I Changed My Mind. Run, Biden

I am now in favor of Biden running for reelection in 2024.
Did he stumble going up the stairs to his plane recently? So what?
Does he stammer on occasion? So what?
Does he miss a beat sometimes? So what?
As I write this I hear Beethoven conducted by Bernstein and the NY Philharmonic orchestra
in the background and to mind comes poet Dylan Thomas’ exhortation to his father, ‘rage, rage against the dying of the light’.
That’s right, Joe Biden, rage, rage!
Take on the Republican adversary and give them a good fight.
You’re doing a good job so keep at it.
The war effort would not be where it is now were it not for your push.
Although I strongly believe you need to be bolder and confront Putin to stop firing missiles from behind his borders to kill Ukrainians and destroy their country.
Should you take this step the war will come to an end sooner. It could be the turning point. Please think about it carefully.
Advancing age does create problems for all of us but every one of us is different and there are men and women older than you making important contributions to humankind.
I’m reminded of a researcher in England whose name I don’t recall, who had celebrated her 100th year and still walked down the hill from where she lived on the way to her lab. Every day.
So ‘rage, rage against the dying of the light!’
You are clear in the perception that our nation stands now at a critical juncture in history.
The two largest totalitarian regimes in the world, deniers and abusers of man’s eternal quest for freedom of expression, have joined forces to trample on the West.
They must be stopped. Until such time as when their people will awaken.
Maybe we should drop millions of copies of George Orwell’s ‘1984’ from balloons overhead on China and Russia so they can start pulling out of their existential mud.
But while we wait for them to breathe the air of freedom and dare challenge their oppressors, here in America we have plenty of work to do to correct long held injustices.
We can do it.
Your leadership comes filled with hope and an openness to dialogue. That many Republicans are still under the spell of Trump and Trump alike figures is part of what our nation has to deal with.
But keep pushing hard to do what you think needs to be done. If you’re wrong, we’ll tell you.
And if you fall ill as you press on with your term and the next, well, then our medical teams will step in to restore you to full competency. And if your time is past, then Harris will kick in.
Meanwhile, go forth young man, young at heart, young in your mind, striving to fight off the bullies and dictators seeking to keep humanity on its knees.
Stay open to criticism. If you’re not well enough to continue doing your job then tell us. We need that honesty from you. But who knows when that will be?
Defy the odds, keep pushing, striving to do your best.
‘Rage, rage against the dying of the light!’
And ‘run, Biden, run!’

DeSantis and Disney

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The Florida governor is riding high.
‘So there’s a new Sheriff in town and that’s the way it’s going to be,’ he said the other day.
He’s taken on Disney and their ‘Reedy Creek Improvement District’, a legal authority granted to the entertainment company in the 1960s so they could set up a futuristic city in the Orlando area - Epcot - which never materialized and the project became instead another theme park.
Disney World packs a lot of punch and the special district status may grant financial advantages that lessen competition.
On those grounds alone those privileges could be challenged, but DeSantis’ tiff with the organization is about hitting back because Disney came out against a Florida law passed in March 2022, the ‘Parental Rights in Education Act’, which barred ‘classroom instruction … on sexual orientation or gender identity’ from kindergarten through the 3rd grade, while prohibiting also such instruction at any grade level if done ‘in a manner that is not age or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.’
The LGBTQ+ community, which is fighting against prejudice and for societal inclusion nationwide, justifiably saw it as a violation of free speech and have been critical of the law.
They are right.
Sexual orientation is largely established before we start primary school. Discussion of the differences others show allows for the development of tolerance and respect and so prevents prejudice with all its lasting damage.
The strong pushing for the passing of the law tells me such parents are not trusting themselves or their children.
But this is a pyrrhic victory for DeSantis. It exposes his own prejudices and it will carry through into the presidential race. We’ll see more as the campaign unfolds.
Disney was right in opposing passage of the law. They had to answer to their workers who have a broader perspective than the Florida governor and made their case clear.
Meanwhile, Disney will have to contend with their restricted governing powers. The district they had controlled will now be renamed ‘The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District’ which will be subject to more state control and its board members will be appointed by DeSantis instead of the company.
Perhaps there will be more competition, but judging by Disney’s success, whoever has been part of that enterprise was doing a good job.
There are still options for Disney. If profoundly dissatisfied, they can pull out and move to an adjoining state where they could get a better deal. I’m sure it’s crossed the minds of their executives.
I don’t see Florida as the showcase state it is being made out to be.
Their demographics are skewed by an excess of retirees. Like Texas, it doesn’t have state taxes. But are those signs of being an outstanding state? No.
And regarding Covid: the battle against the virus was won by scientists, not by politicians.
So ride on, Sheriff DeSantis. You might be looking at a long stay in that saddle. Which will give you time to gallop on down to Mar-A-Lago and discuss with Trump all that could have been if either of you had been more inclusive as leaders.

The Time is Now

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Last night, President Biden gave a good performance in his State of the Union address.
He was forthright and spunky. And with good reason. He has a record to be proud of.
Here was a true leader of the Free World listing the nation’s achievements and the challenges ahead.
Many Republican attendees had trouble with the speech. Trouble with Biden. Trouble with everything because it’s now been decades since they’ve had a leader with the same heft and they have to contend with their envy.
And it doesn’t look good for them in 2024 either.
Which brings me to the question of succession.
For all his solid performance I think Biden should not run for reelection.
But walking away when you’re on top is not easy. I’m reminded of boxers who keep fighting even though age tells them that they’re past their prime.
Fighters like Joe Louis, Roberto Duran, even Muhammad Ali. But not all fall into the trap.
Rocky Marciano, an undefeated heavyweight champ during the 1950s, retired at the top of his game at age 31. Never went back to the ring.
Biden is now 80. By the time of the next election he will be 82. So during a next term he would celebrate his 83rd, 84th, 85th and 86th birthdays.
Biology is against him being able to keep up with the pace of the presidency.
If there is a crisis in Africa during the middle of the night, his aides would have to wake him up. Another crisis in Asia a couple of hours later, he would have to be awakened again. And then he’d have to be in shape to be at the meeting with the prime minister of Germany at 9 am.
Followed by cabinet meetings in the afternoon. Etc.
As President he would be continuously on the spotlight and every advanced age dysfunction, small as it may be, would become a distraction and a source of criticism.
If there were no other people around to step up and replace him, then his remaining on the job would make sense. But that is not the case.
There are now several good candidates eager to jump in and make a run for the presidency.
They are waiting for Biden to decide if he will run again.
Out of respect they are giving the President time to reflect and make his choice.
But if he decides to run again he should be challenged. And forcefully.
I have admiration for Mr Biden. Yet my sense is that he will choose to run again.
And that will not be good for the party.
So this is the time for the daring to step up and go for it.
Years ago, I think 2006 or so, when Obama had just begun to serve his term as Senator from Illinois, George Will, having heard of Obama’s wish to challenge Hillary Clinton for the party’s nomination, wrote a piece where he said to Obama, ‘this is the time.’
And so I say so, too
This is the time for daring democratic contenders to step up and make their claims.
Do not wait for Biden to decide. Step up now.
If you do so, there is the strong possibility that such move will give Biden pause and help him make the right choice and not run again.
I do not think he will put himself through a primary process to become a candidate again.
Instead, he will reckon that it is time for a younger candidate, one he could advise and mentor for the benefit of the nation and the world.
The time is now for democratic presidential aspirants to all step up and say, ‘It is our time.’
Do not give the Republican party, a party still partly beholden to Trump, the opportunity to take advantage of fissures within the Democratic party.
The time is now.

Mr Biden. To Run or Not Run Again.

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Tough decision.
Here’s my take on it.
You’ve done a very good job as President. At a time of much national doubt you stepped in and took control.
Your performance in leading the West to stop Russia from running over Ukraine and annexing it has been admirable. To me it is the shining achievement of your term.
The energies that you have awakened will be critical in the contest with China. A contest the entire world is watching as other nations look for direction.
There was a general malaise in our country in the wake of the Trump years and you have stepped in with aplomb and dignity. And so the democratic party had a solid performance in the recent midterms.
You have taken decisive steps to boost our technology sector – to expand our chip manufacturing capacity – and committed to climate change and infrastructure rebuilding.
We have moved past Covid and your choices were sound.
Even in Afghanistan, which stirred much condemnation due to the haste of the pull out, I believe you were right in your choice.
Putin did not invade Ukraine because of your getting us out of Afghanistan, he invaded Ukraine because he thought Trump’s isolationist bent had lasting roots in our nation and that such sentiments would neutralize efforts to go to Ukraine’s assistance.
You still have all this year and all the next one to press on with your work.
But this should be it for you. You’re now 80 and will be 82 where you to be reelected.
Confronted with a much younger Republican adversary, the disparity in age will be glaring.
The Republican party deserves no such advantage.
There is much you must do in the next 2 years. And a key task is that of bringing the war to an end. The world is aching for such an outcome.
For you to be running again would take away energies from that work. You would be needlessly distracted with electoral stuff.
As we stand, with your sterling performance, the Democratic party has the edge.
Moderate Republicans will find it hard to forget that Trump has been associated with the assault on Capitol Hill on January 6th, to the astonishment of most Americans.
Moderate Republicans will find it hard to forget that Trump still has a good deal of influence over Senators and Representatives.
In consequence, I do not think that Trump will end up being his party’s choice. His time is past.
But it will take longer for that party to recover from its malaise.
So this is the time for you to pass the baton. The time for you to announce that you will not run again and let the contestants to succeed enter the race and fight for funds and supporters.
Your example will remain a potent stimulus, a legacy distinguished and honorable, shining its light on the presidential contest and favoring the democrats.
There are many candidates who will step in to follow in your footsteps and who will be inspired by your performance.
And while this next presidential term is for democrats to lose, the contestants should get into the race as quickly as possible.
So you must clear the way as soon as possible.
A word about Vice president Harris.
I sense that you would like to be the one who made possible that our nation has their first woman president and that she be an African American.
But that honor cannot be inherited. It must be fought for.
It is very hard to shine while working in the shadow of the president, so I’m sure we have yet to see VP Harris’ capabilities on display.
I am sure as VP she has learned a great deal from you so let us see it.
Let her enter the fray and have at it with other contestants.
The time is now.
Best of luck.

Biden Calls Trump – Let’s Make a Deal

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Sitting at his desk in the Oval office, Joe Biden puts in a call to Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago.
The call is made via a confidential zoom link, managed by the White House and the Homeland Security Agency (HSA).
Trump, who had agreed to the talk, picks up right away. We only see the two men in their respective screens.

Biden – Good morning to you.
Trump – And to you, too. I just came from the golf course… missed a hole in one by 2 inches… that’s the kind of shape I’m in. Ready for another 4 years.
Biden – That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.
Trump – My golf game? I’m incredible. I keep getting better and better. Just the way I’m built, I suppose. So, what’s on your mind… Mr President? For a moment there I almost called you Sleepy Joe, but I caught myself. So, how are you?
Biden – Doing just fine, which is quite remarkable, considering all the people who’re convinced I’m in the early stages of dementia.
Trump – That’s what I’m told. You’re not?
Biden – I’m not. I remember everything, including those things I’d rather forget.
Trump – But your motor skills… I mean, when you were in Indonesia the other day, you stumbled on a step, and if it hadn’t been for their president walking alongside you and holding your arm, you would’ve fallen on your face. Would’ve knocked your teeth out, too.
Biden – I would’ve caught myself, I’m sure.
Trump – Time to retire, Joe. You shouldn’t wait until the end of your term. You’re liable to trip while coming down the steps from Air Force One and break your neck. Just let Kamala take over.
Biden – You’re always filled with soothing words for me. Will think about it. The reason I’ve called you is because I have a deal for you.
Trump (laughs) – You… you have got a deal for me?
Biden – I do.
Trump – Incredible. Go ahead, I’m listening. I have a meeting coming up for a new Trump Tower I’m thinking of building in the Gulf.
Biden – Hope it goes well.
Look, man… how about, in the interest of the nation… that neither you nor I run for President.

Trump is silent.

Biden – The reason is…
Trump – No deal, Joe. That’s the end of that.
Biden – Look… it’s not your age… at 76 you’re in great shape… but it’s the stuff you’ve done.
Trump – I haven’t done anything against the law, nothing. The capitol riot was their idea, I did not incite them, but you democrats want to demonize me. I won’t have it.
Biden – You have divided this country like no one else has, and we’re in great need of coming together to face China and Russia.
Trump – Let me stop you right there. I put those tariffs on the Chinese and I got their respect. And you haven’t lifted them because they work. And all those things you’re doing now to stimulate our industry, I was going to do in my second term, which was stolen from me.
Biden – I got 7 million more votes than you did, so stop the nonsense,
Trump – It’s not nonsense. As far as our country needing to come together to face China and Russia, if I had been president, there would’ve been no war with Russia. Nothing. Why? Because Putin and I have a good relationship. If he had felt anxious about NATO being too close, he would’ve picked up the phone and called me. And I would’ve told NATO, ‘step back, okay,’ you’re making Putin uncomfortable.
Biden – And if Putin had said, I need another chunk of Ukraine, in addition to the chunk we now have, then you would’ve said, ‘Okay.’
Trump – Joe, you tell me, what has Ukraine done for us, lately? Nothing at all. Zero. Just give us headaches. And you and your pals, have been giving Zelensky billions and billions of dollars to fight a war that didn’t need to happen. Billions and billions that our people could use to make America great again. Let’s face it, Putin needs his space. Now, you were VP when Obama was president in 2014 and he didn’t lift a finger to stop Putin from taking over Crimea. Am I wrong? And you were right there at those meetings. Did you say anything?
Biden – I stood against the invasion. And so did Obama. But the internal conditions in Ukraine were not set to oppose Putin militarily in Crimea. The focus was on the East and we put sanctions against Russia and helped arm Ukrainian soldiers. The Ukrainian people have evolved politically since then and are fighting heroically to defend their land. You do not recognize their effort.
Trump – Oh, I do, I just don’t think they should be relying on so much stuff from us.
Biden – If we hadn’t been there for them, they would’ve been overrun long ago.
Trump – Life is tough.
Biden – You miss the point that Ukraine is fighting for all peoples committed to freedom.
Trump – Make America great again, Joe. Everybody has to take care of themselves. Now, about the deal you’re proposing, I don’t get it, what’s in it for me?
Biden – You’re a divisive force in our nation. We don’t need that. Today, Europe and America are working together like we haven’t in decades. And central to continuing to do so is having Americans united. You did nothing to strengthen those ties.
I beat you soundly in 2020 and will beat you again if I choose to run once more. I will, though, admit my flaws, and advancing age is an issue. I would be 82 at the start of a next term. It is of concern. But back to you. You will do nothing to unite the country if you’re reelected. You’re all about you and you and then you. You’re not equipped to help build bridges between Americans, which are essential to face the conflicts that lie ahead.
Trump – No deal, Joe. You’ve got no deal for me and are wasting my time. Run if you want to or not. I will beat you or Kamala or Gavin.
Biden – Here’s what my offer would do for you.
Trump – Go ahead.
Biden – Spare you the embarrassment of losing in the primaries.
Trump – You’ve got to be kidding?
Biden – You had your moment. You did what you did and now it’s over for you. The results of the midterm elections speak loudly. Your people were mostly defeated, and in Georgia, Warnock will beat the football player.
Trump – You should worry about you losing the primaries. Not me.
Biden – Look, man, think long term for a moment. You had your moment and you screwed it up. You didn’t educate your people. Didn’t say to them, ‘we got in and now we’ve got to work together with our fellow Americans.’
Trump – My people know that.
Biden – They’re not acting like they do.
As for me, I’m having a great moment. I’ve helped strengthen the western alliance and its support of brave Ukraine. Because of it, the winds of freedom are blowing. Blowing to Iran, blowing to China. I have no regrets about pulling out of Afghanistan. It was time. And I have made climate change a top priority of my administration, unlike you.
Trump – I hear you, Joe… and I thank you for thinking of me… that’s very kind… but I will not lose the primaries and will go on to a second term as President.
Biden – Mark my words, if by a miracle you become the Republican candidate, you will lose the general election. I’ve come to you because I think that, by together choosing to not run for another term, we could energize our nation in a positive way, and set the tone for an electoral contest that will bring out the best in both parties.
Joining me in such gesture, will enhance your standing and your legacy as a political leader.
Trump – Thank for your thoughts but no.
Biden – Please reconsider my offer. We still have time. Best to you and family. Have a good day.

Biden hangs up.

Trump looks down at the ground for a moment.

Trump (to himself) – There’s nothing to think about. I will run and I will win. I will beat whomever the democrats throw at me. And what a moment that will be. Just incredible. I can see the parade of people coming down Pennsylvania Avenue to cheer me on. Happy people, people exulting in their confidence.
What an amazing sight that will be. Extraordinary.
So… four more years… and then… who knows?

Biden Dreams

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He had a hectic day dealing with both national and foreign affairs but as he was usually able to do, when it was time to go to sleep, he could do so without difficulty.
It was the rare occasion when he could not.
Then it came to him. The dream.
He had entered a room where there were a few empty tables. It looked like a restaurant where customers had already left. But at one table near the end of the room, there was this lone man seated with his back to him.
Something about the shape of the man’s head and the contours of his upper body were strangely familiar. Biden was sure he knew the person.
He advanced toward him, determined to find out who the man was.
As he neared the table the man turned around and looked up at him.
It was Bobby Kennedy.
Biden gasped.
Kennedy rose and the two men embraced.
‘Have a seat,’ said Kennedy.
Biden sat down next to him. ‘I’m delighted to see you.’
‘I am, too. You’ve done a good job,’ said Kennedy.
‘Thank you, Bobby.’
‘The pullout from Afghanistan was necessary, painful though it was.’
‘It was difficult, yes, but I had the strong sense the matter had to be resolved so I could focus ahead.’
Kennedy nodded supportively. ‘It’s been a good term.’
‘Glad you think so, too.’
‘Looking back,’ continues Kennedy, ‘maybe too much money was spent on assistance during the pandemic… which contributed to this inflation you’re having to deal with… but hindsight is easy.’
‘I think it was the right thing to do, Bobby. We’ll get through it.’
Biden puts a hand on Kennedy’s shoulder.
‘It’s good to see you, man. You’ve aged but you look good’.
‘You do, too,’ replies Kennedy.
The two men pause as they look at each other.
‘You didn’t come just to say hello, did you?’ says Biden.
‘You’re right,’ returns Kennedy.
‘Do you think I should run again?’
Biden lowers his head.
‘Joe, you have done a terrific job… creating a united front to defend against Putin… injecting vigor into combating climate change… stepping up for the working class… bolstering our investment in tech industries… squaring with China… and in the next two years you’ll do so much more that you will leave a clear mark in the history of our nation. A mark of excellence, Joe. Without a doubt.’
‘Thank you, Bobby.’
‘But age is age, Joe… and it is ruthless. It does not spare anyone.’
Biden nods slowly, as he looks away for a moment.
‘I wish… if I hadn’t been assassinated and gone on to win the election, to have served as well as you have.’
Filled with emotion, Biden reaches out to Kennedy’s hand and gives it a squeeze.
‘You have always been an inspiration to me.’
‘Thank you. You have united the Democratic party, Joe, that’s a strength to build on. Republicans, on the other hand, are badly divided. And Trump’s running will make it worse. It’s unbelievable that a sitting president incited an attack on the Capitol and has not denounced Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.’
‘Nor will he, it’s not in him,’ puts in Biden.
‘His flaws are glaring. The 2024 presidential election should go to a democrat… but
by then you’ll be 82. You are healthy but the perception of old age will affect the voters.’
Biden stares off.
‘I would’ve liked to serve two terms…’
‘But you were vice president for 8 years…’
Biden nods again.
‘There are a lot of good people in the party waiting to hear from you,’ continues Kennedy.
‘You think I’d be challenged in the primaries if I decide to run again?’ says Biden.
‘I believe you would be challenged… adding another stress on you, on top of everything you now have to handle. Instead, if you announce that you won’t be running, that will give other people plenty of time to step up and start to organize. It takes time.’
They look at each other.
Biden smiles. ‘I wouldn’t know what to do with myself…’
Kennedy smiles, too. ‘There will be plenty of things for you to do. And much appreciation for your wisdom’
Now Biden wakes up.
He looks around. The dream was so vivid that it brings tears to his eyes. He always admired Bobby Kennedy.
Through the window he sees that it’s still dark outside.
Jill is next to him, sleeping comfortably.
Biden swings his legs to sit at the edge of the bed. He rubs his face and looks straight ahead.
‘One term… but a damn good term.’

Will Trump Become the Republican Candidate for President in 2024?

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Based on the results from the midterm elections, the answer is no.
As of this writing Republicans will end with only a slim advantage in the House and they’ve lost the Senate.
Their relative poor showing was a referendum on Trump
Raphael Warnock (D) will beat Herschel Walker (R) in the remaining undecided Senate seat in Georgia, giving Democrats the full advantage of 51 to 49.
Trump has managed to divide his party.
Yesterday he declared himself a candidate for the presidency but he will lose in the primaries.
His supporters were mesmerized by his charm but missed the substance. And the substance is that Trump is not a believer in the democratic process.
The assault on the capitol on Jan 6th 2021 wouldn’t have happened without his incitement.
The fact that, in spite of it, he managed to keep so many followers, tell us that there’s a sizeable section in this country for which democracy is just a word.
The good news is that there are many Republicans who are not fooled and were never fooled.
They showed up at the polls in the midterms and rejected Trump’s followers.
They showed up at the polls and rejected the notion that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
The best hope for the Republican party in 2024 is that Trump doesn’t win the primary.
So far, DeSantis from Florida is attracting attention as a rival.
But there is ample time for other contenders to rise.
When the lineup of Republican party candidates shows up for the primary debates, there will be plenty ammunition for them to take Trump down. And his followers will see how much better another candidate will represent them.
The division in the Republican party works in Democrats’ favor.
But Democrats will do well to select a candidate whose appeal extends to disaffected Republicans.
The time is now for Democratic candidates to start grooming their teams.
And so the matter of whether Biden will run again becomes critical.
I am a strong supporter of him but now believe that he should not run for reelection.
In just 4 days, on November 20th, Biden will be 80 years old. In 2024 he will be 82.
Age matters on a job as hectic as the president’s.
Two more years in the White House will help Biden consolidate some of his policies and we may also see Ukraine win the war against Russia.
Biden should be very proud of what he’s done.
He has said he will decide early next year if he’ll stand for reelection.
I think he will choose not to. And so open the door for Democratic candidates to flesh out their campaigns.
Kamala Harris will definitely be among the contenders but so will be Gavin Newsom from California.
They need ample time to prepare.
My projection is that Newsom will become the Democratic candidate for president in 2024.
And so help write Donald Trump’s political epitaph.
We earn our freedom every day.

Why We Won’t Reelect Trump.

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Trump is a symbol of retreat from the world. Which appeals to the nativist.
But it is the wrong position to take.
If Trump had been elected in 2020, there would’ve been no war in Ukraine.
He would have given Putin the green light to take it over.
‘Look Donald,’ Putin would have said, ‘I need space. I know you’re not a great supporter of NATO so I appreciate that, but still, I need some room. Poland is too close, and so is Romania and the Baltic states. And let’s face it, you have term limits in the US. After this term, who knows who will become president and they may be hostile to Russia. So this is the time for me to take over Ukraine and have some breathing room. Just in case.’
And Trump would have answered, ‘I know what you mean, I feel cramped myself with all those democrats questioning every decision I make, so, yes, go ahead. But make it quick. An overnight operation should do. Fly Zelensky and his cabinet over to Berlin… though Berlin may be too close. I leave that up to you. I’d consider Mogadishu in Somalia. I hear they have nice beaches.’
Repression would have been ruthless in Ukraine but Putin would have got his legislative body to formally annex it.
Europe would have been speechless, and they would have said to themselves, ‘we can’t look to America anymore… so either we develop our own defensive forces or we’ll be annexed next, one nation at a time.’
But in 2020, enough Americans saw the light and more than 81 million came out in favor of Biden, versus the 74 million Trump got.
If a majority of Americans rejected Trump in 2020, more will reject him in 2024 if he decides to run as he’s suggesting he will.
What do I say that? Because the majority of Americans have only become more clearly convinced in the last 2 years that Trump is an atrocious choice for president.
We don’t know yet if he cheated on his taxes but he may have. Why so adamant about sharing the documents? A verdict has not been issued on whether he incited the crowd to storm the capitol on January 6th 2021, but if we don’t call it inciting, what do we call it? Did he tamper with the voting in Fulton county, Georgia, in his mad attempt to prove the election was stolen from him? We’ll have to wait but he surely was desperate.
Then there’s the sad spectacle of Republican senators who cannot stand up to him. Grown, mature men who have swallowed their tongue, waiting for the next instruction from Mar-a- Lago.
The majority of Americans are watching silently this unbelievable display of poor judgment and have made up their minds.
By contrast, this same majority, is seeing Joe Biden be a leader to our nation. They are seeing a man and his team making every effort to address our national problems and taking on the courageous job of uniting the West in opposing Putin’s cruel invasion of Ukraine.
Biden, not Trump, had the nerve to call Putin ‘a killer’, to call Russia a pariah state.
We either believe in the good judgment of the American people or we don’t.
I believe in it. Which is why I am sure, that Trump will not get reelected if he chooses to run.
He will be beat handily. By Biden, or any worthy democratic candidate.
The elections in 2024 will go to the democrats. The reason is simple. The Republican party is being choked by Trump and they can’t find a way of pushing him off and say to him, ‘Let us breathe!’
The nativist sentiment that propelled him to the presidency remains a factor which needs addressing. The resentment from having been left behind by globalization is real and needs to be worked with. But there is no easy way out as Trump thought.
Americans left behind should be entitled to educational grants to facilitate their education and so help them raise their standard of living. They should have fought for this as globalization was starting. But their leaders, too, were asleep at the wheel.
Immigration needs to be fixed but we need immigrants. A wall won’t do because it sends a horrible message to the rest of the world.
As an open society, we can deal with the Trumps of this world. We may be fooled once but not twice.
As we speak, Russia is slowly imploding under the disastrous rule of Putin.
China has plans to become the world’s dominant power and is watching us carefully.
But as long as we are a well governed nation, with opportunities for all, our productivity will give us the edge to remain a leading country and a defender of freedom and the rights of human beings.
This we can trust.

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2024 Elections

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The Republican party has a steep uphill battle for the 2024 presidential elections.
The footprint that Trump has left will be hard to erase.
That’s how toxic it has been.
The fact that Trump is still in the running for the nomination is baffling, but that’s clear evidence of how confused the party is.
Immigration is the central issue.
Trump seized on it to rally support but couldn’t come up with an answer to the problem.
Immigration needs limits. Enforceable limits. We need borders and the means to sustain them.
But we can’t do without immigration.
The faction of the Republican party who wants to severely restrict immigration would cripple the nation if they had their say.
It is true that we need to bolster the opportunities for advancement for Americans now in the lower earning rungs of our society, but we still need to keep open the doors for qualified immigrants to come to this country.
This is our advantage over China and Russia. They are closed off to immigration. That is hurting them.
The force that immigration is has a transformative effect on any nation. And it is overwhelmingly a positive one.
Europe has been struggling with immigration for years and, to their credit, they’re still at it.
China and Russia just choose not to deal with the problem. And it is their loss.
Looking at the Republican field for the nomination for president, I see little to suggest that a Republican candidate can go up successfully against Biden, if he chooses to run, or another democratic candidate, say Harris or Newsom.
Republican candidates are failing on the issues. Overturning Roe vs Wade will do little to invigorate the party. The majority of American women want to keep their right to choose.
Had Trump been elected instead of Biden, Putin would by now have annexed Ukraine and invited Trump to the ceremonies.
In the press conference that would have followed, Trump would have been asked by a reporter if he thought Putin had the right to take over Ukraine, and Trump would have said, ‘I don’t see why not, he was feeling encircled by NATO. We need to give him his space.’
And then Putin would have walked over and handed him a Cossack hat, as a tribute to his far reaching understanding of how the world works. And Trump would have put it on. Then said, ‘Look, Russia is a great country, and they need their space. By not arming the resistance in Ukraine we have saved many lives, and America’s closer ties with Russia will help us deal with the menace of China.’
Putin would have smiled and thought to himself, ‘We need to get this guy reelected a third term.’
Trump and freedom don’t mix. His legacy of obscurantism will last for some years.
Still, there are enlightened sectors in the Republican party who might push forward a sane candidate to run against the democrats. I think that candidate would be John Kasich.

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Biden’s Age

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There are those who criticize him just because of his age. Those who do are envious of the man.
For there he is, at 79, leading our nation and doing it well.
The skeptics think he won’t last, that he is on the verge of falling apart any moment.
But he keeps proving them wrong.
Talk has begun about whether he should run again when his term is up. Born on Nov 20 1942, he would be 82 if he were to start a second term. Is that too old to be president?
Why not wait for Biden, himself, to tell us?
We all age differently, and given his stellar performance, he’s earned the right to tell us whether he feels up to running again.
Biden should be judged on his record, not on his age.
A man in his position is being scrutinized constantly.
We should trust that his team, all those around him, including Jill Biden, would be the first to notice instances of dysfunction that would affect his judgment.
Would that team, in the interest of preserving their jobs, be inclined to cover up signs of dysfunction? It’s possible but I don’t think likely.
There are two reasons for that: One, that the team is aware of the responsibility to the nation and two, with the public exposure presidents have, any deficit would be hard to hide.
Biden is a little over a year and a half into his term. Who’s to say that he won’t become more and more effective as time goes on, with all of us benefitting?
He has earned the respect of world leaders for his admirable leadership of the western alliance in confronting Putin.
That ordeal is far from over and I don’t doubt that, if he remains in good health, he will continue to deal effectively with whatever comes his way.
If we trust his integrity, as I do, why wouldn’t he, or his wife, be the first to tell us, ‘I don’t think I’m up for the job anymore. Thank you for the privilege of leading our nation, but I now must let another person take over.’
Joe Biden would do that. You either believe it or not. I do.
As a nation we stand to gain a great deal by trusting that some men have the maturity and wisdom to know their limitations. We are watching, of course, as we should.
The more we see of Biden governing, the more glaring the difference with his predecessor.
Which is why I think that, as sanity returns to the Republican party, the more remote becomes the possibility that Trump will be nominated again. And Biden would more than stand his ground against any other Republican candidate, man or woman, young or old.
Age should not keep us from having Biden run again. Our gauge should be his performance.
On that count, he is paving the way for his reelection.
In any event, should he choose not to run, for whatever reason, the party has plenty talent ready to step up.

Oscarvaldes.medium.com, anchor.fm, apple and google podcasts.