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6 Ways You Can Make America Functional Again

Paul Graham, cofounder of Y Combinator, wrote in a thoughtful essay:

“The defining quality of an ideologue, whether on the left or the right, is to acquire one’s opinions in bulk. You don’t get to pick and choose. Your opinions about taxation can be predicted from your opinions about same-sex marriage.…Accidental moderates, on the other hand, not only choose their own answers, but choose their own questions….It’s possible in theory for one side to be entirely right and the other to be entirely wrong. Indeed, ideologues must always believe this is the case. But historically it rarely has been.”

I’m an “accidental moderate”, with a history of voting for and supporting candidates labeled Democrat, Republican, and sometimes other parties. Many years ago, I was Chairman of the Young Jewish Leadership PAC, the only Jewish Republican PAC in the US.  (That was before the US Republican party moved far more to the right than all of their peers in traditional conservative parties in Western Europe and Canada.)

That said, I’m endorsing Joe Biden for President. As an investor, I can work with a CEO with whom I have differences of opinion on strategy. After all, we all share the common goal of helping a company succeed.  I can’t work with a CEO who’s a liar, disorganized, immature, nepotistic, ignores reality, racist, sexist, xenophobic, is physically and mentally not up to the job, and/or cares more about himself than about the organization he’s supposed to lead. That was apparent in 2016 and it’s even more apparent now.


Quoting John Bolton, one of many Trump colleagues who are now aggressive critics, our current President is not “fit for office” and doesn’t have “the competence to carry out the job”. I disagree with many of the current administration’s positions and agree with some, but that’s far less important than the fact that the current President and some in his administration are simply unqualified for the jobs they’re holding.  

Our nation is in desperate need for leadership. Not only does Joe Biden have the necessary experience — having led the Obama administration’s response to crises such as the Ebola epidemic and the Great Recession — but he also has character, competence, and empathy. I miss that.

I hope you will join me to Make America Functional Again. Here are 6 simple actions you can take:

  1. Register to vote at IWillVote.com
  2. Join me as a member of the newly-launched Innovators for Biden (TwitterInstagramFacebookLinkedIn).  You can join at https://secure.joebiden.com/onlineactions/Voiv4qHRdUSYTJc33P6Y5A2. The next event is a videoconference on June 30 with Biden Campaign Senior Advisor Jake Sullivan, who worked in the Obama Administration as Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to Joe Biden.
  3. Join a Biden Innovator Practice Areas. If you work in a certain occupation or industry segment and would like to start your own group, contact the Biden campaign. 25 people within one industry or occupation can do amazing things. Contact Rusty Rueff, rusty(@)rueff.com .
  4. Take a regional leadership role. Innovators for Biden is now establishing regional chapters in: NYC, NorCal, SoCal, Northwest, DC, New England, Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Chicago, and International.  Contact Guicela at Sandoval-LopezG(@)dnc.org.
  5. Download the “Team” app by Tuesday Company on the app store. Tuesday Company helps you leverage your personal relationships and professional expertise to further the causes and candidates you care about.  Disclosure: I’m an Advisor to Tuesday Company.
  6. Contribute to the Biden campaign: https://secure.joebiden.com/onlineactions/K3W1hrzem0S9ecZxawBI4g2?attr=102022344
    or send checks payable to: Biden Victory Fund, 430 South Capitol Street, SE, Washington, D.C. 20003

Lastly, in response to my Republican friends:

I have friends who support Trump because they consider themselves Republicans. According to David Frum, every Republican presidential nominee of the past three decades has put on public record his contempt for and opposition to Donald Trump. They know a lot more than the rest of us about the office of the President. (exception: Bob Dole, 1996.)  I also suggest look up the long list of Trump administration officials turned aggressive critics.

I have friends who support the current President because of his (alleged) success in business. I ask them: would you invest in the Trump Organization, a company he still owns?  They’re actively looking to talk with possible investors. If not, why would you want him running the country you live in?

I have friends who support Trump because they think Biden is a “socialist”. Biden was Vice President from 2009 to 2017. I don’t recall America turning socialist then.

I have friends who support Trump because they are libertarian. I used to consider myself libertarian. Then I realized that many societal problems (pandemics, climate crisis, social instability, war) have no pure libertarian solution.  

I have friends who support Trump because they consider him pro-Israel.  I refer you to Dennis Ross (Why Trump Is Bad for Israel) and Bret Stephens (Donald Trump Is Bad for Israel.) By contrast, Joe Biden wrote an op-ed earlier this year: “My plan to fight anti-Semitism.”

I’ll close with lifelong conservative George Will, who wrote, Trump must be removed. So must his congressional enablers.

David Tetenhttps://teten.com/
Venture capitalist with 9 years experience and top-quartile returns. Focus on fintech (teten.com/di); edtech (teten.com/edtech); sales tech (teten.com/sales), investing at Seed through Series B. Serial fintech CEO with two past exits as founder.
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