Election Year: Substance versus Symbols

In five months Americans will elect their next president. I will not make any predictions regarding the victor. Life has taught me the value of taking a wait and see approach to such matters. But with our currently heightened racial tensions I am keenly aware of how politicians are addressing this moment. Last week Joe Biden took a knee in a church surrounded by Black people:

Not to be outdone by Biden, Democrat House leadership gave us this optic, image courtesy of MSNBC

Now in another life I would have appreciated this. But I am older and wiser now, and I understand how symbolic gestures are used to manipulate. Therefore I am not impressed by these photos, just as I am not impressed by the performative wokeness that has become so popular. I need more than photos and pretty words this time around. I don’t want symbols; I crave substance.