In a strange way, this metaphor is a fitting description of our current situation. A plane adrift at night over open ocean creates navigational confusion in which it’s nearly impossible to tell where you’re headed. Up is down. Left is right. Tucker Carlson likes Jacobin now for some reason and the New Republic is worried that Pete Buttigieg will be too overcome by gay lust to perform the responsibilities of the presidency.

More importantly, flying over the soup in the dark means that you can’t trust your instincts. The first instinct for progressives is to view the crisis of the Trump presidency as an opportunity—or “crisitunity,” as Homer Simpson would say—to elect a champion for our highest goals and ideals. Against the crucible of the Trump administration, we naturally believe that the correct course of action is to go 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Yet herein lies the existential problem: the country is adrift in an endless ocean of darkness. We can’t tell which way home is. And in the age of alternative facts, getting people to even agree on where home is, will be tough. The best we can hope for is some kind of beacon to lead us back into the light.

Which brings me to Joe Biden.