The Presidential Debate hosted by CNN featuring the matchup no one asked for between former president and newly convicted felon Donald J. Trump and President Joe Biden was not exactly must watch television. If anything, it was an exercise in ripping a bandage away from a wound on a hairy arm: painful.

Entering the debate, MAGA Republican, Independent, and Democrat voters knew Trump was going to do what he usually does at these type of highly structured OK Corral political shindigs: make unfounded accusations full of conspiracy theories and of course, lies. The saving grace of balance would have been in the CNN moderators, Dana Bash and Jake Tapper, and a take-no-prisoners Biden. As we all now know, Biden’s debate performance was like watching the first 30 seconds of the ’90s TV series “Tales From The Crypt.” It was scary.

What happened immediately following was scarier. Political pundits did multiple laps in their analysis of Biden’s performance and as their Democrat sources tweeted and texted, the conversation veered into a different discussion. The shocking reality is that within its own political faction, House Democrats such as Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), and Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) are publicly exposing their hands. Can they not be aware of the danger that lies in wait for the entire party and the country if they succeed in their quest to push Biden out of the campaign? The inevitable lawsuits from the Trump campaign, the Republican Party, and voters? The chaos and panic of acquiring donors for a replacement candidate four months from Election Day?

Despite the calls for Biden to step out of the campaign from mainstream media organizations such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times editorial board, the New York Post, and news outlets that have seemingly supported that move such as ABC, NBC, CNN and MSNBC, along with unreliable polls, the facts are that if he walks away, that will become a sure win for Trump and his former cabinet members’ Project 2025 manifesto. Some are throwing possible replacements for Biden in the hat such as California Gov. Gavin Newsome and House Minority leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. Few said that first dibs in this hypothetical conversation rightly goes to Vice President Kamala Harris. However, is this country ready to have a woman president? The first Black-Asian American woman president?

Maybe this is all conjecture at best because according to senior advisors his campaign, Biden is nowhere close to not seeking re-election. Campaign manager O’Malley Dillon said in a memo that within 72 hours of the debate, the campaign had raised $33 million and support for Biden had not “dried up.” Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) admitted that Biden did present “a bad performance,” and former President Barack Obama concurred that “bad debate nights happen.” But does that erase the accomplishments of the Biden administration in the three years he’s been in office, as Harris strongly pointed out in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper directly following the debate?

It should not. Pressuring Biden to withdraw is a potentially bad idea because it will signal that the Democratic Party has acquiesced to the will of MAGA Republicans and what Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts calls a “bloodless” “second American Revolution.” This is what the country is up against: the gutting of the Department of Justice and the Department of Education along with other essential elements of the government; the transformation of the Department of Health and Human Services to a pro-life entity that eliminates contraceptive choices and ObamaCare; the firing of possibly 50,000 federal employees, replaced by Trump loyalists willing to do whatever, whenever for MAGA and their newly crowned king. All of this and more is outlined in Project 2025.

Getting rid of the one man who has beaten Trump is tantamount to political suicide. Why knowingly cripple oneself amid the fight of a lifetime? That makes no sense.

Does democracy have a fighting chance to survive with Biden at the helm? Yes. It does. And let’s not forget that Biden is surrounded by an cabinet and administration of more than competent and intelligent individuals who have proven they can get the job done as well. Even if Biden finds himself at some juncture sick or impaired in some capacity, he has an entire team plus Harris who can put in the extra work to keep the country readied and stabilized behind the scenes.

So, this push to oust Biden from campaigning for a second term is premature and a distraction from the real villain, Trump, whose own debate night performance was full of lies: 28 to be exact. Trump added to his ever-constant cache of “alternative facts,” and once again proved why he isn’t fit to sit in the Oval Office: he is a convicted felon with narcissistic tendencies.

That is what America is up against and Trump’s most formidable opponent is Biden. That is the bottom line. Anything outside of throwing full support and weight behind President Joe Biden is a check in the column of authoritarianism. At this stage in this political saga, it is imperative that Democrats in Washington support their leader and the will of the people who have elected them. They need to unite and present a cohesive front. Instead of portraying a broken clock, it’s time to act as if it’s the last minutes of the fourth quarter. We as a nation cannot afford to lose.