Joe Biden and His Speech at Gettysburg

I support Joe Biden for President of the United States. Even with my support of Biden, I know that I will agree with him some of the time and disagree with him some of the time. A perfect candidate or political leader does not exist. All political leaders are human, which means that even the leaders we support will make mistakes. As a liberal Democrat, I will agree with Biden far more often than I disagree. I don’t think Joe Biden is perfect. But I do think he is a decent man who will do the best that he can to serve our country.


One of the big things that bothers me these past few years is the cult of personality that currently surrounds President Trump. There’s nothing wrong with supporting a particular leader. But no political leader deserves our 100% blind loyalty. The Founding Fathers created checks and balances to prevent the concentration of all power in one person or institution. History has shown that political leaders can take advantage of the 100% blind loyalty of their followers to lead these followers to do terrible things to vulnerable minority groups or to people who disagree.


Our democratic republic is premised on the idea that no one side has a monopoly on truth. Progressives, moderates, conservatives, democratic socialists, libertarians are all right some of the time, and we’re all wrong some of the time. Our republic works when people of differing viewpoints can debate the issues, and be willing to compromise and find common ground when the debate reaches an impasse.


This premise only works when we have a basic respect for differences of opinion. Conservative Republican Jeff Flake said in a 2018 speech that Republicans and Democrats need to see each other as competing friends and not as intractable foes. From the beginning of our democratic republic, there have been friendships between individuals from opposite ends of the political spectrum: the Republican Thomas Jefferson and the Federalists John and Abigail Adams; the liberal opponent of the Vietnam War George McGovern and the conservative hawk Barry Goldwater; the liberal Democrat Ted Kennedy and the conservative Republican Orrin Hatch.


Liberal Democrats, conservative Republicans, democratic socialists, and libertarians have many philosophical differences, but we all love this country and its democratic ideals, In spite of ideological differences, we should all be against racism and white nationalism. We should all be against authoritarianism (whether right wing or left wing). We should all fight for the rights of the people we disagree with as well as the rights of the people we agree with.

Here is an excerpt of a speech by Joe Biden on October 6, 2020 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania:


“There’s no more fitting place than here today in Gettysburg, to talk about the cost of division. About how much it has cost America in the past, about how much it is costing us now, and about why I believe in this moment, we must come together as a nation. For President Lincoln, the Civil War was about the greatest of causes. The end of slavery, widening equality, pursuit of justice, the creation of opportunity, and the sanctity of freedom.


His words would live ever after. We hear them in our heads. We know them in our hearts. We draw on them when we seek hope in hours of darkness; ‘Four score, and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.’ Here on this sacred ground, Abraham Lincoln, re-imagined America itself. Here, a president of the United States spoke of the price of division, and the meaning of sacrifice…


…As we stand here today, a century and a half later after Gettysburg, we should consider again, what can happen when equal justice is denied, when anger and violence and division are left unchecked. As I look across America today, I’m concerned. The country is in a dangerous place. Our trust in each other is ebbing. Hope seems elusive. Too many Americans see our public life, not as an arena for mediation of our differences, but rather they see it as an occasion for total, unrelenting, partisan warfare.


Instead of treating each other’s party as the opposition, we treat them as the enemy…


…there’s something bigger going on in this nation than just our broken politics. Something darker, something more dangerous. I’m not talking about ordinary differences of opinion, competing viewpoints give life and vibrancy to our democracy. No, I’m talking about something different, something deeper. Too many Americans seek not to overcome our divisions, but to deepen them.


We must seek not to build walls, but bridges. We must seek not to have our fist clenched, but our arms open. We have to seek not to tear each other apart, we seek to come together. You don’t have to agree with me on everything, or even on most things, to see that we’re experiencing today is neither good nor normal…

…I also believe injustice is real. It’s a product of a history that goes back 400 years, the moment when black men, women, and children first were brought here in chains. I do not believe we have to choose between law and order, and racial justice in America. We can have both. This is the nation strong enough to both honestly face systemic racism and strong enough to provide safe streets for our families and small businesses. The two often bear the brunt of this looting and burning…


…There’s another enduring division in America that we must end, the division in our economic life. That gives opportunity only to the privileged few. America has to be about mobility. It has to be the kind of country where an Abraham Lincoln, a child of the distant frontier, can rise to the highest office in the land. America has to be about possibilities.


The possibility of prosperity, not just for the privileged few, but for the many, for all of us. Working people on their kids deserve an opportunity…


…We cannot, and will not, allow extremist and white supremacist to overturn the America of Lincoln and Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglas, to overturn the America that has welcomed immigrants from distant shores, to overturn the America that has been a Haven and a home for everyone, no matter their background.


From Seneca falls to Selma, to Stonewall we’re at our best when the promise of America is available to all, we cannot, and we will not allow violence in the street to threaten the people of this nation. We cannot and will not walk away from our obligation to at long last, face the wrecking on race and racial justice in this country. We cannot and will not continue to be struck in the partisan politics that lets us, this virus, thrive, while the public health of this nation suffers…


…We have it in our hands, the ultimate power. The power to vote. Its the note instrument ever devised to register our will in a peaceable and productive fashion. And so we must. We must vote. We will vote. No matter how many obstacles are thrown in our way, because once America votes, America will be heard.”

About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Angelo Lopez has had illustrations published in Tikkun Magazine, the Palo Alto Daily News and Z Magazine. From April 2008 to May 2011, Angelo's cartoons were regularly published in the Tri-City Voice, a weekly newspaper that covers the Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Neward, Sunol and Union City areas in California. He did a political webcomic starring his cartoon character Jasper for the progressive blogsite Everyday Citizen. Since December 2011, Angelo does a regular weekly political cartoon for the Philippine News Today, a Filipino American newspaper based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Angelo is a member of the Sunnyvale Art Club, and the Northern California chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. During the 1990s, he was a member of the part-timer workers SEIU unit in the city of Sunnyvale. Angelo won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 and 2018 Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial cartooning for newspapers with a circulation under 100,000. He has also won the 2016 RFK Book and Journalism Award for Editorial Cartoons. Angelo won first prize for the Best of the West contest in 2016 and third prize in 2017. Angelo is married to Lisa Reeber. They enjoy taking walks, watching movies and hanging out with their nieces.
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