The temptation may be great, but we're at the point where we should stop poking fun at former Vice President Joe Biden. That goes for conservatives who oppose his politics, Trumpists who invite his candidacy, and liberals who crave someone with electability.
Yes, I understand that when people are running for places in the public trust – and that would certainly include the presidency – that they invite upon themselves the toughest scrutiny.
Yes, I understand that if the shoe was on the other foot, Biden supporters would undoubtedly unload in unmerciful ways on the perceived mental deficiencies of their opponents.
Yes, I understand that regardless of what I say, people are going to do it.
But my concerns with mocking Biden are two-fold. First, it's exceptionally cruel to make fun of him if, in fact, the man is dealing with the natural effects of aging. Biden is 77 years old, and given the reality that the stresses associated with high public office (like he held for 8 years) age a person more rapidly than normal, it's distinctly possible his mind and body are slipping badly.
Secondly, Biden's inexplicable discussion of loving children bouncing on his lap, his uncomfortable talk about kids rubbing his leg hair and making it stand on end, and his perhaps racially offensive rambling:
And before that, these garbled, incoherent moments:
None of this is remotely funny. There's absolutely nothing humorous about someone like this being elevated and pushed towards the presidency.
Republicans, laughing at this, making a joke about it, teasing Democrats over their would-be nominee's unintelligibility makes what should be a very serious issue into a partisan one. That isn't helpful.
Democrats, you have spent the last three years echoing the same refrain about President Trump being unfit for office. How you handle the Biden situation will demonstrate whether that refrain was sincere or politics as usual.
Any objective mind knows there's no way this man needs to be sitting in the Oval Office. We all ought to take very seriously the mental fitness of whoever we put in the White House.
There's no shame in being 77 years old and needing to slow down and step out of the public eye. There is shame in pushing a 77-year-old into the public eye and preventing him from slowing down because of your selfish worship of politics. The fact that if Joe Biden was nominated, 60 million+ people would vote for him simply because "Orange Man Bad" demonstrates everything that's wrong with our political system.
It's why George Washington presciently warned about the dangers of political parties in his Farewell Address. It's why I refuse to make this Biden situation into some kind of joke. It's not. It's deadly serious for our country. And it would sure make me feel a lot better if we could all agree on that.
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