As a student of history myself, I quite enjoyed Professor Finck’s thumbnail history of the American presidency regarding the number of terms served and the amount of time a given party controlled the White House, (Political Trends, Dr. James Finck, Historically Speaking, The Times-Independent, Nov. 10).
Most people’s eyes glaze over reading a list of all the Millards and Fillmores, the Franklins and Pierces, the Winfields and Scotts, the Zacharys and Taylors. Mine glazed over just now typing it.
As a good historian should, Dr. Finck put it all in clear and concise context: the political forces in play at the time, why or why not each man (always men) succeeded or failed. But he could have at least told us where the Whigs came from and where they went and what the heck the word “Whig” means anyway.
No, Dr. Finck gets into trouble in the here and now. He begins by explaining that well-known conservative writer, George Will, who righteously rejected Trumpism at its birth (rebirth) in 2015, believes Joe Biden is too old to run again. Mr. Will voted for Biden in 2020.
Questions about Biden’s age and abilities going forward are legitimate and must be asked. The professor, and presumably the well-known conservative writer, only cite “recent gaffes” as disqualifying evidence. Pardon me, but that’s pretty thin gruel. Joe Biden’s gaffes go back to a time before most people alive today were born.
Right now in my head I can hear the hard right counting up reasons why Biden isn’t qualified, but those reasons are political (if not outright loony), not physical, physiological or psychological.
To be fair, Dr. Finck’s column was written before the recent election. I’ve no doubt he will revisit some claims or comments he made in light of the election results. For example, “Americans vote first with their wallets.” Always been true, right? In the Panic of 1837 or today. In this election Americans voted first, repeat first, on the threats to democracy and women’s freedom from state control of their bodies.
Of course, the economy, wallets, pocketbooks, whatever, mattered greatly. But, with the highest inflation in 40-plus years, volatile markets, fears of recession and on and on, how does the party in power avoid electoral disaster and maybe squeak out a meager victory? No red wave. No bloodbath, as the bloodthirsty fascist, Trump Jr., described it.
Actually, the answer is leadership, but Dr. Finck doesn’t think Biden is a good leader. “Clearly the last two presidents have failed …,” he says. This is what the chattering class calls “bothsidesism.” Trump failed, and miserably, therefore Biden blah blah.
It is not clear that Joe Biden has failed, far from it. The historian is showing his bias. Biden has had his failures, Afghanistan for one; and his successes, Ukraine comes to mind. He held onto the Senate and if the House tips to the GOP their gains will be minimal and they are headed for their own intraparty Katy-Bar-the-Door.
If Dr. Finck caught Biden’s speech in Bali, Indonesia this morning Finck would admit that Ol’ Joe was in top form. The speech and the questions after, top form. The leadership Biden demonstrated there was most important. He showed the guy in China which way is up and he showed the rest of the world that America has resumed her strong leadership role in that world. Remember, that’s the strong role Trump and his isolationist bootlickers did all in their power to destroy.
So, for Biden, as Dylan sang, “the wheel’s still in spin.”
On the topic of leadership, locally, Utah State House Speaker Brad Wilson appeared on the front page with this dangerous garbage, “We’ve seen the emails, read the articles, heard the claims…” Does this sound familiar?
“People are saying,” Trump repeated thousands of times. Or, “we’ve heard people say.” Or, “we’re just asking questions.” All of it straight outta his Big Lie Fascist Playbook.
Make up a lie, start a whacked-out conspiracy, see that your nutjobs online and in your media hammer away at it, for fun and profit. Then poof, just like that, the dangerous, anti-American garbage lands on the front page of your favorite hometown paper.
Nationwide, voters rejected Republican Crazy, but this local business proves it isn’t going anywhere soon.
Please Note: Nowhere above did I say I want Biden to run again. He’s an old man. However, if the GOP continues their slow-motion suicide pact with their Orange God-King I think Biden will beat him again. If they choose a junior fascist like DeSantis the Dems need some young blood. I like Jared Polis of Colorado.
Kevin McGann writes from Castle Valley.