POLITICS : Hey Joe, where you goin'?

I am going to say this, and then likely retreat from any back and forth in the comments.

Until this administration, I have approached politics as a journalist; asking questions, looking for documentation and evidence, exploring ideas, examining the merits of both or multiple potentially-valid points of view, and...doing these things from a place on the sidelines. Because I have long had an iconoclastic approach to most things and been loathe to fully subscribe to or fight against the totality of a specific party’s or candidates’s platform.

Until this one. I still do those things, but I am fully against so much of what the current administration stands for, in policy and attitude. But this is not about that. It’s about STILL being able to say something positive about somebody on ‘the other side’ without being ripped apart. Which is what former Vice President Joe Biden said about current Veep Mike Pence last week:

"...The fact of the matter is it was followed on by a guy who's a decent guy, our Vice President...”
- Joe Biden, referring to Mike Pence

Biden has been ripped apart for referring to Pence as “...a decent guy.”
Do I ever want to see Mike Pence as President? No, not ever.
Will I ever vote for Joe Biden for President? Possibly.

And one reason being that I believe he is a decent person with positions and platforms I can support. I also believe he is someone who has tried to often look for the good in others. Including the current Vice President, who is the antithesis of him in almost every way policy-wise.

I loathe the idea that in today’s world it is becoming increasingly difficult to simply say SOMETHING NICE about someone you disagree with without it turning into a flashpoint that’s quickly taken out of context; where you are excoriated for saying something decent to or ABOUT your opponent. An opponent you may have little in common with. I am not a supporter of Pence, beyond him occupying a position that deserves a certain amount of respect.

But I am a fan of persons such as Joseph Biden, who has served his country with dignity, respect, humor, and a certain amount of kindness and acknowledgement of others’ humanity, including his opponents, for decades.

Make no mistake: Joe can fight. I am simply weary of marching forward into an era where you can’t fight nail and tooth for rights for the marginalized, and at the same time recognize that humans are built out of paradoxes and internal conflicts and that sometimes there is humanity to be found in people who take archaic and troglodytic positions. Biden has not endorsed or supported any of the positions Pence has taken on social issues. He has fought AGAINST those positions for many years; his own battles, his own way. That way often involving a certain level of respect for his opponents and those “on the other side.”

Maybe he’s old fashioned in some ways. Maybe I am too. And maybe that’s not totally bad.

Thanks Joe. I think you’re a decent chap. Don’t stop calling people out on what they need to be called out on - and looking for the good in people at the same time. That is a lesson worth remembering.