Discover more from CyberDisobedience - by John Aravosis
Yeah, Biden is old -- so what?
Donald Trump is talking about invoking martial law his first day in office, and Joe Biden is the one people want to leave the ticket.
Some new battleground state polls came out showing Trump beating Biden in 5 of 6 key states. What’s going on?
This is turning into a bizarre election, which is itself a continuation of a bizarre worldwide trend towards authoritarianism. Electing Trump in 2016 was shocking, knowing what we already new about Trump. But today, doing it again, knowing that he’s facing 91 criminal charges, that he tried to violently overthrow the government, and that he’s reportedly considering invoking the Insurrection Act on his first day back in office, in order to declare what amounts to Martial Law? That takes a special kind of seriously f’d up voter.
But Joe Biden is ooooooolddddddddd!
This African-American woman, quoted in the NYT, epitomizes the problem:
Talitha McLaren, 45, a home health aide in Philadelphia, said she was undecided about whether to vote in 2024.
She worries about a total erosion of democracy under a second Trump administration, but she is also frustrated with Mr. Biden and his party for failing to tackle rising costs that have not kept pace with her income and for not providing help with her student loan debt. On Tuesday, she plans to vote for the Democrat running for mayor of her hometown.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to support the Democrats,” she said. “But they haven’t won me over yet on what they’re trying to do for the country. Because what they’re doing now ain’t working.”
Yes, Donald Trump may eliminate democracy in America, but I want my free stuff! (Putting aside the legitimacy of the student loan debate, President Biden forgave her damn loans. The Republicans then went to court to block it. So spare us the whine about how Biden didn’t forgive your loans. He did.)
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Part of the problem is the perception of the economy. Not the economy itself, because that’s doing great. But inflation WAS high — it’s not now — but prices, which spiked, aren’t ever going back to what they were. It’s just like with the airlines — they find ways to gouge you when fuel gets more expensive, then when fuel prices drop, they don’t stop charging extra for your bag, or choosing your seat. I’ve seen smart people I respect arguing “but for ME, it’s difficult making ends meet, so the Biden economy sucks!” And I don’t doubt that they’re situation might be difficult. But that’s not reflective of the economy doing poorly under Joe Biden. The economy is back, and that’s a big part of the reason we had such high inflation — a roaring economy increasing prices. (Donald Trump’s poor response to the Covid epidemic led to supply chain problems that spiked prices, and decimated the labor market — both leading to inflation.) Regardless, a good economy doesn’t guarantee that YOUR PERSONAL SITUATION will necessarily improve. It’s an average. You may still need to find a new, higher-paying job. You may still need to move to a city where the economy is doing better, and the cost of living is lower. But it’s not debatable that what Biden is doing IS working overall. Yet, they whine about the old guy.
Speaking of disaffected voters, I’m not going to delve into the Israel-Gaza issue, but we’re to believe that the socialist left- of-the-left, Arab-Americans and Muslim-Americans didn’t know that Joe Biden, most Democrats, and the overwhelming majority of the American people supported Israel? That’s the reason you’re not going to vote, because Biden is doing what you knew he was going to do when you voted for him?
Which brings us back to the age question. Yeah, Biden is old. So is Donald Trump. And yeah, Biden is SOUNDING old as well. He’s getting grampa-ish. But compared to Trump, people aren’t sure? While I have my critiques of Biden’s approach to Ukraine — he’s pandered far too much to Putin — overall, he’s had a pretty darn good presidency. Multiple stimulus checks. The child tax credit. The humongous infrastructure bill. The soaring economy — growth is going well, while unemployment is at historic lows, and inflation is now down. (Oh, and yeah, interest rates are up to 7% or so. That’s not much higher than they were at 14 years ago when I was looking to buy my first place. We’ve gotten used to extremely low interest rates. 7% isn’t actually “bad.” Talk to folks who had double-digit mortgage rates in the 1980s.) And, I’d argue, Biden’s defense of democracy in Europe, against Russia, and his patching back together the NATO alliance, after years of Trump, is equally laudable.
So what gives?
There’s certainly an entitlement complex among some on the left (and right). I want MY guy/gal to be the presidential nominee, or I’m walking! I want MY pet issue resolved 100% to my liking (climate change, student loans, Gaza), or I’m walking! I remember how, during the Obamacare debate, some on the left were beside themselves over the various nuances of the proposals being offered BY DEMOCRATS (and not Joe Lieberman). They were all good proposals. But people still freaked that THEIR proposal was the only TRUE proposal, and every one else was a sellout.
I worry that it’s also a sign of the coarsening culture. Not just between Republicans and Democrats — mostly caused by Republicans — but also among Democrats. Everyone is a victim. Every is convinced their life sucks. And that everyone ELSE is to blame. (This may also be the root of the “the economy is bad” lie — people are trying to find an excuse for why their life sucks.) So, “Boomers suck.” “Democrats have never done anything for Black people.” “White gay men have never done anything for the LGBT movement.” “Republicans can’t be any worse than Democrats on Islam and the Middle East.” Etc.
Trump also brings to light another phenomenon: That people hanker for fascism more than we’d like to admit. A lot on the right, but some on the left too. Authoritarianism, we thought, was the domain of Latin dictatorships and Old Europe. But, it turns out, Americans need a duce too. Someone to tell them what to do. And who to hate.
And on that happy note…!
Now a few funnies:
Talk to ya soon!