The conceit of Joe Biden

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First of all, happy holidays to everyone!  Please take care of yourselves.

Despite low approval ratings, indications are that Joe Biden wants to run again for President, but he shouldn’t.

“Why not?”

Well, because he’s too old.  And it’s obvious. To everyone, but him.  Intellectual Joe knows it. But emotional Joe has developed an unfortunate sense of self-worth – as if only he can fix what’s wrong.

“And he’s not, the only one that is?”


“Didn’t Donald Trump once say something like that?’’

Yes, he did, but for very different reasons. Trump is nuts and cares only about himself. President Biden cares about his country and doesn’t want to give up until he’s given it everything he has. Unfortunately, somewhere in the process, he’s allowed himself to believe he is essential to the objective when, in fact, there are others who are significantly better suited for the job.

President Biden is currently 80 years old. If he runs and wins, he’ll be 82 at the start of his second term, 86 by the end of it. Personally, I want to be 86 years old someday, but this isn’t about longevity, per se. I want Joe to live forever, but this is the Presidency of the United States we’re talking about. There’s too much at stake to have someone in the office, however well respected and experienced, who isn’t the very best we have for the job.  Or, even worse, for the incumbent to run for President and lose to the likes of whatever Republican candidate bubbles to the top of their toxic caldron.

According to the US Census Bureau as shown in “Demographics of the United States,” as of 2021, only 6.7% of the country was 75 or more years old, only 1.8% was 85 or older. Agewise, the vast majority of Americans are much younger. Joe may have empathy for his younger countrymen and women, but it’s impossible that he can fully appreciate what they’re thinking and what’s best for them.

He’s out of touch, still trying to practice what is basically the politics and social programming with which he grew up in the Senate over a long and storied career. But times change and aging has a way of leaving you behind.

Joe Biden was first elected to the Senate at age 30 in 1972, taking office in January 1973. At the time, his home state of Delaware had a population of only 577,759. As of 2021, all these years later, Delaware has only 1,003,000 people.  It’s one of those small states that has two Senators, but only one Congressperson. The population of the United States in 1973 was 211.9 million.  Today, we have over 330 million people – in a very much larger, more diverse, sociologically and technologically different economy and country in general.

It’s not something we think a lot about but, every 100 years or so, 100% of our planet’s population will be different. Evolutionary change, in every possible dimension of our lives, is what our species is all about. It’s hard keeping up with it all, even for the best of our leaders.

Joe stayed in the Senate until 2009, leaving to be Vice President under Barack Obama for whom he was a trusted and highly valuable consultant for eight years.

The Presidency is a physically strenuous job. Even more importantly, it is a stressful, potentially overwhelming intellectual challenge that is not without its implications for personal well-being and for the quality of multi-tasking decision-making under pressure.

Enjoy your time with family and friends, but ask yourself, those of you with parents or grandparents over 80 years old, would you want to elect them President? They may be funny, loving, mentally sharp and wise in many interesting and even profound ways, but would you want them to be the leader of the free world? In charge of the livelihoods and actual lives of hundreds of millions? During complex international crises when not all players are rational?  Making social and economic policy affecting most of us with whom their experience, long in duration and broad in scope as it may be, is just not all that relevant?

There’s a natural tendency to believe, as you get older, that you’ve finally figured it all out. No question about it, experience is valuable, but times change and the formative experiences that created you are increasingly behind the times.

Joe was supposed to be a transitional President. Get rid of the idiot huckster Trump, get the federal government back on track and, here’s the catch, prepare for a new generation of Democratic leaders. A new generation that is still waiting in the wings.

It’s human nature. So naturally selfish is this conceit that Joe is willing to risk losing the Presidency to the likes of Governor Ron DeSantis instead of graciously making room for younger, more energetic Democratic candidates who will appeal to a much larger and more diverse base of Democratic and Independent voters.

And then there is the lack of respect President Biden is showing for his Vice President, the exceptionally talented Kamala Harris.

Joe’s too old. His politics is enlightened in many respects but outdated in others. Other younger, stronger, more effective prospects for the Presidency – pursuing generally the same social and political objectives – are out there, but Joe’s interest in re-election is suppressing their pursuit of his office. Other candidates, including Vice President Kamala Harris, who won’t run our government the way Joe has, but differently in good and even more productive ways.

Joe Biden’s home state, Delaware, brings nothing to the Electoral College. Kamala is from California, current population, over 39 million, more than ten percent of the entire country. She’s 58 years old, mature, but not elderly, the first female Vice President and the highest ranking female official in US history.  Previous position… US Senator from California where she was Attorney General before that. Already a veteran of a tough Presidential campaign, the one that got Joe in the White House and Donald Trump out. Said by some to be a major reason why the great red wave Republicans were expecting never happened.

Vice President Kamela Harris (Shutterstock)

Was Kamala Harris just a person of color Joe picked to make a point? To score votes? Or, as I suspect was also true, did he feel confident that, in light of his advanced age, that she’d be fully capable of taking over if necessary?

And the optics are poor. Joe looks and walks old. There, I said it.  I’ve put superficial appearances on the table, but then the effect isn’t meaningless, is it?  Our President is a symbol of our country.  His image affects how we and other nations perceive America. As old or young and energetic?  Do Jack Kennedy and Barack Obama come to mind when you think of the United States – or Joe Biden?  Which is the image you prefer?  Which is the reality that is essential to our success?

You’ve given a lot to your country, President Biden – with hopefully years more of the same to come, just not as President. Thank you. Time now to get over yourself, get out the way and help the next great hope of the Democratic Party and America win her or his first term in the White House.