As Biden promotes democracy abroad, advocates urge him to focus on fixing US elections

Sarah Briceño and Josh Hanfling say the former vice-president should leave his role as the face of freedom promotion for the time being

As Biden promotes democracy abroad, advocates urge him to focus on fixing US elections

“We are, too, brothers and sisters with the global citizens who hold our elections.”

That was the message from the two Green Party Congress delegates in this year’s Democratic National Convention, Sarah Briceño and Josh Hanfling, who on Friday read out the message on behalf of Dennis Muhammad who has died of colon cancer.

Muhammad was Democratic vice-president Al Gore’s Senate floor manager when he and the vice-president reintroduced the then-unsuccessful constitutional amendment to require recounts after presidential elections in 2000 and 2004.

It was also a Democratic amendment to keep George W Bush from the White House in 2000 that Muhammad followed closely when he checked the opposition on every vote. And it was a Green party amendment that Muhammad and Briceño were expecting to voice a second time when Bush won re-election. Instead, Muhammad gave the last speech at the convention when Gore refused to give it again, so Muhammad asked both Briceño and Hanfling to read it to him.

“Mr Muhammad’s plea at the DNC for freedom-promoting efforts is appropriate,” wrote Briceño and Hanfling, a former political and economic analyst for the UN and now chief operating officer of Direct Democracy, in a statement on Friday.

“But we are all heartbroken that today he is no longer with us,” they added. “It is time for Biden to assume a new responsibility, to put America first.”

They also said that with years to think about it and months to be campaigning, it would be the “ideal time” for Biden to be back on the campaign trail for Jill Biden. And they called on him to play a “significant role” in progressive marches across the country, noting that they attended one in the capitol and heard Biden’s support “for democratic and conscious processes” in South Africa and Ireland last weekend.

“Given the protection of democracy that Biden, Hillary Clinton and the so-called mainstream Democratic leadership has for years offered, it is most unfortunate that Biden’s progressive commitments have not yet resulted in the serious reform that still awaits,” they wrote.

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