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In the Spirit of Lent, Five Good Things about Biden

Αssociated Press

President Joe Biden speaks during an event to mark Equal Pay Day in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Campus Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

‘46’ is the worst president ever! I can’t even say his name. Maybe if I use a play on words like Joe Hidin’, or better yet, spell his name in all lowercase letters – joe biden – I can mention him. Friends of mine whom I trust and who are real insiders have told me that Biden’s Cabinet is seriously considering invoking the 25th Amendment because his dementia is so advanced that he thinks he’s still living in Scranton. They’d better do it fast, because Biden poses an existential threat to our national security and to the very foundation of our democracy!

Of course, I don’t believe any of that (did I have you going for a minute, though?) I’m just giving the TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) sufferers a taste of what it felt like for the rest of us having to listen to their bunk for the last four years.

Biden arguably has gotten off to a considerably rocky start. In fact, albeit hoping to be wrong, I nonetheless dubbed his presidency Jimmy Carter, Part II. Yet, today, it’s not about Biden-bashing. In fact, I’m going to say five good things about our president.

It is a particularly fitting time to do so during our period of Great Lent. A number of years ago, I began contemplating more ways to better follow Jesus’ example of how to live, and I started praying for people who’ve done me wrong in life (thankfully, there aren’t too many of them), asking the Lord to forgive them and to soften their hearts, and also to soften mine so that I, too, may forgive them.

Therefore, I don’t think it’s too much to ask all of us who didn’t vote for Biden to find five things he’s done as president so far that are worthy of positive feedback. Not to mention, religion aside, an ‘all or nothing’ approach to any president is, well, sophomoric at best.

1. Buy American: From his first day on the job, President Biden vowed to continue and expand his predecessor’s focus on rallying Americans to purchase products made in the USA. After all, for years, the Democrats had a stronghold on this issue, with Republicans favoring more of a bottom-line dollars-and-cents priority. Biden’s focus – at least in words – is a refreshing example of valuing patriotism over profit.

2. Humility: There are a lot of unflattering adjectives I can use to describe Joe Biden (again, today’s not the time), but “arrogant” isn’t one of them. Several major party presidential candidates over the past couple of decades – some successful, some not – turned off voters simply by their arrogance. In a 20-year timeline, we can place Al Gore at the beginning and Donald Trump at the end, and add John Kerry, Mitt Romney, and Hillary Clinton the middle. Even Barack Obama, compared to Biden, was a little too full of himself.

3. Press Conferences: Part of Biden’s humility carries over in his interactions with the media. Consider his press conferences. Biden-bashers will scoff: “what press conferences? He’s only held one so far, and even then he couldn’t complete a full sentence!” To the contrary, I watched the entire event, just like I watched countless Trump rallies. As usual, the media cherry picked the highlights or lowlights, depending on their comfort-food audiences’ appetites. As with his dealings with reporters in less formal gatherings, Biden has used, I think, the right tone with them. He’s been humble and respectful, but not kissing up to them. And he’s also dressed them down when they deserved it. To dopey questions such as “is it acceptable to you?” that PHI (Persons Here Illegally) kids are packed in like sardines at our Southern border, he said: “that’s a serious question, right? Acceptable to me? Come on!” Whereas Trump might have called that reporter a “despicable human being,” most Americans don’t want to see their president get quite that far down in the mud with the media, even when the latter deserve it. Also, Biden’s long diatribes in response are effective in lulling the audience to sleep; not a bad political tactic. I often say Biden may turn out like Carter, but once in a while mention President Eisenhower (a good thing!) in the same breath. Ike, too, was famous for painfully dry and dull exchanges.

4. Focus on China: On China, it’s late, but probably not too late, and hopefully not too little. Biden has reversed himself from his “come on, man!” response on the campaign trail to whether China is eating our lunch, now declaring that China in fact already has. If your team is down by three touchdowns late in the third quarter of the Super Bowl, it’s not necessarily a problem if your quarterback is Tom Brady. If Biden can remember that America is the Tom Brady of the world (sorry, Brady-haters, but, hey, many of you overlap with Trump-haters), then we still have an excellent chance of transforming the next 79 years to render the 2000s the second consecutive ‘American Century’.

5. Putin’s a ‘Killer’: Although I never even came close to buying into the absolutely ridiculous notion that Trump ‘likes’ dictatorial strongmen such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, the hypocrisy, by the same token, wasn’t lost on me insofar as Obama-bashers who questioned that president’s patriotism didn’t say a word about Trump “criticizing the United States on foreign soil.” And though I attribute Trump’s relationship with the Putins of the world to his “keep your friends close but your enemies closer” mindset, a little moral-high road “Putin’s a killer” finger pointing is good sometimes, and Biden recently provided some of that.

There it is: five good things about Biden just two months into his presidency. Can the Trump-bashers come up with five compliments about Trump in his 48 months? For those of you keeping score at home, if they can’t, then please ask yourselves whether it’s the object of their evaluation that is the problem, or their critical thinking skills.