Joe Biden should step down. And he could leave with a good measure of dignity and the applause of many that he did much that was good for the country while in the White House. In his first three years he registered a sizable number of legislative and political successes and shined a light on the existential danger to democracy and democratic governance as well as governed with a sense of dignity and compassion.

In this, his final year, the same cannot be said. Between his handling (or mishandling) of the genocidal like response of Netanyahu to the horrendous murder of 1200 people, mainly Jewish Israelis, in Israel on October 7 and his ineffectual campaign for a second term, capped off by his disastrous debate performance last night, he has lost the confidence of much of his Democratic Party constituency and many others Americans.

So much so that he would be well advised by his family and closest advisors to forgo his bid for a second term, thereby allowing the Democratic Party to choose someone else in his place at its coming convention later this summer. The stakes in this election are too high to roll the dice with the hope that Biden will recover the confidence of millions and cross the finish line first in November.

Stepping down and aside is surely an unpalatable thing to do if you are a sitting president; nobody likes to end a journey that you love prematurely, especially when it is implicitly, no matter what is said, an admission that you are not up to the task. But in Biden’s case, it is necessary to accept this truth for the sake of the country and its democracy, for the sake of winning the elections in November. In doing so, Biden could take comfort and earn the sincere and rightful applause and appreciation from many Americans that he had the courage and modesty to put the country above himself.