, is responsible for the deaths from COVID. Sorry, Mr Biden. These statements break so many rules of logical reasoning as to be patently absurd.
Ultimately, Mr. Biden, if you want to win this election, you need to win the confidence of more than the so-called oppressed minority groups or the anti-Trumpers. You need to bring back what is important to the American people. This includes patriotism and a celebration of how America came to be. We have had our dark times, but we are trying to overcome them, not to regurgitate them. You need to pay a little less attention to those groups who want to divide us by race or gender and pay a little more attention on how we can all integrate to create a great nation. Most Americans are ordinary Americans who want to live ordinary lives. Many Americans, including those from the target minorities, are getting sick and tired of the virtue signalling and the re-segregation of our racial communities. Most Americans want peace, law and order and do not want de-funding of police and those who keep us safe. All Americans want to say to each other that they are proud to be Americans regardless of race, colour or creed.
My lifelong view of Democrats has always been this. Free speech, free health service to all, good public transportation, everyone is given the same opportunity regardless of race, creed, colour, and gender. Mr Biden, you need to uphold these values. There are Republicans out there who will not go berserk at spending a few extra tax dollars to provide more of a safety net for those who are disadvantaged or to make public transportation more widespread or to make medical care more accessible to all much like some of the systems currently adopted in Europe. I am positively sure that, given the choice of Trump or Trump, many of these Republicans could be persuaded to defect over to the other side but if the Democrats persist on following the woke narrative of so-called systemic racism, transgender discrimination, the reluctancy to deal with rising civil unrest in those cities under Democrat control, they will not be persuaded.
Biden, you need to start playing the man here. You’ve been in politics for so many years and, no doubt, you must have amassed a great amount of experience across so many administrations; however, I need to be convinced you can continue to do the job. Do you have the energy to reinstate what Americans want as a nation? Are you committed to stopping the riots? Are you committed to making all Americans, regardless whether they are white, brown, red, black, pink, or even green equal again? Because I can tell you now that many communities are being further alienated by the woke narrative of the day.
Mr. Biden, you seem to be a real gentleman, and I sincerely mean that, but as of today, if I was to put money down on who is going to win the election? It would be Trump.
Please drop the woolly rhetoric. Please stop bringing out yesterday’s Democrat politicians out of the cobwebs in their support for you. Please stop with the wokeness. Most Americans want a secure and prospering country. Many Americans would like free medicine to all, like in many countries of Europe, and many would like better public transportation and better welfare schemes. These are the values the Democrats can deliver. Work on these, Mr Biden. Stop wasting your energy demonising Trump and the Republicans. Adopt integrity and honourability by stating what the Democrats can do for the country. If you can get your supporters and speakers to adopt this chivalrous approach, you will earn so much kudos with the American people. You will have Republicans think twice on voting for Trump.
Lastly, Mr Biden. Sit back in an armchair in front of a warm fire, whisky in one hand, or some other beverage of your choice and think clearly, really clearly, what most Americans want. Perhaps I am being facetious here, but I believe the answer is obvious.
Give me something to make me proud to vote for you, Mr Biden.