Last week, on Instagram, I said that Joe Biden is not coming to save you, and I think a lot of people got kind of mad at me. I wanted to take a moment to contextualize what I said, because it was never my intent to anger you, just to warn you.
First things first: yes, I am voting for Joe Biden, and it’s not even a question for me. I will in no way sit the election out, vote third party, or leave the presidency blank and just vote down ballot. I’m voting for Biden.
Here’s the crux of my warning: voting for Biden and expecting Biden to be our savior are two entirely separate things. You should absolutely engage in the former; you should never engage in the latter. We all must internalize that fascism is at our doorstep and we have precious little time left to save our democracy – yet Biden is acting like this is a normal election. And that is a huge problem.
Joe Biden is not coming to save us. He’s proven over and over that he has zero stomach for fighting Republicans, and even if he did, this is much bigger than him.
So what can we do in the meantime?
One, use your platforms to pressure Biden to do better. Hammer him on policy. Call him out for not using words like “Fascism” and “Genocide.” View him with a healthy skepticism and get extremely comfortable with the idea of being furious at him should it become necessary.
Two, read everything Umair Haque is writing.
Three, watch Winter on Fire on Netflix.
History has repeatedly shown us that you cannot vote out a fascist. Yes, we should vote. But we should stop being naive enough to believe and hope that our votes will convince Trump to leave office, or that Trump won’t tamper with them, or just refuse to acknowledge them. I fear that America will have only one of two choices in the election’s aftermath: allow Trump to rig, cheat, and steal to keep the Oval Office, or hit the streets.
I want to convey that I spell out this doom and say all these mean things about Biden not to anger or offend you, but to warn you. That is my only goal. I am motivated by fear and a fierce desire to fight against oppression and fascism. I am not trying to build some stupid Cassandra Internet Brand. I am not trying to Be Right; in fact, I desperately wish to be wrong. And if I am, you have my full consent to throw all the eggs and tomatoes at my face. I only request that you also throw some fresh herbs and feta cheese at me as well, so I can make us all a delicious tomato-cheese omelet in celebration.
It can happen here, and it is happening here. Literally nothing has stopped Trump’s lawless, cruel, corrupt power consolidation. None of our institutions have held up, not one in over four years. Why would November 3rd be any different? Voting for Biden will not save us, and we have every reason to fear that Biden himself is not going to fight for us. I hope I’m wrong, but right now I’m operating on the belief that it’s best to start preparing now for mass protests and general strikes in November.
- 7 oz 12 to 14 graham crackers
- 2 tbs granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 8 tbs 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
- 2 tbs strong brewed coffee or espresso
- 12 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 tbs unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Place the graham crackers in your food processor, along with the sugar and salt. Process until you have turned your crackers to uniform crumbs. Add the melted butter and process again until the crumbs are all coated and the mixture has the texture of wet sand.
- Grease a 9-inch fluted tart pan, I use the kind with a removable bottom. I know most instructions don’t include a greasing step, but I have regretted not doing it in the past. Transfer the graham cracker crumb mixture to the tart pan. Use your hands or the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumbs evenly into and up the sides of the pan. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until slightly darkened and set. Let cool completely.
- Increase the oven temperature to 375 F. Scatter the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes. Let cool completely. Remove the skins. This should happen easily with your fingers; alternately you can rub them in a clean, fuzz-free dish towel. See notes for more advice if needed. Coarsely chop the skinned hazelnuts and set aside.
- In a small or medium saucepan, bring the cream and coffee just to a simmer. Add all but ¼ cup of the chopped chocolate, plus the butter and salt. Let stand for 2 minutes, then stir continuously with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture into the tart shell. Scatter the hazelnuts on top, gently pressing them into the chocolate.
- Melt the remaining ¼ cup chocolate in the microwave in 20-second bursts. To avoid it seizing on you, melt it almost all the way. Stop microwaving when it’s about three-quarters of the way melted. Pull it and stir vigorously to melt it completely.
- Immediately use a spoon to drizzle it all over the top of the tart in pretty stripes or circles (circles are way easier!).
- Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 ½ hours, but overnight is better. Slice into wedges and serve.
A word on skinning hazelnuts: Chapple recommends using a cooling rack. I tried, and my hazelnuts just fell right through the cracks. A clean, fuzz-free dish towel will work, but I just use my hands. My secret to decreasing the arduousness is to roast a small handful more hazelnuts than you’ll need, and any nuts who are reluctant to release their skins just don’t get to be in the dessert. Their loss. Enjoy this lovely treat!