by Peter Taussig
The best and probably only valid argument for voting to make Joe Biden president of the United States is that he is not Donald Trump. Unlike Mr. Trump, Biden’s personal behavior — except occasionally toward women — is rarely boorish, and his utterances, though often confused, incoherent, and inane, usually are not tasteless or insulting.
That, however, is insufficient as a reason to entrust the Oval Office to a befuddled character who, after feeding at the taxpayer-funded trough for more than four and a half decades, cannot claim credit for a single noteworthy accomplishment. Furthermore, his convivial appearance and a cooperatively compliant media obscure his history of plagiarism, lying, and having befriended and supported the most racist bigots that the southern states used to send to congress to defend their Jim Crow practices.
Now well past his prime, Mr. Biden has been a mediocre time-server — and one with a record of having been wrong on every significant issue he has addressed during what is presented as his “public service.”
The contrast with the president’s record of tangible achievements is striking, and his accomplishments more than offset his often obnoxious behavior.
In the domestic arena, we have enjoyed:
- His appointment of superb judges who base their constitutional decisions on that document as written and are restoring the rule of law by making legal decisions rather than political policy ones properly the sphere of elected legislative bodies;
- Further support for the rule of law by his firmly standing against and effectively countering efforts by rampaging incendiary looters to impose destructive dictatorial mob rule (with the silent acceptance or tacit approval of the administration’s political opponents);
- Actual energy independence as a result of policies that have encouraged innovation and the development of that nation’s domestic natural resources;
- An economy that boomed prior to the pandemic and promises to do so again thanks to long-overdue tax cuts and the elimination of unnecessary, unproductive, and stifling governmental regulation; and
- Along with and as part and parcel of the foregoing, an unprecedented rate of participation in the work force and full employment that has benefited everyone nationwide and especially our black and Hispanic fellow citizens.
The successes of President Trump’s foreign policy and international initiatives have been even greater:
- An impressive start toward rebuilding a military that promises to secure peace through strength sufficient to protect our national interests;
- Being the first administration in many decades that has been bringing our troops back home, instead of squandering their lives by sending them into harm’s way with no clearly defined and achievable goals in conflicts in which we have little or no national interest;
- Startling and improbable progress toward peace in the Middle East, as Arab countries finally have begun (with U.S. encouragement) to recognize and engage in normal relations with the state of Israel;
- Moving our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem as every prior administration has claimed to support and promised but failed to do and as Mr. Trump’s political adversaries opposed, wrongly predicting that the step would lead to chaos in the region;
- Clearly recognizing and acting effectively to protect U.S. interests through such things as renegotiating unfair trade agreements that sent jobs and manufacturing to other countries, cutting the flow of U.S. taxpayer dollars to foreign powers hostile to us, and freeing us from the Paris Climate Accords that would have cost the country trillions of dollars and crippled our economy;
- Quietly but firmly standing up to aggressive steps by China’s communist government and making it clear that the U.S. will continue to do so; and
- Repudiating and withdrawing from the execrable nuclear deal with which the prior administration rewarded and tried to appease the mullahs ruling Iran.
There are three further and very important reasons for supporting the reelection of President Trump despite all his blustering:
First, the possibility of an individual with Mr. Biden’s demonstrated lack of judgment and questionable mental health having any measure of control over our nuclear arsenal is too terrifying to contemplate. The most recent demonstration of his judgment was his selection of Kamala Harris to run with him as his vice presidential candidate. Given the age of each of the two viable presidential candidates, voters would be well advised also to consider whether they would prefer have Mike Pence or Ms. Harris as a potential successor to authority over the nation’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.
Second, although his opponents equate him to Hitler and claim he is tyrannical, Mr. Trump is the exact opposite. Aspiring dictators centralize control to garner power. President Trump has steadily increased the powers and responsibilities of state and local governments and those of individual citizens at the expense of those in the federal government.
Finally and most importantly, President Trump has come to grips with and begun to limit the power of the very real and dangerous deep state, the enormous entrenched federal bureaucracies permanently staffed too often by zealous individuals who feel entitled to substitute their policy preferences for those promulgated by officials we elect to temporarily run our government. We should all hope and pray that President Trump will continue and be successful in that vital endeavor.
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Peter Taussig is a retired lawyer who practiced in San Francisco for more than 50 years. Before graduating from law school, he worked as a newspaper editor and reporter and served as an officer in the U.S. Army. An Eagle Scout, he also engaged in civil rights work in the mid-South during the region’s turbulent initial school integration days in the second half of the 1950s.
Photo “Donald Trump” and “Joe Biden” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.