A Look at the Democratic National Convention: Climate
Change and Poverty
Ada Deer was the lead organizer of the Menominie people as
they successfully pushed Congress to restore their federal
tribal status in the early 1970s.
“Biden is for having everyone vote while Trump is doing everything to suppress the vote, which is harmful to our democratic ideal, one person, one vote,” Deer
said. “I think Biden needs to be very forthright in helping people see that exact contrast because a lot of people get their news from TV and Twitter and all of that
stuff. TV will be focused on him, so he has to show that clear contrast and what it means. He will be demonstrating and practicing his wonderful values. And Trump
will be doing the same. His values are just way off the map. They are anti-democratic. They are anti-human and so on.”

The second thing Deer would recommend is that Biden open up to the American people, to let people appreciate who he is beyond the glare of the political spotlight.

“Biden has to get people more excited,” Deer emphasized. “He is a fabulous human being. But I think he is a little too reticent. Maybe I haven’t heard enough of his
speeches. He has to be more forthright and energetic. He needs to show the true Biden. He cares about people. He needs to tell stories about people. People relate
Part 2 of 2
By Jonathan Gramling

At age 85, Ada Deer is almost a dean of politics on the local to national levels. While Deer, a
delegate to the 2020 Democratic National Convention, was introduced to politics at an early age
observing the work of the Menominee Tribal Council and as a delegate to Badger Girls State as a
high school student, Deer’s immersion into politics was complete when she led the successful
Menominee restoration movement, which involved acting as a lobbyist for the tribe in Congress
and the U.S. bureaucracy in the early 1970s, running for Wisconsin secretary of state as well as the
U.S. Congress in 1992.

Deer was a Biden delegate at the recently completed virtual Democratic National Convention that
was scheduled to be held in Milwaukee before COVID-19 hit. Deer nonetheless has advice for the
Biden-Harris ticket. Chief among them is to compare and contrast the choice before the American
to stories. He can tell a story about her met with some person about some issue
and what he told her and then what resulted. I think people relate to stories on a
much more realistic level rather than talking about some policies. He is so
wonderful, but he doesn’t reveal, in my opinion, his real self like he needs to and
he should. Biden is sensitive to the needs of people. And his empathy and his
caring are so wonderful to see. For example, he cried in public. Now what ‘real’
man cries in public? I think it is somewhat more acceptable now for me to show
more emotions and I think that is good. He’s a real human being. He shows it and
he needs to show it more.”

And finally, Deer feels that Biden needs to exemplify the contrast the leadership
styles and the level of leadership experience.

“Biden has the competence and the experience,” Deer said. “He is probably the
most experienced candidate at every level. He was in the Senate for something
like 27 years. He traveled the world. He worked closely with President Obama.
They developed what I would call a symbiotic relationship. They worked together
and the whole country and the whole world benefitted from that wonderful kind of
leadership. You don’t see any kind of leadership coming from our current occupant
of the White House. His leadership consists of one word, ‘Me.’”

Within the limits of the primarily virtual presidential campaign this fall, Deer will be
pulling for Biden-Harris. Deer will be on that campaign trail in spirit, pushing for the
ideals that she feels America needs now.