Day 37: Biden and A Return To Normalcy

Joe Biden comes across as such a nice guy that it’s easy to discount how smart, capable, and hard-driving he is. Despite being blatantly imperfect and visibly elderly, he embodies several qualities–such as pragmatism, civility, and a deep familiarity with the nuts and bolts of governmental processes–that the US desperately needs in the presidency.

Biden isn’t trying to be overly charismatic.  He isn’t promising to fix everything that’s wrong with our culture and political system. He isn’t trying to have the most earth-shattering agenda.  He is, however, someone who thoroughly understands the issues the nation faces, and he approaches them in a sophisticated and thoughtful way. He knows the backstories and the players. Moreover, Biden abides by a tradition of statesmanship that has drawn men and women to dedicate themselves to national service in hopes of earning broad public gratitude, favor, and esteem.

Presidents are uniquely dependent on the American people for their position and prestige, a dependence that every president except Donald Trump has recognized by treating American citizens with honor, reverence, and consideration.

Trump is alone among American presidents in denigrating the people. Far from having an affectionate relationship with Americans, he has insulted, defamed, and even threatened violence against them and their state governments. This is so subversive of American norms and Constitutional order that most Americans are dumbfounded. Nothing will be left of this government “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” if the people let the incumbent president usurp their power.

Climate change, health care, women’s rights, black equality: these are all important issues, but acting on them is mainly Congress’s job. This presidential election is about something far simpler and more urgently necessary. It’s about having a president who respects the people as the source of his power.  Biden will be a fine and honorable president: one who respects all the people, serves them, and makes them proud.

Image: Biden discussing a chemical weapons treaty
during a 1997 meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
as his Republican colleague Jesse Helms looks on,
from this source.

7 responses

  1. Everything you say here and attribute to Joe Biden is right on {EXCEPT…} under the circumstances we have to live with now he is the right person among the actual “choices” to help lead us out of the swamp – cesspool! There are no miracle cures or solutions. It’s going to take a lot to actually get US to the America we should have been all along!

    Now here’s that EXCEPT: “VISIBLY ELDERLY” (???) Biden goes on bike rides (as I do) and Trump’s exercise is getting out of his golf cart! HELL, he and I have all grey hair (I have a lot more) and he is actually some more mobile as my arthritic knees and my polio damaged hips make me a bit slow and awkward. But not only do I not feel nor think elderly nor do either of us look all that elderly (older yeah). And my grandkids (18-33) don’t see me as elderly. Why the comparison?

    I am a month and a half OLDER than Joe Biden!

    But…, there is NO WAY I would ever want that job! I fear it will age him 8 years in 4! But thank God for him!

    • Allen, thank you for that gentle (and fully warranted) remonstrance. Adverbs sometimes do more harm than good, and this is an instance. “Visibly elderly” is what I came up with as a shorthand reference to two notions:

      The first is the objection that Joe is “too old.” Joe is a lot older than when people called him “Fighting Joe.” Then he was out giving soaring stump speeches for Obama. He has slowed down a lot since. His age is evident in his speech and demeanor. He’s more like “Kumbaya Joe.” He’s mellowed. Some people think his age is itself disqualifying or a negative, but (I was trying to say here) who cares, if he brings to the presidency the kind of wisdom that comes with age? In this, I rely on other public figures like David Brooks who have sat in on long in-person interviews with Biden and say that his powers and judgment are unimpaired.

      The second is the notion that Biden is candid and relatively unselfconscious about his age. He’s not trying to dodge the fact of being old. He’s not trying to hide his age, say by concealing it with pancake make-up, strawberry-blonde hair color, or a fake tan. When he first declared his candidacy, Judy Woodruff asked him what he had to say to people who argued that he was showing his age. And his response was “Look at me, OK?. . . . See if I have the energy.” And by now millions of voters have looked at the political situation. They have looked at ol’ Joe carefully for months and have decided that he is up to the job, he’s the best choice given the alternatives (there we agree), and that he can beat Trump and capably fill the presidency.

      Gotta keep a sense of humor about aging because the bottom line is, Time happens to us all.

      By the way, the tongue-in-cheek spirit of your comment was obvious–I smiled.


  2. The part on age was more tongue-in-cheek, mostly… but late at night it’s hard to convey and I found no way to edit. But… maybe I am ‘elderly’ and just don’t know it.

  3. A great picture of who Biden is. I absolutely agree with everything you say. I’ve been making calls for Joe now for about a week, 150 so far. I leave many messages, but always start with how decent a man he is, that he really cares for people, he listens, is well experienced, and will put together a great presidential cabinet and put this country back to where it was and belongs before orange head got in. Joe is a listener as well.

    Orange head, as you point out, is the antithesis of what a president should be. And now the breaking (but does it surprise me?) news that orange head has hardly paid any taxes in years!!

    He is nothing but a cheater and a liar, that is all he is and all he does. He owes hundreds of millions in debt, is stone broke, (probably doesn’t even own his underwear!)

    And here he is, supposedly representing all of us! His not paying proper taxes is all the more ignoble, when the rest of us work, fill our our tax forms, and pay, and much more than a mere $750.

    Let’s get rid of that bum-everyone who is reading this (Farmer Dave?): dump him. We need a decent and humane person in the White House.

    • I agree that Trump’s tax evasion is ignoble. I hope that his success at shirking his obligations to the government over the course of his entire life disgusts every honest working person who has supported him. What’s come out so far pertains only to his federal tax returns: just think how much he cheated the states where his properties were located over the years. States like New Jersey, New York, and Florida should have gotten tens of thousands of dollars of tax revenue from him. Instead they got nothing. Trump is the ultimate taker: all he cares about is enriching himself and his family. The idea that he “cares” about all the “little people” who support him, or their crumbling towns or factories is absurd.

      The only thing I would take issue with is that Trump is NOT broke. He’s deeply in debt, but he continues to receive tens of millions of dollars in revenue. He can afford to pay taxes, and he should be supporting our government instead of violating its laws and destroying it!

      Thanks for writing in.

  4. Susan, that was not a remonstrance

    I now have demonstrated that I am officially old, ancient, near incompetent and prob’ly bordering on senility and dementia! Anyone (ME) stupid enough to think a late night post intended mainly as tongue-in-cheek would be taken that way without it being made exceedingly clear is an idiot and needs to find a rock to hide under. And to further demonstrate incompetence: re-reading this morning I actually realized how it ‘sounded’, wrote a reply and seemed to forget to post. I deserve a big smack upside th’ head and since you’re too nice, I’ll do it myself. I-TAI-YO! (Japanese for ouch).

    I should have been saying that while I am old I don’t think ‘elderly thoughts’ but can tell you my bod’ ain’t what it used to be with aches and pains and often not doing what I just told it to do. But I betcha I can do more push-ups than the Orange Menace. LOL!

    Susan, your description of Joe Biden is so accurate, as is Harley telling what kind of man he is!

    I will now shut-up and go find a big rock.

    • Well, gentle objection, then.

      You did submit a follow-up comment, which was hanging around in the limbo of “moderation” until just now.

      Your comments always enliven the dialogue here at American Inquiry, so please don’t hide under that rock for too long. The humor in your initial comment was evident! No harm done.