Tag Archives: Joe Biden
“We need to save our country, and Joe Biden is the best to do that. Frankly, this administration has forfeited their right to reelection based on this.”
– Sen. Kamala Harris, during Wednesday night’s vice-presidential debate
Last Wednesday’s debate between Vice-President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris was a glaringly stark contrast to the crap-fest between Donald Trump and Joe Biden the previous week. For the most part, Pence and Harris showed those two other old curmudgeons how to remain relatively calm and focused during discussions about critical national issues.
I say ‘for the most part’ because of Pence’s tendency to interrupt Harris – the same way Trump repeatedly interrupted Biden – and to ramble beyond his slated time limit – again, like Trump. I feel that both Trump and Pence fit the unpleasantly stereotypical image of the angry White male: men who believe only those exactly like them are qualified to speak out on any concern facing the country and should be allowed to speak adnauseam about it.
Harris, meanwhile, showed restraint and decorum by politely stating, “I’m speaking,” with a bright grin. Many observers, especially women and non-Whites, viewed this as a typical response for someone like Harris. Women and non-Whites, it seems, are always expected to maintain a sense of calm in the face of indignity and disrespect. Otherwise, they’d be viewed as uppity or bitchy. Harris, in effect, had to stay polite and professional; for if she had done a Joe Biden and yelled, “Shut up!” to Pence, political pundits – particularly those on the conservative end who already hate her for the mere fact she’s a dark-skinned woman daring to campaign for a national office, much like they did with Barack Obama – would have mercilessly slayed her.
Pence never really answered any question from moderator Susan Page who proved as equally powerless as Chris Wallace during the Trump-Biden fiasco. But, for we independent observers – that is, those of us not satisfied with either Trump or Biden – Pence’s blatant disorientation during the debate signaled how dysfunctional the current White House administration is in the face of dual crises: the failing economy and the expanding COVID-19 pandemic.
To me Trump, Biden and Pence represent America’s past: still fighting the U.S. Civil War; the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 70s; law-and-order mantras; the Cold War; a caste society. Harris, on the other hand, represents America’s future: attacks on economic inequality and social injustices; ending war; giving ALL citizens the chance to prove their merit and their value in a 21st century world.
Time doesn’t stagnate, except in the minds of conservatives. Regardless of what one thinks of the vice-presidential debate, the 2020 presidential campaign continues. It can’t end soon enough.
“Don’t ever use the word smart with me.”
“I wear a mask when needed, when needed I wear masks. I don’t wear a mask like him. Every time you see him he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away and he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.”
– Donald Trump, to Joe Biden during Tuesday night’s debate
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by, but I’ll tell you what, somebody’s gotta do something about antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing problem.”
– President Donald Trump., at Tuesday night’s presidential debate, when asked by debate moderator Chris Wallace to disavow White supremacy.
Wallace asked if Trump would urge White supremacist groups that incited violence at nationwide protests to “stand down.” Trump said to “give me a name” when asked to denounce a specific group, and former Vice-President Joe Biden called out the Proud Boys – a violent hate group that believes, among many things, that women are subject to men and that Hitler didn’t kill enough Jews. Ironically, the group is led by a dark-skinned Hispanic man.
“Will you shut up, man.”
– Joe Biden, to President Donald Trump during the first presidential debate
“That was a shit show.” – Dana Bash, CNN, Tuesday, September 29
Be careful what you do and say, as someone may be watching and listening. When one lives a public life, such…say, politicians, caution must always be front and center. For some people like Donald Trump, caution is a folly. Last Tuesday night’s debate between Trump and Joe Biden was the most raucous and incoherent political event I’ve ever seen in my adult life. I’ve never witnessed such discord and antagonism among political figures. Trump and Biden sounded less like political opponents and more like two cranky old neighbors arguing about leaves being blown into one another’s yards.
But, after the feud in which absolutely nothing was accomplished, I pondered the viewpoints of our allies and certainly our adversaries. While many Americans don’t care what other nations think of us, I am concerned how our standing as the beacon of democracy across the globe is after that mess.
Here are just a few.
“Most Canadians are going to feel grateful that they live in this country.” – Don Abelson, an expert in Canada-U.S. relations at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
“Chaotic, childish, grueling.” – Libération, France.
“The clearest loser from the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden was America.” – The Times, U.K.
“Never had American politics sunk so low.” – La Repubblica, Italy, which also described the debate as “chaotic, rowdy, and based on mutual contempt.”
“The US embarrassed itself before the world for 100 minutes.”– AajTak, Hindi-language news channel.
“The rivals kept interrupting each other and instead of a balanced discussion they chose the path of mutual insults.” – NTV, Russia.
“[Trump and Biden] “obviously did not show an exemplary role to American people on how to engage in debates.” – Hu Xijin, editor of China’s Global Times. Xijin added: “Such a chaos at the top of U.S. politics reflects division, anxiety of U.S. society and the accelerating loss of advantages of the U.S. political system.”
“Debate? What debate? The event was not intended to change minds or elucidate issues. It was only a form of entertainment which did credit to neither the incumbent nor the challenger. It encapsulates all that has gone wrong with American politics.” – Bilahari Kausikan, a former ambassador in Singapore.
“If the president says that, everyone takes it as natural. But for a decent man like Biden to say that is a bit of a surprise.” – Ichiro Fujisaki, a former Japanese ambassador to the U.S., regarding Joe Biden’s “shut up, man” comment to Trump.
“It was very depressing.” – Marietje Schaake, a Dutch former member of the European Parliament who now serves as international policy director at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center. She also warned: “The U.S. can go down a lot further, even if people think it’s already intense.”
“The comments I’ve seen from various European press (outlets) is basically: ‘I’m happy I’m not an American voter this year.’ It’s just a mess.” – Jussi Hanhimaki, a Finnish-Swiss professor of International History at the Graduate Institute in Geneva.
“This debate would be sheer comedy if it wasn’t such a pitiful and tragic advertisement for U.S. dysfunction.” – Kenyan commentator Patrick Gathara on Twitter
In the Middle East, the largely domestic debate drew raised eyebrows when Biden at one point said “inshallah” as Trump hedged on saying when he would release his tax returns. “Inshallah” in Arabic means “God willing.” It also can be used in a way to suggest something won’t ever happen. Both Al-Arabiya, a Saudi-owned satellite channel based in Dubai, and The National, a newspaper in Abu Dhabi, published articles noting Biden’s use of the word.
“How did America reach this level of political decline?” – Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, Emirati political scientist, on Twitter, adding that he saw the debate as a “tumultuous verbal battle.”
“Interruptions and arguments were allowed to fill way too much time.” – Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on Facebook. She also asked for feedback from voters about how to soften public debate, and stated, “Fortunately, it’s not like that in Denmark.”
“The first debate between would-be leaders of the free world was better suited to the Colosseum of ancient Rome or a cage fight in Las Vegas.” – The Australian.
“We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend, and in the plane it was almost completely loaded with thugs, wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms, with gear and this and that.”
– President Donald Trump, on FOX News, claiming that people in “dark shadows” are controlling the campaign of Joe Biden.
In my recollection, “Dark Shadows” was a highly popular primetime gothic series that ran from 1966 to 1971. It dealt with vampires, ghosts and various creepy ghouls that stalked the darkness. You know, much like we have in Washington, D.C. today. Only thing is the “Dark Shadows” characters were much more loveable.
While there were some patriotic highlights of President Donald Trump’s speech this week at the Republican National Convention, I found more hypocrisy, factual errors and blatantly hostile rhetoric. Below is his entire speech, followed by what I feel were some of the most egregious comments amidst the verbiage.
“In recent months, our nation and the entire planet has been struck by a new and powerful invisible enemy. Like those brave Americans before us, we are meeting this challenge. We are delivering life-saving therapies and will produce a vaccine before the end of the year, or maybe even sooner.”
“Joe Biden is not a savior of America’s soul; he is the destroyer of America’s jobs, and if given the chance he will be the destroyer of American greatness. For 47 years, Joe Biden took the donations of blue-collar workers, gave them hugs and even kisses and told them he felt their pain. And then he flew back to Washington and voted to ship our jobs to China and many other distant lands. Joe Biden spent his entire career outsourcing their dreams and the dreams of American workers, offshoring their jobs, opening their borders and sending their sons and daughters to fight in endless foreign wars, wars that never ended.”
“We have already built 300 miles of border wall, and we are adding 10 new miles every single week. The wall will soon be complete. And it is working beyond our wildest expectations.”
(It must be noted, while Congress has authorized some spending for the project, most of the money for wall construction has been redirected from the military at the president’s insistence. Also Trump’s former political strategist Steve Bannon participated in a private effort to raise money for a border wall. Last week, Bannon and three others were indicted on charges that they siphoned hundreds of thousands of dollars each from the wall fund for their own personal use. Bannon has pleaded not guilty.)
“And I say very modestly that I have done more for the African-American community than any president since Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican president.”
– President Donald Trump, during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention
“I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.”
Both the 2020 Democratic and Republican National Conventions have come to an end, and I couldn’t be happier. Last week former Vice-President Joe Biden accepted the Democrat’s nomination for president, while Sen. Kamala Harris accepted the vice-presidential role. And, over the last few days, incumbent President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence accepted their respective nominations from the GOP. Aside from watching these political love fests conclude, the only thing that excites me more about this entire process is that the demise of the 2020 presidential race is in sight. I feel even more disenfranchised than I did four years ago.
Okay, one other thing that truly excites me is the prospect that Donald Trump will be voted out of office in November. But I have to concede that I’m not too thrilled with the idea of a Biden presidency. Joe Biden was good as vice-president, but I feel less secure with him in the role of Chief Executive. I’m certain, though, he’ll be much better than Trump. Hell, a stray dog would be better than Trump!
In 2016 I voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein. A physician, Stein had been the Green Party’s candidate four years earlier. I knew Iceland would see 80-degree temperatures on Christmas Day before Stein would win the U.S. presidency. But I didn’t like either Trump or the Democratic choice of Hillary Clinton. Clinton supporters blamed people like me for Clinton’s loss in 2016. But we didn’t cause Hillary Clinton to lose the 2016 presidential election. Hillary Clinton caused Hillary Clinton to lose the 2016 presidential election. Her and the Russians. As we now know, Russia essentially elected Trump; just like the U.S. Supreme Court elected George W. Bush in 2000. America’s role as the beacon of democracy seems to have been shredded over the past 20 years.
I just never liked Hillary Clinton. I loved Bill (Whose Your Daddy?) Clinton, but I never took a liking to Hillary. By 2016, she had acquired top much baggage; more baggage than a Samsonite warehouse or a Lufthansa flight fresh in from Berlin.
And I definitely didn’t like Trump. Donald Trump had been running for president for some 30 years by the time he made it official in 2015. The idea had arisen back in the 1980s, when his name and persona first became public, and much of the nation had grown enamored with the concept of rapid-fire wealth and public prestige. As AIDS and cocaine rampaged, many in the U.S. found the likes of Trump appealing. He survived the collapse of the financial industry related to the savings-and-loan crisis and the string of high-profile prosecutions that ensued. It seemed there was a price to pay for fiduciary recklessness. No one knew at the time, though, that Trump was actually a womanizing failed businessman and tax cheat. We know that well enough now. But he’s president. And, as another massive health crisis grips the nation and the world, we see how incompetent and ineffective Donald Trump really is.
I’m sure Joe Biden can do better. But I keep thinking Biden should have called it a political life after his vice-presidency ended in January of 2017. He should have retired to his estate in Delaware to consult on other political campaigns, give speeches and write books. He’d served his time in office; he’d done his duty.
For the Democratic Party, the 2020 presidential campaign had started with high promises and an extraordinarily bright future. The field of candidates was the most diverse that had ever existed among any political party. But, by March, we’d ended up with two old White guys: Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Kind of like the Republican Party. And I say this with all due respect to old White men. I mean, I’m a mostly White man myself – in the golden days of middle age. And, as I’ve declared before, White men aren’t the nexus of evil in America they’re often portrayed to be. But I personally had hoped Sen. Elizabeth Warren would be the Democrats’ choice. I would definitely be more excited with her at the head of the ticket.
As usual, there has been no real mention of either the Green or Libertarian Parties. They’ve essentially been locked out of the convention hall – again. And Americans are overwhelmed by the demagoguery of the Democratic and Republican Parties – again. Indeed, the U.S. is becoming less and less like a democracy and more like an oligarchy. Does my vote – or the vote of any individual – truly count? Throughout the year the U.S. has seen covert attempts by the Trump Administration to thwart the right to vote – one of the foundational pillars of any free society. That’s typical of social and political conservatives. While the Republican Party of the 19th century pushed for the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, it was the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that propelled many conservatives into the arms of the GOP. Recent efforts to enforce voter identifications, calls for limiting early voting days and ongoing battles to undermine mail-in voting prove that conservatives – the ones who will move Heaven and Earth to protect their sacred gun rights – will do anything possible to circumvent the voting process.
And here we are: stuck with two old men who represent more of America’s past than its future. I was enthralled with Bill Clinton and I liked Barack Obama. Yet, I just can’t bring myself to get excited with the current campaign.
My two biggest fears? If Trump is reelected, the nation will descend further into social chaos and economic madness. If Biden is elected, he may die in office, which will send the nation into equally unending chaos.
I know I will vote nonetheless. People have fought and died for this right – even within the past 100 years. There are literally millions of people across the globe who would relish the chance to choose between the lesser of two or three evils. The people of Belarus certainly wish they had that opportunity now. Amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic and a rash of voter suppression tactics, I will stand in line to select a candidate for the U.S. presidency. It’s my right and my obligation. Besides, I have nothing else to do two days before my 57th birthday.