Trump Is But A Pimple On The Problem
To claim that Trump is an existential threat America is to deny the strength of the country.
I am amazed at the narrow-minded, complete and total focus on getting Trump out of office. Yes, I see the calamity before us. Yes, I see that Trump, living in his little cocoon for decades before becoming president, has not had the experience or training that could prepare him for the ongoing pandemic. I watch the numbers and I see still, that the number of dead is doubling every three days. And there is no sign of stopping.
I agree that Trump should be removed from office. But not for the same reasons that most people seem to be thinking. Removing Trump from office would remove a central unifying force among Republicans. Yes, that would be a worthy goal. I’m for that. Trump the idol. Trump the savior. Trump the stick poking the eyes of the Democrats at every turn, with his fellow Republicans giggling in the peanut gallery. Yes, that’s one reason why I oppose Trump, the great orange divider.
As I sit here this morning tracking the deaths from the pandemic, depending on your sources, we are either approaching or topping 800 in the United States. We have breached 50,000 cases. A tiny fraction of those cases have been closed. And all those touched by the pandemic are reeling from a blow that leaves them with a healthcare bill that they will be lucky to have paid if Congress and the President can come to terms this week. And a few of them will bury their loved ones who perished at the hands of the coronavirus. All of this makes replacing the president with someone else seems even more urgent.
And when I look to the race for the Democratic nomination, I see yet another calamity. I see so many people claiming that Biden’s lead in delegates is unassailable. I see so many people claiming that American Democrats have chosen Joe Biden. And I see so many people blithely unaware of the complexities and vulnerabilities of our election systems.
I note with interest that Sanders won the votes of those living abroad in a landslide. They voted often with paper ballots. Many of them voted online, too. I have to wonder what the voters living abroad see in Biden and Sanders that the rest of us don’t see. That Sanders did so well among the American voters living in other countries should give us pause to wonder, did the establishment mean to hand an olive branch to Sanders? Or is the vote of those living abroad a closer reflection of American sentiment?
But if you insist on going with Joe Biden, this is what you’re getting:
In this video, when it gets going around 3:47, Joe already looks confused and not really sure what to do. If Joe had a camera presence at any point in his life, we’ve seen it. He doesn’t have it now. Move along to 10:09 and you’ll see his slight desperation as he waves his hand on the teleprompter operator. He’s waving his hand to the side gesturing to the operator of the teleprompter to “speed it up”. To see him dither and waver as he does in this speech, in the comfort of his own home, is not presidential.
I wonder what he will be like, in negotiations with Republicans and who will notice what he has become. They will share their observations with the world and the rest of us may begin to wonder if we might have done better electing the headless horseman for the nomination. And what did he say at the end of the speech? “May God protect our troops”?
I’ve seen this over and over in videos with Joe. He needs a teleprompter, has difficulty staying on track if the teleprompter has a hiccup. He recites word salad if he’s lost. He responds with faux bravado when he’s challenged. He doesn’t really seem to be all there. Don’t believe me?
Alex Wagner wrote an interesting piece in The Atlantic, Stay Alive, Joe Biden: Democrats need little from the front-runner beyond his corporeal presence. Therein she writes what I consider to be fawning praise of a man who has worked tirelessly to compromise with Republicans in both houses of Congress. And she says that what Democrats need is not Joe Biden, they need the *idea* of Joe Biden. To wit:
Voters seem to have coalesced around Biden for his past — who they have known him to be for the past four decades in American politics — rather than for anything in his present. It’s as if Biden exists primarily as an idea, rather than an actual candidate.
There’s that word again, “coalesced” as if it’s completely natural for Joe to dominate the race for the nomination. So Joe Biden is just an idea now? Wagner says we only need the corporeal Joe Biden. Like a hologram. How cool is that?
What about the man, as he is now, often befuddled, confused, sometimes angry? I’ve seen him on camera, off-script, trying to improvise, and I don’t see him pulling that off. I’ve seen him coming off as a jerk, insensitive, as someone who is aloof. Has anyone seen Joe? You know, the guy we knew a mere four years ago?
The press says that the Democrats really want Joe Biden to run for president as the nominee for the Democratic Party. But no one is willing to have an honest discussion on the air about Joe Biden’s mental and physical capacity to run for the highest office of the land. Is anyone willing to talk about Joe’s capacity to make decisions in the war room? I guess not.
While Biden has been making appearances on TV of late, it’s with the fawning press, all hoping to get a glimmer of what life would be like without Trump at the helm. Oh, wait. He’s not at the helm. He’s sitting on a couch watching FOX News. I find it interesting that since the pandemic was called, Trump has stayed remarkably put in the White House. There’s no one to talk to at the Mar A Lago, is there?
I see Biden with the talking heads throwing him softballs. I see Biden speaking to America from his home with a teleprompter. But I don’t see Joe. The real Joe. The Joe I fear may be so mentally weak, that he’s subject to influence by some of the most powerful people in the world.
On the other hand, I see Bernie Sanders still holding virtual online meetings with a strong focus on how we can help the people who are now reeling from the pandemic. You can see the latest video from Sanders here:
The video was streamed live and the panel starts 36 minutes into the video. Therein we see Bernie Sanders totally engaged, putting the people close to the front lines, the science and the scientists up front and center. He is completely engaged, improvises when there are technical issues and carries on without worry about how to move forward. He demonstrates a sense of someone who is confident with his team. That is presidential.
The contrast between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden is stark and undeniable. Where Joe Biden is giving us platitudes and word salad, we see Bernie Sanders actively engaged with people who have firsthand knowledge of how the virus spreads, its impact on the communities now affected by it, and how they are working out solutions together.
To my Biden supporters, I totally get your sense of desperation, your desire to get rid of Trump. But I urge you to consider the possibility that Trump is a symptom of the problem we face in Congress and in the federal government. Getting rid of Trump will not solve all of our problems, no matter how much we wish it would.
For 40 years, Sanders has been vocal about the problem we face in this country, a political system run by money, not principle. For the same 40 years, Biden has been nearly silent on that point and is only now talking about it because Sanders is talking about it.
For those urging Sanders to drop out, I note with interest that a few weeks ago, Nancy Pelosi was asked point-blank if Sanders should drop out. Here is what she had to say (from the New York Post):
“In case you were going to ask, no, I don’t think Bernie Sanders should get out of the race. I think — I’m a grassroots person,” the House speaker told reporters at the Capitol during her weekly press briefing.
“I know the enthusiasm of supporters for candidates and they want to see it play out for the ideas, the causes that the candidates advances, for the opportunity for people to show their support,” the California Democrat continued.
“I congratulate both of the candidates as they go into debate on Sunday. I wish them both well.”
If you ask me, that sounds like really cautious, really guarded language, from one of the most powerful women in the United States, on March 12th. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I’d say she has a sense of some of the problems that Joe Biden presents, and I’m not just talking politics, here. Joe Biden’s performance as a candidate presents a real concern for his capacity to run for office and run the office once he’s there. I’ve some conservative and progressive friends who wonder if this is a case of elder abuse to make him run for president.
I can empathize with a desire to remove Trump from office. I can see real urgency in the words and the faces of people who want him gone. But I doubt that he’s an existential crisis to our democracy. I know and have read of conservatives who are reasonable and intelligent people. They don’t see Trump as a threat to democracy. They don’t see that Trump is intentionally trying to make life hard for others. We may disagree on many things, but I think I can agree that Trump is not an existential threat to us.
The real threat is the invisible influence of big money in politics. That’s the threat we should be focused on. We are here, unprepared and in crisis due to public policy choices guided by money, not principle.
If Trump is such a threat to our way of life, then our Constitution failed to anticipate such a threat. The Founders failed to include enough checks and balances to prevent one branch of government from ruling the others, and the people, without accountability. If Trump is really such a dire threat to us, the GOP would have seen this coming and they would have done everything in their power to stop him. I believe that there are reasonable people who support Trump and like what he’s doing. I may not agree with them, but I’m not going to vilify them for their support of Trump.
Our democracy has lasted more than 200 years, and in the history of Democracy, that’s a good long run. Our democracy is the oldest in the world. I have faith things will work out. We’re not looking at the extinction of man here. We’re dealing with a deadly virus and there are many forces at work to address that threat. Eventually, cooler heads will prevail upon the virus and we will contain it, we will learn many useful and practical lessons from it. We will be stronger for it.
I believe that everyone wants to do the right thing. Everyone wants to go to sleep at night knowing they did the right thing.
Does this article mean to say that I support Trump? No. Does this mean I trust humanity? Do I have any choice?