Though we’ve known for four years that the 2020 US election cycle would be even more fraught than the strange and painful fall of the 2016 elections, most of us still find ourselves a little disoriented these days. For some, the urgency to remove Trump from office has immobilized us. For others, it’s fortified us into action to get out the vote and to sway those who are undecided, apathetic, and reluctant.
In the final five weeks before the election of a lifetime, we asked writers to consider the undecided voter and contribute compelling arguments and ideas for making the world right. Some contributors sent us work that takes on issues with precision and gravity. Others sent us different work, perhaps an even more visceral snapshot of this alarming moment — a one-act play, an open letter, a story of exile. New writing will be published weekdays; we believe its wisdom and strength will help us all navigate the uncertainty ahead.
Last week I was mindlessly scrolling through Instagram, which if you don’t already know is like a new-fashioned aspirational photo album where people look better than they do in real life, and I found a thing of such rare beauty that I had to share my thoughts about it. It was a picture of former Senator and Vice President and current Presidential nominee Joe Biden eating a chocolate and vanilla swirl soft-serve ice cream in a regular cone. I performed a cursory follow-up investigation by googling: “Joe Biden ice cream.” I was not disappointed. I found a photographic treasure trove of a man who freaking loves ice cream: J.R.B. beaming with pride while holding two cones at once; J.R.B. at Cornell, presumably chomping a vanilla scoop in a sugar cone while he readied himself for his 2017 convocation speech; J.R.B. biting into a double scoop of ice cream with the most joy one could ever aspire to have on a single day of life, and the list goes on…
I can tell you this now: I am voting for Joe Biden for one reason and one reason only: ice cream. Every time I see a joyous pic of Joe and a cone of soft serve, I see a man living life to its fullest and think only one thing: presidential material.
Joe and I have a lot in common: I, too, love ice cream. I love it so much that to tell you the truth, whenever I have a socially distanced and responsible trip to the ice cream store, I silently cry to myself a little bit when someone picks a better flavor than me. I love the fancy French stuff, gelato, fro-yo, vegan soft serve, and everything in between. It’s important to me, so I’m voting for Joseph R. Biden Jr. because… ice cream. It’s definitely not because Donald J. Trump has rolled back desperately needed climate protections, signed orders that made it possible for federal authorities to separate infants and children from their parents, mocked people with disabilities, and mismanaged the government’s reaction to a life-threatening pandemic. Nope, nope, nope, and nope. It’s because Biden loves ice cream and I love ice cream too. It’s a personal preference, a preference for people who like ice cream. When I see a picture of Joe Biden marveling at the gravity-defying thickness of a Blizzard by turning it upside down, I know he’s the president for me. It’s not because Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. is exceptionally qualified for the job of president or actually seems to care about the American people and social justice or believes in science or selected the whip-smart and talented Kamala Devi Harris as his VP. Nope again! It’s because he appreciates a cold and tasty treat and so, my friends, do I.
Now, I haven’t seen any press photos of Ms. Harris holding an ice cream cone, but I’d be willing to bet she’d totally have a frozen vanilla custard and rainbow sprinkles with my new pal, Joseph Biden, and me while we talk about climate change. Because when life hands us a year where a 120-degree day is the least of our problems, I’m going for ice cream with the only presidential candidate worthy of a chocolate-dipped cone: Joe Biden.
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Emmy, Golden Globe and Grammy nominee and Critics’ Choice Award winner Zooey Deschanel has charmed big and small screen audiences through her nuanced leading performances in films like (500) Days of Summer, Elf, Yes Man, Almost Famous and the hit television series, New Girl. Her band, She & Him, has released six albums.