August 7, 2020
As you may have guessed from the dashes in the above title, I was going to write the name ‘Godot’ but decided that the book/play, by Samuel Becket, was written so long ago (the early 1950’s) that most of my younger blog readers wouldn’t understand the irony in comparing it to waiting for ole Joe Biden to make and announce his decision as to his Vice Presidential candidate pick. Let’s hope that Joe isn’t as ‘existential’ as Becket or we will never know who he would pick or if the 2020 Presidential election ever happens.
Believe it or not, one of the real pleasures of writing my blog series is the amount of ‘research’ I enjoy doing in trying to keep my facts straight, or the names I quote spelled correctly, or the dates I reference, reasonably accurate. Just as an example, after writing the first line in the paragraph above, I spent most of yesterday (Monday) afternoon re-reading parts of Becket’s book Waiting for Godot and reading, or listening to, several scholarly critiques (or interpretations) of its’ meaning in terms of Becket’s picture of ‘Existentialism’—a very, very, dark view of the human existence. So, I now think of Trump as ‘Pozzo’, the man with the whip, and our electorate as ‘Lucky’ with the noose around his neck, ‘Vladimir’ as the New York Times and ‘Estragon’ the ‘feel-good’ pseudo-psychiatrists in Parade Magazine discussing the meaning of life. Give me a few more days and I will figure out who ‘Boy’ represents. Maybe, Mitch McConnell—because he always promises that something will happen, but ‘something’ never happens (if he can prevent it) ?
OK, I don’t really believe that Joe Biden ‘fits’ within the concept of ‘Existentialism’—other than the fact that he seems to believe that by doing and saying almost nothing, he maintains the image that ‘reticence‘ is better than the chaos of the Donald J. Trump administration. If anything, Joe seems to me to have come straight out of the old ‘Harry Truman’ mold—a post-Depression, Tom Prendergast’s Kansas City political machine, pre WWII era, VP selection— who had little, if any, political ambitions of his own, and who, they believed, would stay out of the political spotlight focused on FDR. Harry Truman was the essence of smoky, back-room, 1940’s saloon politics, where the political bosses picked the candidates and told them what to think and say. The fact that Harry Truman didn’t follow that ‘form’ once he became President is another story for another time. However, Harry Truman seems to me to be very much like the ‘Joe Biden’ of today. That is: a political ‘persona’ developed by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) ‘machine’! I doubt if Harry ever thought that he would be the President. And, remember, Joe didn’t want to ‘run’ for President. He was pulled out of the ‘old pol’ storage closet, almost, it seemed to me, against his will, by the DNC to be a centrist candidate and prevent the Sanders-Warren-AOC left-wing bunch from taking over the Democrat party.
Just by saying little or nothing of any significance, Joe became the ‘safe’, old-time, Democrat party choice to run against the chaotic Trump administration and prevent its’ ‘left flank’ from taking over the party. If Biden is elected President, it will be very interesting to see how, or if, his term in office compares to Truman’s. The really significant comparison would be Biden to FDR, because the economic conditions in 2021 may be very much like those in 1933 (Note: the year I was born!), but that’s a really big comparison stretch! Assuming the Covid 19 pandemic is under control by early 2021, all Joe needs is to have another World War to start while he is President and he would be facing the same challenges that FDR faced almost a century ago. Let’s not forget the fact that Joe will be seventy-eight years old when, and if, he goes into office. That’s fifteen years older than FDR was when he died in 1945! Maybe the real question isn’t ‘if’ he wanted to run, but ‘why’ would he even consider doing so? Letting himself be put on the same sacrificial altar by the same folks that gave us Hillary Clinton as the 2016 Democrat candidate, would indicate to anyone practicing political psychiatry, that Joe has either an excess of ego or a serious death-wish.
I’m afraid that Joe Biden hasn’t read enough history or psychiatry books to understand either his 2020 election opponent or today’s electorate. Simply put, we have a mentally sick President, a very sick country, and a very, sick and terribly lazy, electorate. Given Trump’s ability and dedication to screw-up the 2020 Presidential election in his favor, Joe Biden should be going to work on election security, polling place availability, and voting-by-mail promotion, instead of hiding in his basement.
We have a President who is not only willing to try every evil, dirty, trick in the book to further his reelection possibilities, but also takes great pleasure in doing so. His entire election strategy is based on reducing the voting opportunity of the lower classes, the ‘others’ who are the unwitting targets of his hatred, because he knows they will not vote for him. He will use the Covid 19 virus to make polling place voting as inaccessible and as difficult as possible. He is even trying to destroy the United States Postal Service before the election to prevent the timely transport of mailed-in absentee ballots. And, so far, the Republican Party’s control of the Senate, plus the complicity of the Supreme Court, seems willing to help him do anything he wants to do. Can Donald J. Trump destroy American democracy? Can Joe Biden stop him? This is a job for—SUPERMAN! Look! Up in the sky, it’s a bird? No, it’s a plane! No, it’s —JOE BIDEN! I think we are ‘fucked’!
We’ll soon see. The very old Chinese double-edged-sword wish applies here; ‘May you live in interesting times!’ We are in—very interesting times, but also in very, very dangerous times!
I thought it necessary to explain all of the above to Hubris. His only comment was, “Lou, do you have enough alfalfa hay in the barn to get me through this coming winter?” I replied, “Hubris, I’m sure I do.” “OK”, said Hubris, “Let’s go for a ride and try to forget all of this political shit!” As usual, whatever Hubris says, always makes very good ‘horse sense’. So, we saddled up, and with a hearty Hi, Ho Hubris, Aawaay!, we were off onto the ditch banks along the Rio Grande for our evening ride. Screw the possible monsoon season evening problems, we have bigger issues to deal with!
Adios friends, and stay safe!
Until next week—-,
Word count 1,126 Copyright, August 7, 2020, Louis J. Christen