I sometimes laugh at Joe Biden, but I’m actually sorry for this confused old man. There’s an element of self-pity there as well, felt most acutely every time the president publicly takes another meandering trip away from sanity.
Since I’m only a few years younger than him, what if I end up like that too? My only hope is that I’ll be strong enough to stick by my staunch opposition to suicide.
Then again, though one’s cognitive abilities always diminish with age, a lot depends on the starting point of the downward slide. I like to think that mine is quite a bit higher than Joe’s, so perhaps there’s hope for me still.
Such hubristic selfishness apart, I fear for America and the free world she is supposed to lead. The man in command of the US Army isn’t even in command of his own mental faculties – what if he has to make the choice between peace and war?
Not being an expert on US constitutional law, I don’t know if sufficient grounds exist for invoking the 25th Amendment and putting Joe out to pasture. Yet every time he is forced to veer off script, usually during press conferences, he presents a clinical picture of senile dementia.
If the doctors among you find fault with this diagnosis, by all means pick it full of holes. But please don’t insult my intelligence by insisting that Biden’s mental health is robust. Just watch excerpts from his confrontations with journalists (such as these, among dozens of others: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSaTXfeKFvA) and then tell me what you think.
This, though reporters, most of whom work for socialist-leaning media, toss him cream puffs of questions, as opposed to the grenades they hurled at Trump. Yet, rather than eating those cream puffs for breakfast, old Joe smears them all over his face.
This raises the question in the title above. Since Biden is manifestly incapable of leading his country, who in his country is leading him?
One of his numerous gaffes was referring to Kamala as ‘President Harris’ – was it just a senior moment or an accidental reference to the actual state of affairs? And if not Harris, then who? Is there some cabal of left-wing extremists burrowing through the foundations of American politics? Much as one hates conspiracy theories, it’s hard not to think along those lines.
Since Americans pride themselves on their democracy, only those elected to lead are entitled to do so. If, say, some congressmen, elected to wield legislative power only, are acting as the executive behind the scenes, then the US Constitution is for all practical purposes null and void.
To be fair, Biden isn’t the first president to suffer from mental disorders. For example, some presidents of old are believed to have been clinically depressed. Madison, John Quincy Adams, Pierce, Lincoln and Coolidge are the names that tend to come up in that context.
Grant and Nixon were borderline alcoholics, and Pierce actually died of liver cirrhosis. Woodrow Wilson suffered several debilitating strokes, and his wife effectively acted as president in his second term.
Reagan was manifestly senile towards the end of his tenure, and the government was run by James Baker, his chief of staff. However, Reagan didn’t start out that way. The electorate voted in a man who was compos mentis. Reagan’s interviews and press conferences were full of wit and common sense. (To wit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTyZAul60ok)
Biden, however, was already the way he is now during his election campaign. That people voted for him in sufficient numbers is a ringing denunciation of universal franchise if I’ve ever seen one. Yet it’s not just the electorate that’s to blame.
To a great extent this travesty is Trump’s fault. Yes, for all his faults he was ten times the president Biden could have been even at his best. That’s beyond question. But, to paraphrase Buffon ever so slightly, le style c’est le président même.
The average voter goes by style, not by substance. He envisages a certain composite picture of a perfect leader and uses it as a stencil. Any candidate who sticks out too much makes that hypothetical yet all-powerful individual uncomfortable.
Trump’s style didn’t so much stick out as break the stencil into pieces and throw them into the voter’s face. He who lives by incendiary populism may well die by it.
Actually, I’m surprised Trump did as well as he did in 2020. But for the Covid pandemic, he might very well have won.
Yet I’m not surprised that those whose comfort zone Trump had gerrymandered swung to such a catastrophic extreme. One gets the impression they would have voted for anyone who wasn’t Trump – not just for Joe Biden, but even for Joe Stalin.
Make no mistake: the world is in grave danger for as long as Biden remains in the White House. Foreign aggressors are like voters: they too respond not so much to weakness as to its projection. Conversely, an image of strength and resolve may deter even a much stronger enemy. Hitler, for example, didn’t dare invade Switzerland.
Knowing that the US president is senile, Xi may fancy his chances with Taiwan – or Putin with the remaining portion of the Ukraine or, even worse, with the Baltics. And I’m not even talking about assorted economic and social crises that also require a quick and wise response.
That ‘old man in DC’ (with apologies to Hemingway’s spirit) is what Americans call a clear and present danger. I for one am scared.