Friday, July 19, 2024

Biden and Trump belong in ‘former presidents’ museum

by George Ochenski
| July 7, 2024 12:00 AM

Fifty-one million Americans were left in shock at President Biden’s utter collapse in his debate with Donald Trump. He couldn’t finish a sentence, couldn’t address questions with a cogent answers, and floundered when faced with the endless lies Trump spouts with every breath. Yet, there it was — and you can believe the pundits and spin doctors trying to salvage the wreckage, or you can believe what you saw and heard. 

It was too painful to watch and many turned it off after the first 10 minutes. No surprise – when given the primary issue of reproductive rights, Biden talked about illegal immigrants raping nurses in a non-sensical and off-topic response. A simple “reproductive choices are the most personal decisions a woman can make and the government has no business whatsoever interfering in that.” Period. 

But no, that didn’t happen. Nor did he make a number of other points one might have thought someone who is being posited as our best chance to “save democracy” would have made.

Truly, it was pitiful to see the flailing of a politician who has simply fallen victim to the diminished faculties that are common with advanced age. It’s certainly no sin to live a long life if you’re lucky enough to do so. But if anyone expects to be as mentally or physically capable as they were in their youth when they reach their “golden years,” they’re fooling no one but themselves. 

The fact is, Joe Biden, like his self-proclaimed “dictator on Day One” opponent, is well past the “expiration date” of the average American male, which is about 74 nowadays.  He looks old, walks old, talks old — and given that brain cells don’t regenerate, that he thinks old as was all too evident to all too many last week.  

Which begs the question, “is he so far gone he doesn’t even know that?” Or is he perhaps suffering from Ginsberg-Feinstein Syndrome, where dying in the saddle is more important than wisely stepping down after long and honorable service to the nation? We are, sadly, living with the after-effects of those blunders and are now facing much worse should Biden emulate those very poor decisions. 

But politicians rarely give up power willingly. The higher up the ladder they go, the more tenaciously they hang on as their position and power increasingly define their persona. The examples are legion and certainly not confined to one political party or another.

Being “of an age” it’s difficult to imagine what it’s like to be a young person today, looking desperately to someone who will give them sound reasons and hope to expect a better future. Certainly, it’s not Biden nor Trump…they belong in the “former presidents” museum or out on the golf course, not in the White House attempting to handle one of the most demanding jobs on the planet.

There are outstanding popular, experienced and photogenic candidates like Michigan’s Gov. “Big Gretch” Whitmer who would provide a much better chance of “saving democracy” than Biden. Yet, here we are, watching the outmoded Democrat Party reliance on seniority and party loyalty to steer their decisions rather than “who can win” and “who is able” to provide the better future the upcoming generations of young American deserve.  

The Economist’s latest cover photo is a walker with the presidential seal on it — and the title is “No way to run a country.” That’s a very firm grasp of the obvious and one to which the 51 million Americans who watched the debate can not dispute.  Simply put: Old Joe’s gotta go.

George Ochenski is a columnist for the Daily Montanan. He lives in Helena.