Episode 50: Do Not Congratulate

For our one year anniversary, we virtually review the virtual Democratic National Convention. Three major celebrity Cameos celebrate our 50th episode.

Episode 50: Do Not Congratulate
Season 2

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Those voices are discussing the Democratic National Convention, the quadrennial spectacle that, like the Summer Olympics, requires lots of time, money, and careful preparation, for an event that nobody actually ends up watching. 

As Democrats took to the virtual stage to share their vision for the future of the country, the party sought to rally up enthusiasm from coast to coast by asking a clear and simple question: can we count on tens of millions of your popular votes to secure another electoral college defeat? 

Featuring four nights of appearances from the likes of Bernie Sanders, Billy Eilish, and Kerry Washington, the D.N.C. traded packed arenas pretending to listen to awkward speeches from local party representatives you’ve never heard of for awkward live-streams from local party representatives you’ve never heard of. 

The affair resembled a telethon, for which a donation might get you some slightly cheaper health insurance rather than a PBS tote bag.

Michelle Obama reminded us of the dangers of the current administration, Barack Obama reminded us that democracy requires participation to function, Kamala Harris reminded us of the hope our country holds for a better future, and Hillary Clinton reminded us that we wouldn’t be in this mess if she’d run a better campaign.

But the purpose of the party’s two nightly hours of propaganda, indeed a welcome reprieve from the One America News Network’s daily broadcast of twenty-four, was to re-introduce the party’s presidential nominee, Joe Biden, the kind of guy who hangs around a Home Depot parking lot long after he’s purchased some bolts just in case someone rolls up in a Corvette for him to strike up a conversation with. 

A stutterer, a father, a widower, a Senator, a plagiarist, a Vice President, and a bereaved parent, he made a clear and impassioned plea for Americans to understand precisely who he is — a guy with hair plugs — and who he is not — a guy with a ridiculous combover, who fell asleep in a tanning booth while listening to the audiobook of Mein Kampf.

This is the 50th episode of this podcast, marking its one year anniversary — that’s traditionally the paper anniversary, so if you’d like to celebrate, you can send me a piece of paper.

And if you remember, which you don’t, because I can see how many listens each episode gets, and let’s just say that people ain’t digging through the archive to hear my six-month-old hot takes on the Houston Astros, the very first episode of this program was about 77-year-old Joe Biden and other politicians that predate birth control, hard drives, and the credit card. 

My point at the time was that I’m tired of ancient politicians retrofitting themselves in order to remodel this bathroom of a country; people more familiar with the radio than Reddit.

I still believe that, but now that we’re 11 weeks away from picking a new president, it’s just not that important right now. I’d rather take a risk on a Buick with a working engine and a hundred thousand miles than renew the lease on the golf cart with a broken governor covered in a thin, sticky film of Diet Coke. 

I continue to see so many friends suggesting that Joe Biden is no more than the status quo, an extension of George W. Bush who trades war crimes for waffle cones. 

But right now, there is no status quo: our country’s a broken set of Legos and the current administration has been hell-bent on throwing away the instructions. 

Joe Biden might not be a socialist revolutionary, but you can’t deny that he’s at least capable and willing to try to pick up the scattered pieces and make this train station resemble itself again before Trump starts pardoning the minifigures.

iPhone or Android, the airplane chicken or the airplane lasagna, watching Avatar or watching nothing. I get it: it sucks when you have two choices, neither of which sounds particularly interesting. 

But we’re not choosing a phone in two months. We’re choosing, fundamentally, and frankly, I think objectively, between good and bad. Not good or bad policies, not good or bad politics, but good or bad people. Joe Biden, flaws and all, seems like a good guy. And Mr. Trump, flaws and all, seems like a bad guy.

I don’t care to Make America Great Again, but it would be great to Make America Care Again — and with somebody like Joe Biden, it might at least seem like this country is interested in solving our own problems.

Are we the people who bang on people who bang on pots and pans at 7pm to thank grocery store workers who don’t make a living wage, or are we the people who refuse to wear masks and get kicked out of grocery stores by workers who don’t get paid a living wage?