Posted in the N.Y. Times letters section, 11.6.23:

“When will the Democratic Party stop sitting on its hands and do something about the dire reality of the coming presidential election?

“The most recent New York Times/Siena College poll has President Biden behind Donald Trump in five of six swing states while his approval ratings among youth and minorities — two essential demographics for the party — continue to plummet.

“There comes a time when we have to say, ‘Dad, you’ve been a wonderful father and we love you dearly, but we are taking away the car keys.’

“We can all see it: the shuffle, the drifting focus, the mental confusion during a news conference in Vietnam. Mr. Biden’s handlers keep him under close wraps now, but the gasps among the electorate are going to be frequent when he gets out on the campaign trail debate circuit.

This is no time to nominate an octogenarian who refuses to acknowledge his visibly dwindling abilities.

“The fact that Mr. Trump is only three years younger is irrelevant. Facts, logic and even multiple criminal proceedings are nonfactors when your opponent is a cult figure whose worshipers are willing to follow him blindly into authoritarianism.

“What the Democrats need to win is vigor, freshness and the hope of positive change. This is no time to cling to gentlemanly traditions of incumbency.

“Mr. Biden should go down in history as the president who led us out of our darkest hours, but if he refuses to pass the torch to a younger generation, he will be remembered as just another aging politician who refused to let go.

“If the Democratic Party sits back idly, pleading helplessness in our moment of need, it will prove that this country has not one but two dysfunctional parties.”

—- Written by Bill Ibelle, freelance writer, Providence, R.I.