Many people can’t understand why Joe Biden talks so optimistically about the American people, like he did again today. After all, nearly half of Americans have stuck with Trump, even after four years of corruption, cruelty, and incompetence.
I think it’s because Biden knows that what matters isn’t just what a leader sees in people, but what he summons from them.
Trump summoned the worst in us, and we saw a lot of it. Biden is determined to summon the best.
And it will probably work — not perfectly, but well enough.
That’s because the same people who do terrible things can also do great things. Germans built both the Third Reich and one of the most enlightened democracies in the world. Our history includes both slave-owners and the Greatest Generation.
In history to come, our generation will be seen as far from the greatest. But by counting on us to be good, Biden can help us be better.