Readers React: The left’s attacks on Joe Biden can destroy the Democrats in 2020

Mason St.Clair, Donald Trump
Supporters of Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential candidacy wait outside before a rally in Pittsburgh on April 29.
(Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)

To the editor: Virginia Heffernan’s column, “Joe Biden is the white male savior we’ve finally outgrown,” represents the attitude that will destroy the Democrats in 2020.

People like Heffernan eschew pragmatism for ideology. They seem unable to conceive a strategy for achieving long-term goals. Republicans, on the other hand, will fully support a reckless demagogue if he can win.

There will be plenty of time for the Kamala Harrises and the Beto O’Rourkes if, and only if, they can defeat President Trump. There is a rather large, politically moderate and affluent electorate made up of people who will vote for former Vice President Joe Biden over Trump, but not Sen. Bernie Sanders over Trump.

Take one step at a time. Defeat Trumpism first, and if the Democrats then prove they truly have the people’s backs, Biden’s successor can implement more progressive policies.


Carol Donald-Murray, Vista, Calif.


To the editor: Perhaps it comes as no surprise that I would agree with Heffernan’s take, as I am an older millennial, African American woman hungering to see new leadership emerge.

Electing Biden won’t reset the country back to a pre-2016 time. Electing him won’t erase the damage Trump has done. All of the bigotry, misogyny, resentment and ignorance that made Trump possible isn’t going to go away. It will still be there, lurking, waiting to reveal itself at a later time.


We are better off confronting all of these issues head on, now, and not act if they will just go away.

Margaret Henderson, Los Angeles


To the editor: I couldn’t agree more with Heffernan, but I believe Biden still has a role to play in the election.

Biden has come out swinging at Trump instead of the other Democratic candidates. True, we already know who Biden is, and he doesn’t have to define himself as much as, say, Andrew Yang.

By attacking Trump, Biden will draw the most ire and venomous tweets. This will leave the other candidates free to deliver their messages and explain their policies without the constant name-calling and baiting from Trump.

Janet Dooley, Fawnskin, Calif.



To the editor: This feminist found Heffernan’s piece to be an appalling conglomeration of reverse racism and anti-male sexism.

That Biden found “fine people on only one side” in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017 is to be applauded. That he evoked American heroes of earlier eras is to be celebrated.

My own father, a Russian-born immigrant who fought the Nazis in World War II, was one of those heroes. He quite literally set people free in Germany, and yet Heffernan dismisses his selfless, life-endangering actions as suffused with “self-regard.” How dare she.

Feminism asserts that all people should be granted equal rights and equal opportunity, including older white men. While my first choice for president is a somewhat younger woman of color from California, I will be proud to support Biden if he is the Democratic nominee.

Marcy M. Rothenberg, Porter Ranch

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