Correct Biden’s Ageing Advice? Complex!

By Donald A. Collins | 17 September 2023
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

On September 12, Washington Post’s David Ignatius offered a plausible suggestion to President Biden that he not run again.

Read it here.

His colleague, Colbert I. King’s 9/15/23 column entitled “Biden earned another term despite ageist calls for him to step aside”.

While not fully on board with any of these authors’ either conclusions, my 9/13/23 op ed echoed many of their arguments.

Read again here.

On September 16 Peggy Noonan’s op ed entitled “Biden Can’t Resist the ‘River of Power’” repeated Ignacius’ and my concerns and added the proven “fibs” Biden has told over the years, while not mentioning the historic level of lying by Biden’s likely 2024 opponent Mr. Trump.

Read it in full here.

My primary criterion for determining fitness ultimately depends on the governing record of the candidate which should be admired in Biden’s first term.

It is worth reminding critics and supporters alike of the number of important programs Biden managed to get approved in a sharply devided Congress.

Read the specifics here.

Despite the record of many unsuccessful 2nd terms, ageing was not the norm in those who stumbled. Remember Bill Clinton’s example as one of many whose personal behavior or bad judgement were his downfall.

Trump’s record in trying to move our democracy into an authoritarian or fascist regime has now been amply described by Robert Reich’s TV film shown multiple times here.

View again to see its relevance:

That ageing as the prime criteria is NOT the most vital in deciding the complex process of picking the best candidate as the above op ed views strongly suggest.

As I continued to reflect on the main point between Biden and Trump—“consider the alternative”—as not being enough to avoid a possible Trump victory, I am horrified but also aware Biden’s decision to run is not going to change as he contemplates factors in his favor such as Trump’s growing legal woes.

Possible small but significant consolation for my concern over a Trump win came to me in watching the PBS documentary on the career and life of Jerry Brown who served two 8 year terms as Governor of California, the last 8 years as Governor ending in 2018 when Brown was 83.

His second tenure was judged by many in both parties as historically successful and he is now enjoying retirement but commented on age in this article, again showing the complexity of the ageing question.

Complex choice?? I quote the beginning:

In a recent interview with Politico’s Jonathan Martin, former California Gov. Jerry Brown said he would mount a primary challenge to President Joe Biden if he were younger.

Brown, who turned 85 on Friday, told Martin of the presidency, “I can handle the job but I don’t think the politics can handle my age.” Throughout the article, Martin goes to painstaking lengths to show the reader how hard he had to work to extract answers out of a particularly crotchety Brown. About the Biden question, Martin wrote that it took a great deal of “pressing … to elicit his actual view of Biden, but it’s worth the effort.”

Brown said Biden is a student of “Eastern seaboard Catholic Democratic politics,” a group that holds a deep “respect for the verities that have made us what we are and hold us together,” but is unable to respond to “changed circumstances.”

The former governor declined to endorse Biden’s forthcoming reelection bid, stating, “Well, you know, it depends on what the alternatives are.”

Indeed!! Talk about the uncertainty of Brown who began his life as a Catholic priest in training, but is he certain about questioning the “alternatives”: Trump and fascism?

Read the entire Brown piece here.

Biden recently had a complete medical exam and was declared sound in mind and body.

Read here three articles (1, 2, 3) including the official report from the White House—third prompt.

If Biden’s decision stands, our daunting task must realize that our democracy hangs by a thread and that every vote for Biden will count.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?”, “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”, “Can Our U.S. Survive 8 Plus Billion of Us” and “Economic Growth: A Cancer on all Earthly Life”.

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