No sooner did Joe Biden formally accept the Democratic nomination for president on August 20 than the outpours of adulation emerged about what a wonderful speech he gave. What they really meant was: “thank God he didn’t make any gaffes!”
Trump-bashers constantly implore us Trumpians to examine the president more closely, so as to acknowledge that he is indeed “unhinged” and a “danger” to the country. Fine. In that case, they ought to practice what they preach and examine Biden, their anointed Trump antidote, under that same well-lit microscope. Perhaps, then, some among them would admit that if by some unfortunate combination of media coddling and mail ballot chaos Biden winds up winning the election, he would be our nation’s most anemic president since Woodrow Wilson had a debilitating stroke while in office 101 years ago, and his wife, Edith – who wasn’t even remotely qualified, essentially ran the country!
I often wonder why Democrat voters are sticking with Biden. I’ve boiled it down to two main possibilities: 1) they haven’t caught on that Biden has deteriorated rapidly not only over the past four years, but even more so over the past four months; and 2) though they may understand that Biden is losing his grip on lucidity, they still think he’s the best hope to unseat Trump, and they’ll take their chances. After all, there’s always the 25th Amendment to invoke once Biden is in, and they have absolutely no problem with Kamala Harris taking the reins, who they prefer to Trump by leaps and bounds.
To the first group, I strongly recommend they take a good, honest look at the Biden of Summer 2020, and become more critical of the fact that he hasn’t given a major interview to the press in eons. To the second bunch, I hope that you’ll consider this example to illustrate the fallacy of your position, based on a phrase that stayed with me, spoken by one of my all-time favorite musicians.
My taste in music is quite varied, but most of all I love British hard rock from the 1970s, and the band Deep Purple in my view is the greatest of them all. The band’s most recent notable distinction is that they just released their 21st studio album, titled Whoosh!, which at press time is number one in various countries around the world, including England, Germany, Finland, Scotland, and Belgium. The band has been going strong for 52 years, and I had the pleasure of seeing them in concert most recently last September. Over the years, I’ve developed a friendship with the band’s lead singer, Ian Gillan, who invites me backstage to say hello before any show that I attend. Gillan said something to me last year that stuck with me, and is appropriate to incorporate into the discussion about Biden’s ability to serve as president. I asked Gillan, who recently turned 75, how long the band will continue to perform, and he replied: “as long as we can really make good music. We’ve got to be good, it’s not just about being able to walk.”
Can we say the same about Joe Biden vis-à-vis the presidency? I can’t help but think that his most avid supporters – who are really hoping against hope that Trump won’t be reelected and are willing to achieve that any way they can, including with use of smoke and mirrors – are simply happy to have him get through a gaffe-free segment, and are being downright irresponsible insofar as he is almost 78 years old and, unlike his contemporaries Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Trump himself, declining week-to-week. I voted for Obama in 2008, the first Democrat presidential candidate I voted for in 20 years largely because I believed he was a sensible centrist who was the best choice, but to considerable extent my decision was based on my concern that his main opponent that year, John McCain, was getting too fragile to handle the day-to-day pressures of the presidency. To put things into further perspective, my criticism of Hillary Clinton is a mile high. But even though she’s pushing 73, I’m not worried that if she were to become president tomorrow, she’d have the energy and stamina to handle the immense challenges of the job. I always thought she was vastly overrated, but I wouldn’t be anxious that she’d have a senior moment in a one-on-one meeting with Putin or Xi. In stark contrast, I cannot even fathom Biden holding his own at this point in a single summit, let alone over a four-year span. The Biden of 1988, 1998, or 2008, would’ve been a plain vanilla slug, like, say, Walter Mondale, Dick Gephardt, or John Kasich, but the country could have handled that. Today’s Biden, though, is a mere shadow of a politician who was unspectacular even at his peak.
I think that far too many good, decent Democrats are not being honest with themselves. They are so hell-bent on ousting Trump from power that, perhaps subconsciously, they are at peace with the prospect of introducing the 25th amendment to have Biden declared incompetent if need be, and have Harris step in as commander-in-chief. They have even deluded themselves into believing that because Harris was once a prosecutor, she is a “pragmatic moderate,” as the ever-disingenuous New York Times has opined. Even if that were true, is that really a wise course for the country? To win the election based on Biden’s name recognition and relatively low negatives and just make sure he lasts through Inauguration Day, and then let the chips fall where they may?
If you think that we Trumpians are blind to our leader’s ability to make sound decisions, please take a look in the mirror. If a rock band has the good sense to potentially call it quits if all they can do is walk, it’s not asking too much for a major party presidential candidate to do the same.