I introduced then-Senator Joe Biden at a rally in Waterloo, Iowa, in 2007 when he was running for President. Recently I found my introduction and I thought it would be interesting to post it here. Today, as I talk around the state to Democrats about the last midterm elections, I find myself saying many of the same things.
I think that Senator Biden expected a short comment, followed by his political resume, but….well…it became a long wind up to a short introduction to the Senator.
“I’ve always maintained that it is harder to be a Democrat. Our ideology requires that we look deeper into issues; that we actually try and solve the problems at hand; and that we must practice what we preach. Unlike the Republicans, when Democrats say one thing and do another we tend to disappear.
The last thing anyone wants to do is have to defend the nobility of compassionate ideas, but unfortunately, we have to…and Republicans have understood for years that Democrats are poor at that. They have taken advantage of the fact that Democrats aren’t particularly inclined to defend themselves and don’t define their ideology with easy to repeat sound bites and platitudes, and the Republicans have been all too happy to do it for them.
Who would have thought that after the social awareness that sprung from the left in the 60’s and 70’s and the optimism of creating a better world from progressive activism, that “liberal” could become a dirty word? The Republican propaganda machine re-defined us and they did so with a brilliant understanding of what people wanted to hear.
Who would have thought that 30 years after Roe v Wade we would be defending a woman’s right to choose? And that we would be effectively labeled “pro abortionists” or “anti-lifers” for upholding that right?
Who could ever have thought that after Watergate and Iran/Contra that Republicans could lay claim to being the party of “high moral standards”?
And who would’ve thought that the entire nation would not be appalled when another Republican administration spun lies that led to the invasion of Iraq?
The answer is simple. Republicans have never pretended to be anything but Machiavellian in their approach to politics; where the end justifies the means. They present truth on one hand and lies on the other and value both as reasonable options.
As Paul Simon once sang, “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest” and the Republican Party has celebrated that by giving people exactly what they want to hear while disguising their true policies in the cloak of that promise.
Republican conservatives will lead this country in the wrong direction; away from civil liberties (they curse the American Civil Liberties Union!). They will label disagreement of their views as un-American.
They will legislate for Christian-specific doctrine with Constitutional bans on gay marriage and they will exploit our fear from 9/11 with Patriot Acts.
They will enable profiteering from imperialist expansion and nation building.
They will cut taxes for the rich and spend irresponsibly, yet will pin the debt on Democrats while doing everything they can to destroy Social Security and Medicare.
And they will attempt to brand those of us trying to expand America’s promise as “un-American” even “socialists.”
For these reasons, in this election, it is imperative that we support Democratic candidates on every level. From the grassroots to the White House we must stand tall, defend our beliefs and stand together.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you a candidate today who understands what it means to defend our civil liberties and our freedom, who has legislated responsibly and compassionately, and who has stood up to the forces that would deter our progressive mission to hand a better America to future generations. I give you the next President of the United States- Senator Joe Biden!”