|The Only Option||
12 October 2020
Cogito Ergo Non Serviam
This endorsement is an easy decision. The choice is between an incompetent administrator whose authoritarian instincts have brought America to the edge of fascism and a rather bland moderate who has been in Washington his whole adult life. Given the choice between fascism and democracy, there is no real choice. Between incompetence and a semblance of adequacy, there is no real choice. Between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, there is no real choice. Joe Biden must be America's next president beginning in January.
This journal has never been a fan of Mr. Trump. Almost 40 years ago, it was obvious to those paying attention that he was a lousy businessman. Losing money in the casino business is almost impossible. No bank in New York will give him a loan. His entry into the public eye came with a legal case against him and his father for racial discrimination in housing, and he followed that up with demands for the execution of five young men who were falsely accused of a violent rape (the Exonerated Five, as they are known). He even had a habit of calling into radio shows pretending to be his own press agent to hype his reputation. He has always been the emptiest of suits.
His time as president has been a national shame. He has undermined America's alliances and betrayed allies (e.g., the Kurds). He has weakened America's national security by ignoring threats from Russia and by sharing classified information with other powers on a whim. Furthermore, he has failed to even do his homework; the Presidential Daily Briefing goes unread more often than not. When read, one doubts it is understood.
Above all, his response to the Covid-19 outbreak has bordered on worst-case scenario come to life. Having been warned that it was going to be the biggest national security threat during his term, he did nothing but minimize its seriousness. He assured everyone it would miraculously go away, and now 215,000 Americans are dead from it. With just 4% of the planet's population, the USA has about 20% of the cases. His ineptitude spilled over into the economy such that more people have filed for unemployment benefits this year than voted for Mr. Trump in 2016. The GDP collapsed by 30+% on an annualized basis in the second quarter of 2020. It will take years of 2% growth to recover.
The argument that nothing could be done holds no water the minute one compares what has happened to America and what the virus has done to other nations. Ignoring the lucky island nations like New Zealand (which not only had geography but competent government going for it), Germany, Canada, Vietnam all have better statistics. Some were going to die, and there was going to be some economic damage. That was inevitable. Where Mr. Trump distinguished himself in the annals of buffoonery was in achieving such magnitude of awfulness.
So, what of Joe Biden? One is tempted not to bother making a case. When an employee is such a poor fit for a job, the employer does not keep said employee on while searching for a better candidate. A wise employer will fire first and find a replacement later. The priority is to stop the damage being done by the incompetent worker. So it is with the presidency.
Nevertheless, Mr. Biden does bring to the office experience that will prove useful. He served in the US Senate for years, including time as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Commitee. That, plus his time as vice president, may help repair American alliances to the degree they can be fixed. He is not a socialist, not a rabid ideologue. If anything, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party will fight with him for his entire term. However, that offers a chance to remove some of the vitriol that has crept into American political discourse. Whether the Republican Party is willing to do anything to improve the atmosphere is hard to say just now. If it is, it will find Joe Biden a partner in the effort.
Joe Biden was not the first choice of this journal, but politics is the art of the possible. Joe Biden is the only possible option.
© Copyright 2020 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.