Are we doing something wrong in the way we pick presidential candidates? We currently have a 77-year old (Joe Biden) running against a 74-year-old (Donald Trump) with each side accusing the other of suffering from dementia.
In all of America is this the best we can do?
I had my annual physical recently, conducted by my doctor via Zoom. It included, as usual, a cognition test. Contrary to what you might have heard, I am not demented.
President Trump has been bragging about acing such a test and pointing out how hard it is. I certainly agree. You have to remember your birthday. You have to know what month it is. You have to remember some words for about ten minutes. You have to draw a clock face and put the hands on ten after eleven. Whew.
(I’m not sure how coming generations will do on the test. They can’t read an analog clock for one thing.)
It is becoming apparent that the result of the November election will make Bush v Gore in Florida look tame by comparison. Unless the election is a blowout, which is unlikely, the results won’t be known for a week because of mail-in ballots. Trump has already set up his alibi. He says mail-in ballots are being used to “rig” the election. He will have at least a week to flood social media with dire warnings that the election is being stolen. You can’t imagine that he will quietly accept the result of the election and be gracious in the leaving of the office.
Democrats everywhere spent the weekend honoring U.S. Rep. John Lewis as he was laid to rest. Lewis marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma into a phalanx of Alabama state troopers with batons, which they used to beat him to the ground and crack his skull.
Joe Biden and the leaders of the Democratic Party are too cowardly to speak up and stop the violence in the streets. Where is the John Lewis willing to march into the crowd of violent protesters in Portland and tell them to stop?
Biden is still hiding out in his basement at a time when the nation needs leadership and a vision for the future. He could be in Portland asking people to stand down. He could be pleading with protesters to help stop the looting and the arson. He and his party’s inability to stop rioting and looting may cost him the election. I’m beginning to wonder if Antifa is a secret Trump campaign operation.
Biden needs what political folklore refers to as a Sister Souljah moment. That’s when Bill Clinton, during the 1992 presidential campaign, repudiated a member of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition for her comment about the Los Angeles Riots. She said since black people get killed every day, why not take a week and kill white people. Clinton was credited with showing independence and having the courage to take a stand against one of his allies.
Marsha, Marsha, Marsha: U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn has been perceived throughout her career as a conservative outsider. The candidate who stepped up to take U.S. Sen. Bob Corker’s place in the Senate. Well, she’s decided to join the Good Ol’ Boys Club and it may come back to bite her in the posterior. She endorsed establishment senate candidate Bill Hagerty, no doubt at the behest of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Ward Baker, Hagerty’s campaign manager. Baker was Blackburn’s campaign manager as well.
The endorsement might have been OK. But she went out of her way to take shots at Dr. Manny Sethi. She says he has friends who supported Phil Bredesen in his race against her and that he isn’t a real conservative. Should Sethi win, his supporters aren’t likely to forget her messing in a Republican primary race. She evidently doesn’t realize her popularity in part was because she was viewed as an alternative to the establishment machine. She is attempting to join a club that’s never wanted her to be a member.
Taking a shot: There are high hopes for a vaccine to prevent the Corona virus and finally end the scourge of the pandemic that has paralyzed the world and the U.S. economy. But will it? Considering the irrational screaming about wearing a mask to protect the public. What makes you think these people will get a shot? Will the vaccine be effective if large segments of the population refuse to participate in combating “the hoax?”
Frank Cagle is a veteran newspaper editor and columnist.