Dear DNC: I’d vote for a tent pole before I’d vote for Joe Biden

Addendum: After reading 250 of your comments in response to this post (below), I have had a change of heart. I still hate Biden. But I think I also hate this post. So I’ve written a new post, over here.

The Democratic Party’s strategy is Trump is so bad that the DNC can win with anyone. That’s why the DNC didn’t care when Hilary didn’t bother campaigning in Michigan or Wisconsin. That’s why the DNC doesn’t care that younger democrats hate Biden. The DNC is a club that meets to protect their own power. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes reminds us of that all the time.

The DNC wants you to believe you are a virtuous person for voting for Biden because even if he’s not perfect you have to get Trump out of office. I think Biden is not nearly enough of an improvement to vote for him. And I think you throw away your vote if you let someone tell you the anyone-but-Trump rule means you vote for whatever is in front of you. That’s not choice.

Here’s why I’d never vote for Biden:

1. Biden has always been the conservative wing of the democrats. He has always been part of the conservative guard. It’s why Obama chose him as a running mate. It’s hard for racist white people to look at a Black candidate –– Obama picked him to counterbalance Obama’s Blackness. Biden as a VP made the ticket look ok. After all, what other Democrat was still in Congress in the 90s who had a track record for opposing busing?

2. Biden is the anti-#metoo candidate. He was the centerpiece of the congressional attack on Anita Hill. And he has been unable to apologize for his universally panned behavior. More recently he is accused of rape and he has been pictured violating the personal space of many women. While the #metoo movement has forced men to stop pushing aside these accusations, Democrats tell us that it’s so important to get Trump out of office that we have to push aside the accusations against Biden. If Trump is that bad, then the DNC surely could find a candidate who wouldn’t require us to brush aside rape accusations in order to vote for the candidate.

3. Biden is the anti-Black Lives Matter candidate. He is a moderate who was lifted up from his racist past by a black man. Biden did not get more liberal. He’s the same guy. Electing him is shifting the party to the right. At a time when the party is visibly shifting to the left. Additionally, Biden picked Kamala Harris without regard to the fact that Black people don’t trust her. 

Tirkhakah writes, “The party’s leadership tells us to hold our noses and vote — a hollow, greater-good argument which is exactly why Black men don’t head to the polls.”

4. Biden wants things to stay the same. That’s why he picked Kamala Harris. She has an absolutely terrible record on criminal justice reform that in similar to Biden and Trump — those masters of refusing to apologize — she has refused to apologize for her bafflingly terrible record. So of course Biden hopes she will appeal to some Trump voters. Ironically, Obama picking Biden to appeal to racist voters is like Biden picking Harris to appeal to the Trump voters.

5. Biden and the DNC assume we’re trapped. The DNC thinks we hate Trump so much that we will support an unpopular, neo-liberal candidate with a history of very public racism and sexism. Biden hears goodwill toward Obama and he mistakes it for himself.  I hate Biden so much because he’s been taking swipes at women and Black people for as long as I’ve been following politics. And I’m completely insulted that the Democratic Party thinks I believe Biden is an improvement over Trump.

We are not trapped. But we have to act like we have power. Our vote counts when we refuse to vote for Biden. We can refuse to support neo-liberalism because it could destroy our lives, our communities, and our earth.

Addendum: After reading 250 of your comments (below), I have had a change of heart. I still hate Biden. But I think I also hate this post. So I’ve written a new post, over here.

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284 replies
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  1. Irena
    Irena says:

    I get it. You hate Biden. So, don’t vote for him.

    I think you are so wrong but it’s your right to NOT vote.

    But urging folks to vote for Bernie? Seriously. You cannot be so unaware (a polite way of saying “stupid”) to not know that this is just making it easier for Trump to win.

    You hate Biden, but do you like Trump more? Because NOT voting for Biden, no matter what gibberish you write, IS a vote for Trump.

    You’ve said some outlandish stuff on your Web site before but this? this just is too much given all that is going on.

    Even Bernie has flat out said: Vote for Biden and if you heard his speech earlier this week, you would know that he wants you to vote for Biden. If Bernie can tell you that…well, you need to rethink your rationale.

    This is perhaps one of the most disturbing posts you’ve ever written. Enough.

      • jn
        jn says:

        Precisely :) The intolerant left so easily guilted by mainstream media for having ‘privilege’ and being white can’t handle diversity of opinion. That’s the same generation that screams about diversity any chance they get.

      • LBD
        LBD says:

        Let’s say you have the choice of going through one of two doors. Behind the first door is a person who is going to squirt gasoline at you and set your face on fire. Behind the second door is someone who… isn’t going to do that. Declining the choice means getting shoved through the first door anyway. Which one do you pick?

        It doesn’t matter if someone’s only reason for voting for Biden is that he’s not Trump. In this election, that’s enough.

      • TK
        TK says:

        Actually I can…. he is the only person who can bring both sides to the table to make decisions- he has the ability to meet people where they are- and he has had 40+ years doing this work. He knows the system – knows how to navigate it and will be able to kit the ground running in day 1. he is super excited about and open to what we do for our future and not just the status

  2. Steve
    Steve says:

    Not voting for Democrats supports the Republican grip on power, and portrays your support for:
    -locking children from parents and in many cases, making reuniting them with their parents impossible.
    -the rejection of science, making USA the worst performing nation in the pandemic and ignoring common sense remedies to reverse climate change.
    -working with Russia to undermine our election.
    -conspiracy theories by QAnon that states zombies empower the Derp State and that COVID-19 spreads through 5G.
    -troops spewing tear gas being deployed against peaceful protesters.

    Of, why bother?! Maybe Trump will just have to grab YOUR pussy to wake you up. While seeing our democracy’s demise that you invite with Trump’s re-election, I pity your children who will feel the effects far more than I, as they also have the burden of an ignorant mother.

  3. Regina
    Regina says:

    Not sure why this post is labeled “diversity” but I’m assuming it is because it mentions Black people? That’s not how that works btw.

    Also, it is interesting that you edited your post on your blog vs the ending in our mailboxes. You could mention that you made a mistake about your original ending instead finding it buried deep in the comment section.

    Overall, I just…I don’t know. I’m a long time reader and I’m wondering if this blog is just too deep with white privilege for me at this point.

      • mb
        mb says:

        White privilege? Penelope is a struggling single mom with a background of abuse in her home. How on earth is she privileged? People from India come to this country and earn substantial incomes due to their hard work and education. How can we blame them for being successful? Is that called Indian privilege? Government programs that were set up in the 60’s enslaved Black women in marriages to the state. It gave black men a way out and weakened the black family unit. Slave culture was all about the blacks doing everything they could to keep their families together. Learn about Harrett Tubman. We can thank liberal politics for single handedly destroying black families.

  4. Chellie
    Chellie says:

    Penelope, I enjoy your blog. However, I was very disappointed in your reasoning in this post. This is a democracy and we each have the power to vote (except where purposefully disenfranchised by the Republican Party). The majority of Democrats voted for Biden so he became the nominee. Your choice didn’t win.

    So you can be angry and disappointed by that, but to say you’re just not going to vote or to throw it away by casting your vote for someone who can’t win in this election, is like saying if you don’t get your way you’re going to take your marbles and go home. It’s really not considerate of the community – all of whom cast votes for their favorites and many of whom are disappointed at the results. But in a democracy, we abide by the will of the majority of the people. You undermine democracy itself when you want to throw away your vote because you didn’t get your way. And you do this on the centennial anniversary of women getting the legal right to vote.

    This is what I say to all the people who don’t like Biden or Trump and are thinking about voting 3rd party:

    It’s like going to an ice cream store that only has two flavors: chocolate and vanilla.
    You can say you want strawberry or orange sherbet, but you won’t get them.
    The store only has chocolate and vanilla.
    It doesn’t matter if you prefer rocky road, pralines & cream, or rainbow sherbet.
    You are going to get chocolate or vanilla.
    If you don’t choose one, someone else will choose for you.
    If you want to open your own ice cream store with more flavors, good for you. Go for it! It’s going to take awhile, though.
    Meanwhile, this year you get chocolate or vanilla.
    And if you don’t vote for either, the day may come when you only get one choice.

    Forget the party nominees. Look at the policies. Which set of policies do you prefer? I hope you will vote for my Social Security and Medicare. I need them, and so do millions of other Americans.

  5. JML
    JML says:

    When Biden announced that Harris would be his running mate, my first thought was, wow, they actually want to lose.

    Voting for Biden is like voting for a tent pole. He’s just propping up the DNC establishment. I whole-heartedly agree with what you’re saying here. And it’s your right to vote in whatever way feels best for you. And of course you should be able to express your political opinions. It’s all part of the dialogue – or at least it should be. Biden and Harris are incredibly problematic candidates. But it’s also incredibly problematic that there seems to be no room to really talk about it, that we just have to accept it because at least they’re better than Trump. Don’t we deserve better than that? I don’t think it’s about looking for the perfect candidate, I think it’s about being able to vote for someone who doesn’t make you throw-up in your mouth. And this time (like last time) they’re all sickening.

    But maybe this time you just have to throw-up in your mouth a bit and vote for Biden to get rid of Trump. And then maybe focus on sending the right people to the Senate and the House of Representatives so they can keep Biden and Harris in check and ultimately replace them. The kind of change you want isn’t going to come from the establishment. It has to come from the ground up. We need more AOCs.

  6. Erica
    Erica says:

    You lack wisdom and intelligence Penelope. Your ego needs and highly inflated estimation of your intelligence win out over everything else, and certainly over any sense of responsibility to others or the democracy that gives you a platform to write from. Enjoy the America you’re voting for.


    • Mb
      Mb says:

      The intolerant left bows out like cry babies when everyone doesn’t agree with them. Penelope has shared and weighed thoughts on tough topics and it makes you uncomfortable.

  7. Ben
    Ben says:

    When I read the email that landed in my inbox from you, I immediately thought it had had been spoofed. No way, would this silly woman actually write this nonsense and then press send.
    I was wrong.
    Good luck to you, i won’t be surprised to read in the near future that your children have had you committed.

  8. Bart
    Bart says:

    Penelope is completely correct, of course.
    A vote for Biden is a vote for 12 more years of the Status Quo (Biden x 4 + 8 x Harris).
    12 More years!
    And maybe then you can start your revolution.
    This is exactly what the DNC wants.
    You want change. Be Bold and Vote for change. You want Status Quo, Vote for Biden/Harris and get more of the same.

      • kg
        kg says:

        You do realize that in less than 80 days we as a nation have two choices: Trump or Biden. Voting for Bernie (who himself is voting for Biden) is a waste. Why not actually work for a change in our system for the next four years so that the next election offers more of what you want? This is by far one of the most naive, misguided posts I’ve read.

    • Janet
      Janet says:

      No white person wants change; they just want to feel virtuous, even through they’re doing exactly the same as every Trumper. How many minorities do you think PT has as neighbors?

  9. Chris Angelli
    Chris Angelli says:

    I have known Penelope a long time and the uprising of her followers has given me hope.

    I knew and loved Penelope before she was Penelope.
    I knew and loved Penelope before she knew and loved the Farmer.
    I knew and loved Penelope before she knew Nino.
    Fun fact: I knew Nino before Penelope knew Nino.
    I knew and loved Penelope before she was with the guy before Nino. And the guy before that.

    But this post broke my heart.
    As I said to Penelope:

    You’re not voting for Biden. You’re voting for a Democratic administration. It’s not the president who makes anything happen, it’s the administration. The president doesn’t fucking matter. Trump doesn’t fucking matter. It’s all the rich, pull up the ladder mac I got mine assholes that are really running the country that matter.

    Bernie won’t win. So a vote for Bernie is a vote for a republican administration. It’s a vote for enabling Steven Miller to put more kids in cages and kick out smart immigrant students. It’s a vote for Betsey Devos to destroy public education and line her family’s pockets. It’s a vote to turn the Supreme Court completely republican. It’s a vote to rollback climate protections. It’s a vote to align the US with autocratic countries. It’s a vote to further erode the social safety net. I could go in but I’ll stop here.

    You have a lot of power to influence people. This email is an irresponsible use of that power.

    Even Bernie and AOC agree with me.

    What exactly do you think you will accomplish with a vote for Bernie?

    I’m shocked. I thought you were smarter and better than this.


  10. MB
    MB says:

    If Trump is reelected there will never be another US presidential election. He will burn the Constitution and assassinate his rivals. But you will be satisfied because YOU don’t like Biden. SMH

  11. Mark in Minnesota
    Mark in Minnesota says:

    It’s a complete turnoff when bloggers make political comments. We get enough of that rot everywhere else and it’s not why we choose to read you. Nevertheless, the misogynist, racist, dictator-in-the-making thanks you for attacking the only viable alternative to his planned destruction of our democratic system. I hope you enjoy the results of your actions. Good bye.

  12. Kita
    Kita says:

    I’m a black woman. I’m a proud black woman. I’m disgusted by the devil on the White House. If you aren’t – then stop talking. The daily painful cringing I do makes me know for sure it cannot be the devil again. It also CANNOT be a 3rd and 4th party Candidate either because we will have the devil in the WH again: people who don’t want Biden/Harris Like yourself and some followers will be the reason why the administration gets another four years AND puts another 200 appointed judges in place that will hurt my people for decades and generations to come. I’m not about status quo. It won’t be another 4-12 years of Obama/Biden. If you did anything in your free time, you would actually be doing something-like working for organizations that will actually impact change whether it’s mass incarceration & criminal justice, voting rights act, maternal health, racism, and the list goes own for systemic racism. I’m over the people who want to be cool and be different and that jack ya up in the game. No down balloting will matter because like I said 200 more appointed judges will be in place so NONE of the we may want to do will get passed because they will be the Devils picks. I’ve already shared with my 10 friends who started unsubscribing. I will continue to share your blog and have friends unsubscribe because you and those that follow your sentiments are killing the future for my beautiful black babies and I can’t associate with that.

  13. Jenn
    Jenn says:

    P, You make some good points:

    Biden is a moderate democrat. The DNC is moving more to the far left than it ever has. He’s trying to become more liberal but its a failing attempt. He’s not believable.

    I don’t know if he’s so much anti metoo more like he has a long public history of treating women as something that needs to be protected and nurtured by men in general. He likes women and he trust women. He’s very misguided, still doesn’t think he really did anything wrong but he knows he has to try to correct himself since that is the political wind right now. It comes across as phony.

    Anti Black Lives Matter. Interesting…. really I don’t know much about this spin and I didn’t know the majority of Blacks don’t trust Kamala Harris. I’m going to read into this further.

    Biden does want things to stay the same and honestly, I think its more about a long term goal than an ideology. Biden wants that “I was President” stamped on his Bio when he’s gone, even if its just for one term. If he wins,He won’t do much and the media will blame any failed attempt on change on the previous Trump administration. The more things stay the same, the better the DNC has a shot in getting their true candidate, AOC, in 2024.

    DNC thinks the American people are trapped. Yes, they do, and they also know one more thing: A majority of the American people will not bother to go out and vote against Trump, no matter how much they hate him. No one wants to go and vote against something. You don’t see sports fans going to a game with a jersey of the opposing team with a big X on it because they hate the opposing team. No, you see people wearing the jersey of the team they want to win, even if they know their beloved team has little shot of winning. There’s no love for Biden. But, if you make voting extremely easy, they will vote, hence, the mail in ballots, otherwise, this would’ve been a shoe in for Trump.

    I see alot of people getting angry at your post, good, stir the pot, get voices out there. Too many people are silent.

    • MB
      MB says:

      You make some good points about Biden. His correction of his past inappropriate treatment of women does feel phony and he does seem to want that presidential status but it’s more than that. He’s the guy being propped up like Jeb Bush was the Republican party’s last ditch effort to push someone into the race who could actually keep the status quo and best Trump. Do you remember? It was a last ditch effort to stop Trump. The Republican Party was desperate they had what twelve people running for the Republican nomination and Trump literally physically and answers-wise towered over them all. They were desperate. Anyone but Trump. “None Dare Call It Conspiracy” was written in 1971. It’s more relevant today than it was then. Anyone but Trump because the career Republicans and career Democrats are all on the same team. It’s a globalist takeover and sinking of the sovereignty of our nation. Start looking at all that makes no sense with those glasses in and you’ll start to see- it now makes sense- why-things continually slide in the same direction no matter which party wins. And Trump, flawed and annoying as he is, is not one of them. He is not on either team. Both teams hate him. Maybe the Republicans hate him even more than the Democrats. That’s because he’s a disruptor, an outsider. He is not here to maintain the status quo. He’s shaking things up. Would you all please really understand all the manipulation going on with BLM? Look at Baltimore City- it’s considered the most dangerous city in America and more dangerous than some in the Middle East. It’s ALWAYS been run by Democrats. And lays of Black mayors. It’s pathetic how the lies of democratic “programs” are actually systematically destroying the black community. Look at all Democrat cities- they’re all lawless war zones. Please point out one that isn’t. The politics here are playing us all like a fiddle. I say the career politicians should audition for Juilliard too. They’re likely to get in!

      • Jenn
        Jenn says:

        MB- I agree with you regarding Trump. He is an outsider. He is a businessman turned politician. Reps and Dems were very uneasy about Trump in the White House for the reasons you stated above. When you have a person who does not depend on others for your career existence, its a threat.

        Jeb’s campaign was a stumbling bumbling mess that never gained momentum. Jeb did not have what it takes to be president

        None Dare Call It Conspiracy- 1971 never heard of this. Plan to reading it. Sounds Interesting.

        BLM is a very complicated issue. It seems like a new issue but really its a layer of a continuing issue that’s been going on for 70 years, since the end of the Great Migration. There’s a small part of the movement that is genuine, they are very concerned for their lives and the lives of their children. Mostly, its a political machine of its own that has been spinning out in the media taking bits and pieces that will grab the viewers ( and sponsors)

        I don’t want to hear from Professors, Politicians, Bloggers, etc… I want to hear from those in the front lines. Those who have to deal with this day in and day out and I don’t want hear a 30 second outburst on tv. I want to hear a 1/2 hour conversation between two people on the front lines. That’s where you will get the heart of it.

        • MB
          MB says:

          I wish I had saved the video of a black man explaining the truth behind the demise of the black family. He was articulate, well spoken, polished and sounded like he really knew the government policies from the 1960’s that systematically began eroding the black family and creating generations of black women who were married to the state and welfare. It was a great talk and showed how government policies are rarely the answer. Anyway, if you read “None Dare Call it Conspiracy” I think you’ll better understand how Jeb Bush’s last minute run for the nomination was more about him being propped up by the globalist movement as the candidate they can count on to keep their agenda moving forward (of which Covid-19 is a huge part of) After all, two other Bush family members did their part to further the globalist agenda. What you’ll learn is that the idea of a megalomaniac like Adolf Hitler isn’t a one off. There are many Adolf Hitlers and an Adolf Hitler can’t act alone. Theres a movement towards a world government with no sovereignty of nations, serfdom for all. At it’s heart that’s what this election is about and Trump, as flawed a man as he is, is the only candidate who can stop it.

  14. caprice
    caprice says:

    I cannot believe this! I have enjoyed most of what you write but to allow Trump to continue in the white house, divide this country, take away LGBTQ rights, spew misogynous comments about women is unthinkable! Biden is a decent man at least and Kamala is a breath of fresh air. Trump’s is a narcissistic, self aggrandizing, divisive and bully! He has to go, this country needs to heal and with him in the white house that can never happen. I am unsubscribing from following you. Shame on you as a woman and supposedly smart person.

  15. Michael
    Michael says:

    I genuinely like Penelope and believe she has given many people good career advice. She writes compellingly about her family challenges and triumphs. But this anti-Biden post, coming at this moment in U.S. history, struck the wrong note. Poorly reasoned, promoting an attitude that if followed by many people will surely mean the continuation of this awful time. Voting is not about perfect. It’s about choices and the best choices we as decision-makers have at a particular time. No question Biden isn’t perfect. But he’s not bad. He has good qualities. Once he won the primaries, he moved to the left in his policies like climate change and health care. He’s the candidate that the primary process yielded. And he’s perfectly better than Trump. Vote for Biden because your kids’ lives will be better as a result. Then put your energy into changing the primary process for next time.

  16. Bob
    Bob says:

    Any suggestion that Biden is in any way equivalent to Trump is completely unhinged. Trump is a lying sociopath and wanna-be dictator. There’s no serious argument to the contrary. Biden may not be a great man, but anyone who shows at least token respect for the concepts of objective truth and democracy will be a vast improvement.

  17. KB
    KB says:

    I think it’s okay if you want to switch parties. The whole issue is that there are only 2 leading parties in this country. Are there any parties that you would be more interested in to have a more productive conversation about than spitting the same type of vitriol the GOP loves to use.

  18. Constance
    Constance says:

    Thirsty, for sure, and assuming that the rest of us will vote for Biden and save your lifestyle. Good luck to you. Unsubscribing from this nonsense.

  19. LN
    LN says:

    Penelope lives is Boston. She doesn’t live in PA, FLA, WI, OH or anywhere that’s “in play.” She can safely not vote for Biden, and vote for anyone except for Trump, and not worry about changing the outcome of the electoral vote of the state of MA for Biden. I don’t think she should encourage anyone not to vote for Biden, but she should feel free to state her objections to both his nomination and voting for him. I completely understand her points, but a more nuanced discussion of why she feels she cannot vote for Biden, without worrying about helping to elect the current office holder, might have helped her argument. If she still resided in PA, I think this post would have never happened.

  20. Anne Marie
    Anne Marie says:

    I am so not a knee-jerk liberal unaccustomed to healthy and vigorous political debate (just ask my husband.) I have not missed voting in an election since I registered back in 1977. I am also not feeling four more years of the corrupt orange menace and his toadies.

    Ugh, PT, this is a really bad idea.

  21. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    We all want the world to be perfect within the scope of our values. We want the people running things to be the best most stand-up people we can find. We want everyone respected equally and starting on equal footing.

    I believe in those ideals, but those are not the systems and people we have today. Those are not the goals we can reach in the next few months. What we can reach in the next few months is someone who is incrementally better. Someone who is mostly boring, mostly on the right track, and mostly technocratic. Someone who in the next 4 years will restore and repair some of the elements we have lost in the past 4.

    While that is happening, we can push for the broader changes that will help to make norms laws, put more progressive people in positions of power, and hold those who made promises to improve things for everyone to those standards.

    I may not be 100% proud to vote for Biden, but I am proud to vote for restoration of some of the sanity we have sacrificed through this extreme experiment in reality TV as leadership.

  22. Doug
    Doug says:

    I don’t like Biden much either. But Trump is worse. Empirically. Demonstrably. A vote for anyone but Biden is essentially a vote for Trump, and four more years of Trump is, well, unimaginable. This is the practical reality. Biden won’t reimagine the wheel but if Trump is unelected there’s at least a chance to stop the downward spiral.

  23. Cherie
    Cherie says:

    I’m pretty sure if you’re looking for someone who wasn’t on the side of an issue or advocating for something that looks wrong from today’s world, then you are looking at someone who has not been around the halls of government for much length of time.

  24. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Not sure why this post is labeled “diversity”

    Because Penelope is making a diverse political argument which the #diversity and #tolerance people find so offensive they must immediately cancel her.

    They don’t want to, but white privilege demands they do it in the name of black people.

    • Allison
      Allison says:

      Exactly. We assume that the label “diversity” means “supporting diversity” but in actuality, her post is supporting racism and hate (by effectively supporting Trump’s campaign).

  25. Cassandra
    Cassandra says:

    Maybe you haven’t noticed but we are trapped! We are trapped in our homes (unless we are forced risk our lives to earn money to stay alive) and we cannot cross the borders of most other nations. I usually don’t comment when you are wrong but you are misusing your power in this situation. Do not discourage people from voting for Biden. There is not another candidate who has a chance of defeating Trump. I want to leave my home. I trust Elizabeth Warren and she will either be the senate majority leader or in the Biden administration. If we can survive four years of Trump we can survive four years of Biden. Remember 1992? We look back now and see a lot of awful stuff about Bill Clinton but remember how a darkness lifted from 12 years of Reagan/Bush? We ignored the awful stuff about Bill at that time because we needed to be released from the destruction of our infrastructure by Reagan/Bush.

    Please try again.

  26. katrin
    katrin says:

    I always appreciate your ideas, even when I strongly disagree. This post, however, is shocking to me. I would have been less shocked if you’d said you actually support Trump. But to despise Trump and yet write in Sanders is a ridiculous strategy. Actually, it’s not a strategy at all–it’s a petulant, wasteful and dangerous move that puts the people and ideals you care about at risk.

    I’m so full of rage and sadness about how Trump has encouraged Americans to be selfish and hateful. Given that I believe we share some core values, I can’t believe you would not only tolerate another four years of Trump, but actually contribute to making it happen.

  27. Aquinas Heard
    Aquinas Heard says:

    Can you define what you mean by the term, neoliberal? Also, you say we live in a capitalist American but how does that square with us having a national bank (Federal Reserve) and where ~ 90% of kids attend public school. I’d say we have a mixed economy; a mixture of freedom and government controls. It now seems like it was so many years ago when you linked (somewhat approvingly) to an article (by The Objective Standard) about individualism. You’ve changed, some, since then. I’ll always be appreciative of your unschooling advocacy over all these years.

    • Mark W.
      Mark W. says:

      Thanks, Aquinas. I share your sentiment. Also, I was looking for that post a couple of months ago and was unable to find it due to not searching with the correct keyword(s). The education post to which you refer was written five years ago. And it does seem like a long time ago. I believe Penelope is more libertarian and pro-capitalist than she will admit here on this blog. An unencumbered form of capitalism is not an ideology as socialism is. Capitalism with minimal government interference and constraint is a natural state of people being free to pursue their interests while serving their customers. Hence their ability to express their liberty. A more perfect society through some form of socialism requires enforcement through a centralized source. Whether it’s Trump, Biden, or someone else, this country will be in turmoil. What it shouldn’t be, though, is fellow Americans at each other’s throats. The reason this country was founded with separation of powers among the three branches, as well as separation at the federal, state and local level, was to divide power and to have each public servant guard the powers and responsibilities of their office. It’s my belief the balance of government powers has swung too far to the federal level. This post is listed under ‘diversity’ which is fitting because this country is very diverse. Each state is very diverse. It’s no wonder special (collective) interests with all their money are centered around Washington, D.C. It’s the individual interests in our capital that are least heard and represented.

  28. ruth staley
    ruth staley says:

    Chris , Your low grade street talk has raised its “fucked up “ugly head, Penelope is not writing a legal dissertation, in plain English we understand what she is saying, You must be trying to show off some new words you found in the dictionary

  29. KayJ
    KayJ says:

    Oh Penelope, I have always admired you, but I think you really stepped in it when you decided to have a conservation with a group of people called “liberals” who really don’t want to have that conversation. Although some of what I’m about to say is directed to you, a large portion is directed at most of those in the comments section.

    First let me say that when Donald J Trump beats the pants off of Joe Biden in November, I won’t come back here and gloat. However, if I’m wrong and Biden does win, then I guarantee you many of the same people commenting to you here will still show their true immature, Trump-Hating, Anti-America, Anti-Red White and Blue colors and will rake me over the coals with derogatory, nasty, and hateful comments. Heck, I wouldn’t even be surprised if someone shows their true, hateful liberal colors within the next 24 hours.

    Second, again if I’m wrong, and Biden does beat Trump, I also guarantee you that although the Trump supporters will be saddened, scared and afraid of the policies of Biden and his co-president Harris, the Trump supporters WON’T RIOT, BEAT PEOPLE UP, START FIRES, and BURN THE AMERICAN FLAG like what was done in 2016 by the immature, liberal sore-losers. Believe me, if Biden wins, he won’t be the president, Harris will be. Biden either won’t be able to finish the job, or his administration won’t let him do his job – just think about that!

    Since you are supporting AOC, I’m assuming Penelope that you are also a very liberal Democrat, and the fact that I’m even reading your column, and like what you say MOST of the time should prove to you that at least someone is interested in an actual non-hateful conversation.

    Do you know why that in my more than 45 years of being a registered voter, I am not, never will be, and never will vote for a Democrat? It’s because I grew up during the 60’s with two very racist, Democrat parents who remained those racist Democrats to their dying days which for one parent was just recently. The Democrat party was, and still is the party of hate and racism. Many of the Trump-Hating comments posted here already prove that. Liberal politicians really want you all to think they care about you, but they really don’t. Unlike Trump who really does care about ALL AMERICANS, the liberals currently in Washington only care about themselves. They expect you to be gullible and naive, and it sure is proven they succeeded by their comments here.

    As much as I despise, and fear the Biden- Harris ticket, a Bernie and/or AOC ticket scares me even more. They can talk all they want about Free This, Free That, Free Health Care For All, blah, blah, blah. You do know where the money for all of that free stuff will come from right? Yep, the tax-payers. With all of the hate-filled,trillions of dollars spent by the liberals over the past four years trying to impeach and get rid of Trump which is based on a lie and cover-up, every American could probably have had free college by now. Thanks Liberals for wasting the Americans’ tax dollars on hate. Since, I and my entire family paid for our college degrees with hard work and no free stuff or handouts, how is giving everyone everything for free now fair to us? Many people are still paying their student loans from college. How is free-free-free stuff good for our country? Believe me, the free-free-free stuff is just one of the many scary things about the far left agenda.

    It’s been proven over the past four years that the Democrats have only one agenda, platform, and policy, and that is “We Hate, and Let’s Get Rid of Trump.” Most of what you state about Biden is fairly true, but some is wa-a-ay off base, and untrue. Biden has been in politics for more than 40 years, and what has he done to prove he really cares about ALL PEOPLE or about the well-being of ALL PEOPLE? Biden is, and always has been a very typical, racist liberal and nothing like Trump. Apparently Biden and the liberal Democrat party have you all fooled? I’m not saying that in support of Biden either.

    I know what you’re going to say, “Well Trump hasn’t done anything for all people!” Trump is not a lying “psychopath” racist or any of the other Trump Hating comments already posted here about him. Maybe if you’d listen to a news station that isn’t a Liberal Bias and Trump-Hating news station just once, you’d learn the truth of how much Trump has helped ALL PEOPLE including the minorities and just what a great person and president he really is. Or, just go on naively believing that the Democrats are going to make your life and our country better.

    • Jason
      Jason says:

      Hi Kay J. I thought your reply was very well written. I do have an observation or two to share though. I agree many liberal have an “anti-Trump” agenda. They find him revolting and his values don’t align with theirs. I agree that if we only read/watch liberal media, we don’t have the entire picture. Having said that, your post struck me as written by someone who is on the other side of that same coin: very naive and unaware of some of the Trump “realities”. Tell me, how was Trump helping people when immigrants from “those shit-hole countries” (his words) wanted a chance at a better life? Do you really believe there are white supremacists who are “very fine people”? I’m not denying positive achievements Trump has made, for example pushing back against China. But neither am I naive – the man is racist and divisive, and further: he is dishonest. You can check yourself – literally THOUSANDS of statements he makes to make himself look good are easy to fact-check and come up false. Biden says he’ll have to raise taxes, but he’s honest about it. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on Trump’s racists statements, and his lies directed at the American people. Here’s one example where Fox news called out some of Trump’s lies.

    • Rayna
      Rayna says:

      Well said KayJ.

      Keep in mind the people in the comments section here are not a representative of the general population. If I had to guess, the readers here are mostly millennials who got properly indoctrinated by liberal colleges and drank the Bernie free free free coolaid sprinkled with AOC pixie dust.

      Thankfully, that’s not most of the country. Unless the democrats rig the election, which seems very likely, the outcome of the election is unquestionable. Except to this echo-chamber, of course.

  30. ellyn
    ellyn says:

    I’m really disappointed in you. As a long time activist and advocate for women and children, your view is shocking and absurd. Go ahead, don’t vote for Biden, whatever. But encouraging others to be so irresponsible, is well, irresponsible, and short-sighted.

    I would like to continue to see forests and wildlife and maybe a cleaner planet. With your views, we may as well wash ourselves down the toilet and forget it.

  31. Katarina
    Katarina says:

    This post and the comments should be required reading for political science students. It provides a lot of information about how people think and feel in this country. Polls tell you nothing. This commentary is rich with valuable information on public opinion. Very informative!

  32. James
    James says:

    Penelope, could you walk through the mechanics of what the revolution you’re hoping for would look like?

    I hear this from people upset with both parties often, and I can never get an answer here. Generally, that sort of political outcome leads to a great deal of death and suffering. Women, children, and the poor bear the brunt of it.

    The Democratic party has held Congress and the White House simultaneously for a grand total of 2 years since the 1960s. I’m 39 and have never experienced a liberal Supreme Court. Maybe we could actually try a little more Democratic rule before dismissing it so glibly.

  33. Susan M Hall
    Susan M Hall says:

    Unfortunately I believe that AOC has endorsed and plans to vote for Joe Biden.

    I’ve traveled a lot (Afghanistan, Cuba, Palestine, Lebanon) and have seen firsthand the impact that U.S. imperialistic foreign policy has on actual people. I’m not voting for a warmonger. I’m not voting for a party that trots out Colin Powell as a role model. Or showcases Hillary’s friendship with Henry Kissinger. I think at some point Americans have to start examining and acknowledging the wider impact of U.S. foreign policy on other people. These are not caricatures. They are human beings.

  34. Paul
    Paul says:

    The world is going to end if we do not vote Democrat? Didn’t happen over the last 4 years, doubt it will because of our presidential choice.

  35. Eric
    Eric says:

    So, who are you going to vote for then? As much as we may not want to accept it, it’s a foregone conclusion that either Biden or Trump will win this election. Any action you take, be it voting for one of them, voting for somebody else, or not voting at all, will contribute in some way to either a Biden win or a Trump win.

    As much as you dislike Biden, I can’t imagine you’d rather have Trump in office another 4 years. So why take the chance?

  36. Chris
    Chris says:

    Ruth, I don’t require your two-bit gutter commentary as lowly filler. Using foul language will not elevate your weak attempt at credibility.

    She certainly isn’t writing a legal dissertation. That’s for sure. But that wouldn’t just be for her lack of diction, it would be for the rudimentary level content and material weight beyond her utterances. Saying “it’s all bs” isn’t just off the mark and wrong, but it shows excess lethargy towards her grasp and retention of what’s been presented. It’s unrefined, unresearched, unfair and inaccurate.

    And who is “we” in your inference? Speak for yourself. Just because intellectual discourse is beneath you, you imply others are looking up words to correspond here. No. That would just be a clear, revealing reflection upon you.

  37. Becky
    Becky says:

    Dear Penelope,
    You make me sad. I’ve always enjoyed your writing, your stories, your journaling of the cyclical ups and downs of your interesting life. However, as an influencer, you have a responsibility to your readers to be informed, a person who thinks about the consequences of your voice. Your choice to not vote for Biden IS in fact a choice that you prefer Trump.

    Your statements about Joe Biden are unproven and maligning comments. Biden is a man of high moral character. While Trump shows himself daily and over the long course of his life to be just the opposite. Think clearly about who you want to present to your audience as a man most fit lead the country.

    After the chaos of these past four years, with 170,000 people dead from a pandemic virus mishandled by the Trump administration from the very beginning, you cannot even remotely consider putting Donald Trump back into an office in which he is completely unfit.

    Your fight for change should have come before the primaries, now you must wait for another election. But now, you need to clearly choose either Biden or Trump. There is no in-between.

  38. harris497
    harris497 says:

    I believe that you are on the wrong side of this one. It’s not because anything you say is untrue, rather it is because the alternative to a Biden win is so insanely awful, that practicality calls for a hold your nose and jump response. There is no other way to defeat Trump. His tenure has made the unthinkable become mundane. Things were crazy before, but now white supremacist are openly operating in the White House.
    I do not think Biden is the president that will move things forward in a progressive manner, and Harris certainly is not. But Trump is such a devout divide-and-rule by any means necessary individual, that I cannot vote for any other alternative in good conscience. No other alternative will win. All other options will lead to defeat. I am tired of the tweets, the hate from on high, the support for the wealthy at all others’ expense, the vulgar disregard for promoting civility. Trump must go. The country needs him to go. His success will lead to more like him springing up than are already springing up, and the already morally bankrupt political landscape will become even more-so.

  39. Elle M.
    Elle M. says:

    BERNIE SANDERS is voting for Joe Biden! Your rationale is just ridiculous and Bernie Sanders….was just on tv….PLEADING with people to do the right thing and vote for Joe Biden.
    Everyone is free to vote however they want and that includes you. But, a vote for Bernie is a vote FOR Trump. Call Bernie Sander’s office—I am sure he will say the same thing and yell at you for writing his name in.
    ALL of the things you just said against Joe Biden and completely LAUGHABLE—
    Yes, he is a moderate Democrat and he is EXACTLY what this country needs!

  40. Chris
    Chris says:

    Attention: Penelope

    As I’ve written to you directly here in this very discussion, your spiteful views against Biden and the DNC aren’t even shared by the very person you preferred to be there. Bernie Sanders. The DNC didn’t make Biden the nominee. The voters did. Both Bernie and Trump emphatically agree that Biden is nothing like Trump.

    You need to pay far better attention to Bernie himself. He’ll tell you the error of your skewed thinking.


    Tonight on PBS:

    Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.:

    “I did everything I could to see that Hillary Clinton became president. And I’m going to do everything I can to see that Joe Biden becomes president.

    “But I do appreciate that, as you know, Joe and I, a couple months ago were able to sit down and come up with a proposal, by which we put together six task forces representing progressives, as well as people from his campaign, to work out proposals on some of the most important issues facing this country.

    “And all of the people there worked pretty hard. And we came out with some pretty good proposals, such that, Judy, I think, if those proposals are implemented, it will make Joe Biden the most progressive president since FDR. So, I feel good about that.”

    A little louder for those in the back (Penelope).

    “Biden the most progressive president since FDR.” Bernie Sanders.

    Sen. Bernie Sanders:

    “What I say to my supporters is, we fought a vigorous campaign. We put together an unprecedented grassroots movement, but we lost.

    “And, right now, our immediate task is to defeat the most dangerous president in the history of this country, a person who is a pathological liar, who doesn’t believe in science, and is undermining American democracy, a person who basically said that, if he loses this election, by definition, it is rigged.”

    Did you get that, Penelope? Bernie says the most important immediate task is getting Trump out. Rewind and replay that a few times. That’s not the DNC or AOC. It’s Bernie himself.

    If he’s the only person you trust, then listen.

  41. Rob
    Rob says:

    Penelope, I am doing my best to try and understand your point of view in this post, and I believe at its core there is a nugget of truth. If your point is that neither Biden nor Trump are perfect, well, I think we all have to agree on that. The current climate, especially with social media, is to comb through people’s history until we find something we don’t agree with and crucify them for it. Unfortunately with most politicians, we don’t have to scroll back very far. Writing in a candidate who cannot possibly win is a way to morally justify to yourself that you didn’t vote for a bad guy.

    So if your point is that neither candidate is perfect, we agree. But if your point is that both candidates are equally bad, I can’t imagine too many level-headed people agreeing with you. In every marathon someone has to come in second and someone has to come in last, but that doesn’t make them equal. Regardless of Biden’s voting record, it’s hard to imagine him asking people to boycott a tire company via Twitter in the middle of a global pandemic. Biden at least seems like the kind of guy who would surround himself with medical professionals and listen to their advice instead of undermining them at every turn.

    I would like to say that I will be unsubscribing from your updates because of this post, but I cannot. Allowing you to poison your audience with the idea that throwing votes away is making some sort of political statement is not only ridiculous, it also needs to be countered. Your post has moved me to action. I feel an obligation to reach as many people as possible in an attempt to undo the damage you’ve done with your misguided message. I don’t have the audience or subscribers you have, but I have reason and logic on my side, so that’s something.

    You recently gave a black woman the opportunity to guest post on your blog. You also went on a wild goose chase not too long ago to find the source of some protesters shooting fireworks in the night. Have you actually talked with these people? Do they recommend writing in Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, or Kermit the Frog on their ballots? Do they think four years of Biden will be just as bad as four more years of Trump?

  42. Tracy
    Tracy says:

    Trump is a grifter of the worst kind. Don’t overthink it – get the grifter out with Biden then deal with the next thing.

  43. B
    B says:

    We aren’t just voting for a president, we are voting the president who nominates Supreme Court justices. At least one justice will be up for nomination in the next 4 years and that is what frightens me most about this upcoming election. As everyone has pointed out, voting for anyone but Biden is a vote for Trump. If you have been so anti-Biden this whole time, perhaps a post like this would have been an easier pill to swallow 8 months ago.

  44. Sean Crawford
    Sean Crawford says:

    You mentioned last 40 years.

    Coincidentally, it’s been 40 years since America switched to Reagonomics and “trickled down wealth” versus 40 previous years of WWII to President Reagan.

    I really think it’s time to debrief on how Reagonomics is working out. I liked the old system used by my father and grandfather better.

  45. Susan
    Susan says:

    I don’t have time to read every comment right now, but I’d like to suggest three thoughts

    1. As someone else has said above, this sort of protest vote reeks of privilege. You have enough whiteness, heterosexuality, resources, ability to shelter-in-place, etc. to survive the next four years, raise your children, get healthcare, mitigate the impact of global warming on your family, etc. allowing you to advocate for letting a dangerous candidate win now in the hopes that your choice will help drive the longer term political debate where you feel it needs to go. You are willing to walk on the backs of those with less privilege and protection than you, by subjecting them to another four years of Trump

    2. Honestly, this sounds like the political equivalent of putting up with domestic abuse because you don’t think that the options for leaving it are attractive enough. Trump is an abuser, and many of us are suffering his assaults on our rights, our security, our healthcare, our environment, our civility and decency, etc. You feel that since Biden doesn’t meet your high standards, it is better to risk staying with the abuser for four more years, while we try to find a better escape. I think that is victim thinking.

    3. If we don’t get Trump out, we may not get a real choice in four years. So much damage is being done to our courts, our electoral processes, etc. Do you really advocate for gambling that Trump won’t continue to take over/subvert/break the levers of democracy?

    Your protest vote may not matter much, since you live in a blue state, but you are attempting to use your influence in ways that could change the outcome in swing states, in ways that hurt many of us, and that may threaten the democracy that you need to ever get to the outcomes you envision. That saddens and depresses me.

  46. Kate
    Kate says:

    I am one of your international readers asking you to please reconsider. I get feeling angry for various valid reasons and feeling the need to rebel and fight. However I would like to be able to sleep again in a few months knowing that the person with your nuclear codes only has a politician’s usual background level of Narcissistic Personality Disorder traits and is not the most epic case-study to ever grace future textbooks.

  47. carrie
    carrie says:

    I find this is a really interesting viewpoint, although I completely disagree with the socialism part. Thanks for sharing. I’m really wondering what news sources you typically listen to. The last few months have made me completely lose faith in mainstream media, it’s so clear there’s narrative, which includes Biden as the moral choice, as you point out. It’s pure propoganda. It leaves the problem of where to get the news. I live with people who consult foreign news sources, and funnily enough that’s where I learn about problems with Biden, his son’s corruption, etc. that the media here hides.

  48. Liz
    Liz says:

    This is such an insensitive and privileged position. Realistically, you have a choice between Biden or Trump. Don’t pretend you’re helping black people by refusing to help the candidate black people support in a binary choice situation.

    Complain about the system all you like. You’re getting Biden or Trump. One of them will let more people die than the other. You can help those people who want to live, or you can stand aside and hide behind your wealth from the consequences of your abstention.

    The time to air your grievances about Biden and make any kind of productive point passed long ago. The people voted. Black people voted. And they voted for Biden.

  49. Karah Ped
    Karah Ped says:

    I just skimmed the comments and your readers are begging you to change your mind with strong counterarguments and powerful rationale. Yet, no luck? You do not seem scared of the possibility that Trump gets a second term – which is interesting. That’s a much more interesting post than listing why Biden is a weak candidate (too boring for me to even read through your list — who cares at a time like this?). But, if you’re really sticking to your guns here, then please write a post on why you are okay with supporting a second term of a Trump presidency with your planned vote to write in Bernie. That might tell me what you care about with your vote as that’s currently very unclear.

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