Spoiler alert: Progressives need to get on board for Biden

Destiny Mountain, a bartender in Nazareth, Pa., said she voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein in the last presidential election. Last November she said she would probably vote for Joe Biden if he became the Democratic nominee.
Destiny Mountain, a bartender in Nazareth, Pa., said she voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein in the last presidential election. Last November she said she would probably vote for Joe Biden if he became the Democratic nominee.Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post

A Green vote would be merely symbolic (and not just merely)

Christopher Patton (Letters, Sept. 5) asks for a good reason for a Green-leaning voter to opt for Joe Biden for president, given that Biden has not embraced all of the liberal, progressive programs. Patton states that if Biden were to embrace them, he would defeat Donald Trump in a landslide. Biden might win the popular vote in a landslide, but he would lose the Electoral College. This is certainly a good reason for a Green-leaning voter to vote for Biden.

A second good reason to support Biden? If Trump is reelected, he will relentlessly attack and undo any of the Green-leaning initiatives.


A vote for the Green party is symbolic — that is all. If it affects the election, it would only benefit Trump.

So, not only is there one good reason, but there is more than one.

Matt Hogan

West Falmouth

It’s the congressional races that are the crux

In his letter “Give this Green-leaning voter a good reason to back Biden,” Christopher Patton cites Joe Biden’s full embrace of a number of policy proposals — Medicare for All, free college, legalized marijuana, elimination of fossil fuel subsidies — as what it would take for the Democratic candidate to gain his vote. I feel compelled to point out that all of these issues will be legislative issues: The House and Senate must pass the bills in order for Biden or any president to have anything to say about them.

Therefore, I offer this proposal: If Patton doesn’t want to vote for Biden, that’s his privilege. But if he wants these issues to see legislative action, I would strongly recommend that he choose 10 House candidates and five Senate candidates from those running in close races this fall, and go all out to help those people get elected. Regardless of who wins the presidency, the makeup of the next Congress will be crucial to saving our battered democracy in the coming years.


Incidentally, Patton’s efforts to get out the vote for those candidates will probably help bring voters to the polls for Biden, but hopefully Patton will not be deterred by that.

Jon Kiparsky


It’s only logical: Biden is best bet to advance progressive agenda

It seems as if Christopher Patton doesn’t see the logic in electing Joe Biden if for no other reason than to replace Donald Trump.

Patton ticks off several very progressive stances that he presumably would like some legislation passed to address: Medicare for All, free college tuition, legalized marijuana, an end to fossil fuel subsidies.

Since the 2018 midterm election, when the Democrats became the House majority, bills addressing those progressive concerns and more have been passed in that chamber, only to be sent to the Republican-controlled Senate, where they died.

It is reasonable to hope that this year, the Democrats might also gain the majority in the Senate. Even if they gain only three seats, coupled with a Biden presidency any tie would be broken by Kamala Harris as vice president, then signed into law by Biden. If, on the other hand, the Democrats flipped to a clear majority in the Senate, then were the same bill to land on the desk of a reelected President Trump, it would be vetoed. There is not the remotest chance that the Democrats could take enough seats in the Senate to achieve a veto-proof majority.

So, logically, the difference between a President Biden and a President Trump is that a progressive agenda, even if incremental, would be advanced. I ask Patton: What part of that defies logic?


William Miller


Strict requirements of a narrow wish list make for a poor test

So, only embracing Medicare for All, free college, legalized marijuana, and the elimination of all fossil fuels will get the vote of Christopher Patton and 100,000 like thinkers, who he cites as having sat out the 2016 election.

And when they show up stoned in the free classroom, needing their free health care because they can’t get their minds around their chemistry assignments, just what will they have they achieved?


Being the president of the United States requires thoughtfulness, integrity, clearheadedness, and an ability to understand all sides of an issue, not just unequivocally accepting narrow wish lists.

Betty Whitney


Build coalitions to push the party forward

I support all the issues letter writer Christopher Patton does, but unlike him, I will not waste my vote on the Green Party candidate.

I understand that coalitions are necessary in order to gain power.

Instead, I will work to move the Democratic Party to enact the reforms Patton and I desire.

Alan Wright