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McFeely: Don’t lose sight of the most important thing – defeat Trump – InForum

McFeely: Don’t lose sight of the most important thing – defeat Trump – InForum

FARGO – Republicans are smugly taking victory laps after President Joe Biden’s disastrous debate performance. Hooray, they say, now we can elect Donald Trump, a convicted rape felon who unleashed a violent, police-killing mob on the U.S. Capitol and tried to overturn Biden’s 2020 election victory! We’re winning!

America is losing, of course, but Republicans don’t care. They have the ruthlessness gene, to paraphrase a wag.

At this point, all this victory hype and expert opinions that Biden should drop out of the race lose some of their power.

You do realize that the alternative to Biden is Trump, right?

That’s like saying that incurable cancer is the alternative to a heart attack.

Trump is not a panacea. He is fatal for everything, perhaps even for democracy.

So when Republicans are celebrating and Democrats are freaking out, it’s always helpful to keep one thing in mind.

The most important.

Trump is the alternative.

This remains unacceptable, regardless of whether his opponent is called Biden, Kamala Harris, Gavin Newsom or the clown Zippo.

Democrats must keep their eye on their goal: to win the White House for another four years. Maybe Biden will be the nominee, maybe not. That remains to be seen, even though the president has so far been categorical and adamant that he is not going anywhere.

For the Democrats, victory is the only thing that counts in this election. The bed-wetting firing squad won’t change that.

Because Trump is the alternative.

There’s an old adage in politics: Do you want to be right or do you want to win? In 2016, Republicans gave up any pretense of being right, decent or moral. They know they need the wretched – the white supremacists, the Christian nationalists, the violent mobs attacking the Capitol – to win. They don’t care. If Trump is their means to power, they’ll gladly use him. Ruthless gene.

Democrats, on the other hand, like to be honest and show everyone how smart and fair they are. There is some of that here too.

All of this would be fine if, say, Doug Burgum were the Republican nominee. Or Nikki Haley. Or Mitt Romney. You know, not narcissistic psychopaths. If that were the case, the Democrats could self-immolate. If they lose, the country moves on. The politics may not be great, but the nation holds out. Beat them in 2028.

That is not what is at stake in 2024. Democracy itself may be on the ballot.

The Philadelphia Inquirer was right when it called on Trump, not Biden, to drop out of the race.

“To build himself up, Trump keeps tearing the country down,” the newspaper’s editorial said. “There is no shining city on the hill. There is only sadness in America.”

“There was only one person at the debate who does not deserve to run for president. The sooner Trump leaves the stage, the better off the country will be.”

This may be a pipe dream, but at least the newspaper has not lost sight of what this election means.

Trump is the alternative to Biden. That is all that matters. The Democrats and everyone else must not forget that.

Mike McFeely

Mike McFeely is a columnist for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He began working for The Forum in the 1980s while studying journalism at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He has been with The Forum full-time since 1990, except for a six-year hiatus when he hosted a local radio talk show.