Menu Close

Which Party Presents the Best Opportunity for African Americans?

President Trump received only eight percent of the African American vote in 2016. Since the 1930s, black voters have cast about 90 percent of their votes for Democrats. Yet the Republican party was founded on anti-slavery and racial equality. Let’s look at what has caused black America to identify as Democrats and why a shift may be on the horizon.

After the Civil War, almost all blacks considered themselves Republicans. The first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, was followed by 72 years of Republican presidents interrupted by only Cleveland and Wilson. Throughout this period, almost all people of color supported Republicans in national, state, an local elections. Even though blacks won the right to vote shortly after the Civil War with the passing of the 14th and 15th Amendments, most predominantly Democratic southern states continued to prevent black votes through poll taxes, literacy test, and other unfair practices.

It took over 50 years for the voting right of black Americans to be fully realized. During this time, it was Republican presidents and the Republicans in Congress who fought hard against the Democrat party to force all states to comply with all rights of black voters.

Seventy years of mutual loyalty between black citizens and the Republican party began to break down during the “Great Depression” of the 1930s. Democratic president Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” helped minority communities find work. This sector of society hurt worst by the failed economy was persuaded to vote 71% for Roosevelt’s reelection.

When Democratic Vice President Harry Truman finished out Roosevelt’s term after his death, he ordered the military desegregated and ended racial discrimination in federal employment. Black voters overwhelmingly supported Truman’s election to a full term. By then, 56% of African Americans were registered Democrats.

The Kennedy and Johnson years in the White House saw the signing of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act solidifying 94% of black voter support for Johnson. By 2016, only 8% of African Americans considered themselves Republicans.

So, although the Republican party was the defender of African Americans against Democratic racism for seven decades after the Civil War, the Democrats held the presidency and congressional power during significant political advances for black America over the next half-century. The Republican platform generally supported these advances but didn’t get the credit for them.

The current generation African Americans have lived with the understanding that it’s the Democrats who have their backs. But what has resulted from this affinity? After these latter years of predominant Democratic leadership, median income of black families is $39,715, compared to $65,107 for white families. Family net worth comparison is staggering. Black family net worth is $17,150 compared to white family net worth of $171,000. Because of these disparities, black Americans receive far more government entitlements and assistance than white Americans. Democrats tend to favor these supplementals more than Republicans further enamoring African Americans with the Democrats.

What we have just experienced in the rioting and other chaos from the tragic death of George Floyd is evidence aplenty of the vitriolic state of race relations in America. The pent-up outrage of the under served minority has reached the breaking point. Why wouldn’t this be a catalyst for a shift back to the roots of Republican affiliation for the nation’s black citizens?

If further evidence is needed that African Americans are taken for granted and being paid lip service from Democratic leadership, they need to look no further than Joe Biden’s gaffs that I believe reveal his heart and that of most Democratic politicians. Biden’s “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black” remark should be grounds for every black voter to reconsider supporting him and his party.

What have years of government sustenance and insincerity from the Democrats gained African Americans? The answer is status quo if not decline in economic freedom and social justice. The solution to racial equality is economic, educational, and political opportunity flowing out of a national change of heart. Advances in these areas have been primarily from the heart of Republican leadership.

With this long-standing tradition of black voters feeling more secure in the Democratic camp, it has been difficult for Republicans to convince them that they would benefit long-range and long-term by economic growth, business expansion, and a better job market. President Trump proved that in short order during his first three year in office. The economic boom he led brought record employment and higher wages as well as other increased opportunities for African Americans. After recovery from the pandemic, there is every reason to think that economic boom will continue.

The Democrats realize what this president has accomplished for black America will likely start to swing them back to the Republican party. They are desperately attempting to paint him as a racist who is only concerned about the wealthy. I am hoping that my American friends of color will discern the truth about where their advantage lies for future advancement and opportunity. Over three centuries of racial injustice will not be resolved solely by politics. But resolution will not happen without political involvement. All Republicans should be urging their African American friends to come back to the Grand Old Party of Lincoln.

Don’t Miss the Biggest Space Launch This Week Since the First Moon Landing

With everything else going on in the world, this week’s American space launch with two astronauts aboard a private commercial space ship is a huge historical event that is getting too little attention. Let’s take a moment to soak up what is really happening here.

I was in Air Force pilot training when, on July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to become the first humans to set foot on the moon. Many other breakthroughs in space have flashed across worldwide news media over the 51 years since that phenomenon–Skylab, space shuttle, Mars rover missions, etc. But astronauts Doug Hurley’s and Bob Behnken’s flight to the Skylab this Wednesday crosses a historical threshold considered science fiction until recently.

Elon Musk, a South Africa born American, became a multi-billionaire from his ingenious entrepreneurial adventures with PayPal, Tesla, and other leading edge projects.

undefined

In 2002, he founded SpaceX with the dream of becoming the first commercial transporter of people into the far reaches of space. Since the space race of the early 1960’s, all human space travel has been through the technology and funding of powerful governments, namely the US, Russia, and China. For six decades, the consensus of scientists and governments was to dismiss the idea of privately operated space travel. Meanwhile, Musk has been seriously developing a plan to travel to Mars.

With $100 million of his early fortune, the 49-year old led the SpaceX corporation in designing a family of launch vehicles and the multipurpose spacecraft, Dragon, over a span of seven years. On May 25, 2012, the unmanned Dragon docked with the Skylab in the first of 12 historic supply missions contracted by NASA after the US space shuttle retired in 2011. Space travel had become officially commercialized. However, our American astronauts shuttling to and from Skylab were still hitch-hiking on Russian spacecraft.

This Wednesday, May 27, weather permitting, NASA’s Hurley and Behnken will suit up and strap into Dragon for this unprecedented ride to Skylab. America will be back in the game with over-the-top fanfare. The two crewmen will ride from the remodeled crew quarters to the launch pad not in the typical nondescript government van but in the Elon Musk Tesla Model X electric car. Their space suits will be new one-piece Star-Wars-like fashion statements.

undefined

Expect Musk to milk the significance of this day for all it’s worth.

America owned space travel through the latter half of the 20th century. Unfortunately, we somehow lost our ambition for leadership in the realm of space. America’s astronauts thumbing rides on Russia’s space vehicles has been shameful. In keeping with the American free market spirit, this week will mark the turning point of the reclaiming of our place in space–and rightly through non-government entrepreneurial tenacity. America is back!

Where Does This Magical Stimulus Money Come From?

stimulusmoney

Americans have received over $2 trillion from “the government” with more to come. Since the government doesn’t earn money, but rather just redistributes the people’s earnings, this windfall is taken from somewhere that involves us. How are they doing it, how is it paid back, and what does in mean for you…and your children?

Following what is happening with the federal government’s unprecedented infusion of vast and unimaginable amounts of money into businesses and individuals is like the proverbial herding of cats. It is essentially impossible to understand every aspect of how this works, but the bottom line is we are borrowing from our future selves.

On March 27, 2020, Congress approved the expenditure of $2 trillion for businesses and individuals. Then on April 23, 2020, they passed an additional $484 billion for business and disaster relief. With more on the horizon, we will soon be approaching $3 trillion in government assistance to victims of the pandemic. In fact, Pelosi’s Democrats have just floated a proposal for yet another $3 trillion for states and local governments and another wave of individual payments. Of course, that amount is ludicrous, but a big chunk of it will probably fly. The entire 2020 federal budget is $4.7 trillion, so the stimulus already equates to over half of the annual budget. By the way, the $4.7 trillion budget is supported by only $3.6 trillion in tax revenues resulting in a $1.1 trillion planned budget deficit to be added to our national debt.

Let’s pause here for perspective. Just what does $3 trillion dollars look like? Well, if you stacked $3 trillion in $1.00 bills, it would be over 203,000 miles high or almost to the moon. Laid flat, the stack would circle around the equator 7 1/2 times. If you spent $1.00 per second, it would take you 96,000 years to spend $3 trillion.

So, where is this $3 trillion, and very likely much more, coming from? It’s complicated, but let’s look at it in general terms. The federal government sells government bonds, or IOU’s, to banks which in turn sell them to individual and corporate investors. Since these bonds have the government backing them, along with a reasonable interest rate, there is a decent market for them, especially in these uncertain times. The government will just sell more bonds that they will later have to pay for plus interest.

Now, the question is how does the government pay back the investor in principal and interest that they haven’t budgeted for. Some pundits say the US Treasury will simply print more money. That is not exactly true, although there is some sleight-of-hand here. The Federal Reserve–the government bank–creates digital dollar credits that are as good as cash. These digital dollars will of course ultimately be called for by the bond holders, but, by that time, the government will hope to have enough revenues from taxes and future bond sales to pay the debt. Eventually, any shortfall in revenues to pay off the bonds will be paid by increasing the money supply, or literally printing more money. Unfortunately, printing more money lowers the value of the dollar and hurts the economy.

If you follow this cycle, it becomes obvious that all this stimulus spending will someday come back to haunt us and our future generations. Some of the stimulus money is in the form of loan guarantees that will not have to be spent. But the Congressional Budget Office estimates the bond obligations alone has added over $2 trillion to our national debt which bumped it up to over $25 trillion. Most economists agree that, when any nation’s debt exceeds its GDP–the sum of all annual production or spending in the economy–it should raise all kinds of red flags. Last year’s GDP was $21.7 trillion. Some financial analysts calculate the national debt as $19 trillion, since $6 trillion of it is what the government owes itself. Either way, we must ensure that our long-term position of debt is well below GDP.

I don’t disagree that the stimulus was absolutely necessary to rescue and resuscitate our economy. Perhaps some more is needed. The idiom, drastic times call for  drastic measures, applies here. However, we must be very cautious about future stimulus packages and very conscious of the inevitable payback. I would like to see your thoughts on this.

 

The Unprecedented Melded Families of Eisenhower and Nixon: Where Are They Now?

Eisonhower and Nixon

INTRODUCTORY NOTE: Every blogger who has posted for some years has a few “sugar plum” posts that have been a big hit among his or her readers. I have a few, but one has risen far above any other. This one, from exactly three years ago, was somewhat outside my normal theme but continues to garner readers every day as they discover it in the archives. There has never been a day in three years that my stats didn’t show several views of this post. So, I thought I would re-post it in case you missed it.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

A seemingly nondescript millennial nurse in Ambler, Pennsylvania, has a distinction, shared by his two sisters, unmatched by anyone else in the history of America. He is the grandson and great-grandson of two unrelated U.S. Presidents. He and his two children are in-line descendants of not one, but two of the most powerful men in the history of the world in their day. Yet, Alex Eisenhower, 37, lives a quiet, shift-work life caring for behaviorally challenged children at a psychiatric clinic. Below is a wedding picture of Alex and his bride, Tara, and a recent picture of Alex.

Alexander and Tara Eisenhower's weddingAlexander Eisnehower now

During a visit to the Richard Nixon Presidential Library recently, I was intrigued by this president’s accomplished, but conflicted, presidency. My interest was also stirred by the bond between the Nixon family and the family of the man he served as VP, President Dwight Eisenhower. That bond was forged through an unprecedented marriage. When President Eisenhower’s grandson, David, married President Nixon’s daughter, Julie, in 1968, they started a blood line that would forever bring distinction to their descendants.

Eisenhower Family Tree (2)

As the family tree above shows, the marriage of David Eisenhower and Julie Nixon produce three children, Jennie, Alex (actually Alexander), and Melanie. Melanie just recently married. Christopher Cox is a cousin in their generation from the marriage of President Nixon’s other daughter, Tricia, to Edward Cox.  However, Alex is the only grandchild/great-grandchild of the two presidents who continues the Eisenhower name. His father, David, born in 1948, was in the Navy Reserve and is now a professor of public policy at the University of Pennsylvania. His grandfather, John, born in 1922, was a brigadier general in the Army Reserve, an author, and a political appointee. John died in 2013. Pictured below are David and Julie (left) and John and second wife, Joanne (right).

David and Julie Eisenhower nowJohn and Barbara Eisenhower

President Eisenhower’s son, John, had a successful military and political career, and I believe both David and Alex could have easily lived in the limelight as well. With even average intelligence and reasonable people skills, they could have ridden the heritage of the Eisenhower name into the flag ranks of the military or the top seats in Washington, D.C. Alex, with both presidents in his recent ancestry could have written his own ticket to fame and fortune. Instead, he cares for children whose parents likely don’t even know who he is in Pennsylvania’s Horsham Clinic that few have ever heard of. You know, there is just something really classy about that. If your heart doesn’t match the expectations of  everyone else, follow your heart.

Oh, but remember there is yet another generation. Alex and Tara have two little Eisenhowers–a daughter, Kaia, 10, and a son, Kaeden, 4. Who knows, 30 years from now America might hear the breaking news, “Congressman Kaeden Eisenhower, great-great-grandson of President Dwight Eisenhower and great-grandson of President Richard Nixon, has just announced his candidacy for President. His sister, Kaia Eisenhower, just recently became the youngest general officer in the U.S. Army.”

 

Life Lessons from Geese

geese

Many people consider wild geese as nuisances if not pests. Living in a lake environment, I have become enamored with these water fowls. They can teach us humans a lot. Here are a few interesting and edifying things about geese that put some of us to shame, especially us men.

Several times a day, a monogamous goose couple swoop into our yard and feed on the seeds dropped from our bird feeder by a variety of careless birds. The ritual is always the same. The female–usually the smaller of the two–begins instantly pecking the ground for scattered seeds almost before her wings fold. But Mr. Goose, not so fast. He immediately stretches his neck pivoting his head in every direction looking for potential predators. He continues vigilance until Mrs. Goose has had ample time to feast on the left-over seeds. Then he alternates pecking and checking every few seconds. In the goose world, consistent with most of the animal kingdom, the male naturally assumes the security and protection role. This is a lesson for all of us men, compliments of God.

Did you catch the first sentence of the paragraph above? Geese are monogamous and life-long mates. Two young-adult geese become attracted to each other, and from their first brood, they stay faithful to each other until death. If one becomes sick or injured, the other will not follow their flock in seasonal migration but will stay by the side of their mate. Like every couple should, they share responsibilities. If they migrate each season, the gander decides where they winter in the south, and the goose (female) decides where they nest in the north. When they nest, the husband-goose gathers most of the materials for the nest, and the wife-goose arranges them to her liking. The male does the heavy lifting, while the female does the nurturing. After the eggs are laid, the female sits comfortably on them while the male beds down on the ground at a distance facing the most vulnerable approach. This is a lesson for all of us men, compliments of God.

When the goslings are hatched, the daddy takes on a major role in their development. He always leads the way over land and water to a safe feeding and learning location. If one strays, it is he who goes after the wanderer and herds it back to the gaggle. The gander will not allow his family to socialize with large flocks of other geese which he considers a potential threat until his goslings are almost adults. If a stray gander gets close to his kids, the daddy gander can become vicious toward the intruder. This possessive protectionist character is a threat to any other animal, including humans. Getting between a gander and his goslings is a horrific experience. Fathers, take note. This is a lesson for all of us men, compliments of God.

God gives humans myriad learning examples in his miracles of nature. His avian creation of geese demonstrates a natural behavior expected of His ultimate creation–you and me. What else do you see in geese, particularly the ganders, that is instructive for us?

Three Cautions About Your Stimulus Money

Economic Relief for Non-Immigrant: US Visa Holders To Receive ...

The stimulus checks or electronic deposits are starting to come in. This windfall creates a question we all wish we would have more frequently: What do I spend this on? It’s a welcomed question, but it should be given serious consideration. Here are three stimulus spending guidelines I encourage you to think about.

Most importantly, avoid spending it on something frivolous or selfish that you don’t really need. Some new tech toy or extravagant piece of jewelry that you haven’t even considered before won’t be very helpful if the pandemic and economy don’t recover as soon as predicted. You may find yourself short of money later. If you don’t have a reasonable source of emergency funds, better keep your stimulus money untouched and handy for a while. If you are comfortable with your emergency fund, spend the stimulus on something you need, but just haven’t been able to afford. Paying down any credit card debt would save a lot of money, too.

There is also an ethical and patriotic aspect to the stimulus cash. By its definition, you are getting it to “stimulate” the economy. Therefore, it comes with an implied obligation to return it back to the economy. It is meant to boost the bottom lines of retailers, manufacturers, and institutions that put Americans back to work. So, using the money for investment or long-term savings violates its purpose and is simply not good citizenship. It is meant to be spent in the short term. Even spending it on something you’ve already budgeted for is actually saving it, since the budgeted money will be saved.

Finally, consider this as an opportunity for benevolent giving. We all wish at times we could help others in need but just don’t see how we can afford it. Well, now you have some money you didn’t anticipate. So, what better time to be a Good Samaritan to a person or organization that needs it more than you do? I believe we should always follow the Bible’s instruction to tithe, or give 10% of our income, to the Lord’s ministry through His church. That is a given for my family and me. But I plan to give an additional 10% of this stimulus money to someone or some group worthy and in need. I encourage you to do the same.

It would be presuming of me to tell you how to spend your money, but I am just offering some food for thought. Before you spend that check or deposit, ask yourself whether you, others, and the nation’s economy will benefit by your plan for spending it. Remember, it is not meant for your pleasure, but for you to use as a tool for the good of all Americans. What will you do with your stimulus cash?

 

Why We Should Be Thankful for COVID-19

coronavirusshopping

What kind of warped thinking would combine the word “thankful” with COVID-19? My last two blog posts have suggested the purpose and benefits of the pandemic. Now let’s look at this tragedy as something to actually be grateful for despite the pain.

If we can see through the dense fog of the sickness, death, economic blight, and paralyzing restrictions, there is resultant good in the crisis that is worthy of celebration. For those who are secure in the Lord and spiritually aware of His precepts, this pandemic can and should be perceived as an opportunity for both ministry and thanksgiving. Of course, we wouldn’t ask to be attacked like this, but, understanding it comes only by God’s permission, we should not only tolerate it but be joyful in it. God reminds us in His Word to be thankful in the worst of times.

Philippians 4:6. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

1 Peter 1:6. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials.

 1 Peter 4:12-13. Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

Psalm 30:4-5. Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Romans 5:3-5. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I will continue praying for relief from the pestilence of COVID-19 but will also continue thanking God for it. It is drawing me closer to Him and maturing me spiritually. How can we be thankful for a condition, yet want it to end? I think no further than how a woman must feel during pregnancy. What else can you think of as analogous to our present suffering?

Benefits of COVID-19

covid-19

The catastrophic COVID-19 virus that has attacked you, me, and almost 8 billion others in one way or another may be one of the best things that has ever happened to us. Whether we are literally sick from it or sick of what it is doing to disrupt our lives, it may be shocking us back into reality–a place we desperately need to be. Here are some benefits of our plight worth considering.

Most importantly, this world crisis is resetting our minds to understanding we mere human beings are not in control of anything. Health, economies, governments, and military strength cannot guarantee our safety and welfare. We have just witnessed the mightiest powers of man crumble in a matter of weeks. Surely no one can continue to believe any nation or society is invulnerable. We have been forced to shift from fantasy to reality in our world view. That is ultimately beneficial.

Our situation is leveling the social disparity among all people. Coronavirus is no respecter of persons. All classes, races, nationalities, ages, genders, and religions are equally susceptible to this invisible microbe. We now have to look at all people as impartially linked and having the same needs. That is ultimately beneficial.

The dire need of social connection is heightened at a time when the ability to connect is drastically restricted. This forces us to be creative in finding ways to communicate, fellowship, and share our lives. We are now using technology to do more for us than entertain us and maximize our productivity. We are relying on it to bring us closer together. That is ultimately beneficial.

The crisis is slowing us down. The world has become so busy and chaotic that it is sucking the life out of  us. Our speeding pace has now met a huge speed bump. We can catch our breath. We can meditate on what is really important instead of the superficial. We have more time to engage the things that matter. That is ultimately beneficial.

It may have taken this pandemic to bring families to a closer, healthier relationship. Both immediate and extended families are finding time and need to tighten the bonds that hold them together. Communications are opening up and feelings are being shared perhaps like never before. Dependence on each other is strengthening the family. That is ultimately beneficial.

As this disease is limiting us in so many ways, we are learning we can live with less. We are finding many things we thought we needed are not really necessary. The entertainment we had to have can be substituted, and the work we needed to accomplish isn’t really that important. We’re learning that much of our external work can be accomplished from home. The material things we valued so protectively have shown to often be distractions. That is ultimately beneficial.

Finally, going back to the second paragraph, we are recognizing that absolutely nothing in life is really under our control. The entire universe including our world and we as individuals are part of the master plan of God. His Word teaches us that He desires the best for us, but that only comes through total commitment to Him and obedience to His perfect ways. He loves us so much that He corrects us when we disqualify ourselves from His blessings. Since the world has paid little lasting attention to previous warnings, this unprecedented wake up call has forced us into a posture of major adjustment. That is ultimately beneficial.

I believe this crisis is a modest preview of the final judgement, but it is also providing us an example of the values He wants us to assume. It is a huge interruption in our lifestyle that beckons us to pay attention. Our response must be an awakening to reality, a return to God and His church, and a re-commitment to His precepts. If we will view COVID-19 for what it seems to be, a message from God to the world, we will react accordingly and reclaim the abundant life He promises. That will be ultimately beneficial.

Do you think there is more to this pandemic than just a coincidental renegade virus?

 

Purpose in the Pandemic

coronavirus

At some point in everyone’s life, something will be the most phenomenal happening that he or she will ever experience. For most of us, perhaps all of us, this is it. The world’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic may be our generation’s great depression. Amid all the noise and confusion, is there sense to be made of it all? Is there purpose in it?

I believe there is purpose to everything. We are often surprised–shocked–by catastrophes. But nothing happens randomly. The same God who created the universe still orchestrates everything. The Bible says, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17) He is perfect in all His ways and desires the best for us. With that perfection, He grants us an abundant life of love, happiness, and joy in addition to our basic needs. But sometimes that perfection also brings on corrective consequences when we fall woefully outside of His requirements for our best.

The world in general and America in particular have turned away from God over the last several decades. We have digressed in biblical standards of morality, in attention to the Bible, in worship, in prayer, in church involvement, and in overall obedience to the Lord.  This is cyclical throughout history as nations and societies rise and fall. In these cycles, God gives progressive warnings when His people are distancing themselves from Him. These warnings come with ample opportunities to confess our wrongs and turn back to Him. The warnings are often in disastrous natural and man-made events. I believe 911 was such a warning to America. This pandemic is a warning to the world showing His sovereignty over our lives. For America, it includes a demonstration of how little power our “idols” have: economic wealth (stock market crash), entertainment (sports and theater shutdowns), leisure (travel and dining restrictions), and freedom (separations and quarantines).

With each providential correction, God has pleaded with His people through His Word, His prophets, His preachers, and His Spirit’s influence on individuals and populations. The Bible says, “…if I send pestilence (contagious disease) among my people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)

This crisis is reportedly already bringing a spiritual awakening in the world. Italy is experiencing revival. Iran’s Christians are breaking through the Islam barrier. Look for this to take root in many other nations. What about America?

We have to deal with the reality of this pandemic. We must listen to the CDC and DHS experts and discipline our lives as instructed to protect our health. But far more important than social distancing, washing hands, and buying toilet paper is concentration on the purpose of what we are experiencing and adjusting our lives accordingly. Get into the Word more, pray more, connect with church more, and love others more. Spiritual renewal happens one person at a time. Pray that America’s spiritual response to this pandemic will be one that pleases God.

 

Who Is Joe Biden?

joebiden

It looks like Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee for president. We should know a lot about him, since he has held political office longer than two-thirds of America’s people have lived. We may think we know Joe, but let’s take a close look at who this man was and is.

Vice President Biden was born on November 20, 1942. He grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph Biden, Sr., a used car salesman, and Catherine Eugenia “Jean” Biden. In 1955, his family moved to Mayfield, Delaware, a blue-collar community where almost everyone worked for DuPont chemical company. As a teenager, he work to help pay his tuition to the prestigious Archmere Academy.  He became a standout football player described by his coach as one of the best pass receivers of his 16 year coaching career.

He studied history and political science while playing football for the University of Delaware Blue Hens. He admits he was more interested in girls and partying than academics and barely qualified for law school. The inauguration of President Kennedy inspired him enter Syracuse University Law School in 1965. The next year, he married Niellia Hunter with whom he says he fell in love at first sight. A mediocre law student, he flunked one of his first classes for not citing a reference on an assignment. He managed to graduate and pass the bar exam, then moved to Wilmington, Delaware to practice law.

He immediately became an active member of the Democratic Party and was elected in 1970 to the New Castle County Council. From there, his political life would continue unbroken to this day. In 1972, at just 29 years of age, he ran a long-shot race for the U.S. Senate to unseat a popular Republican incumbent, J. Caleb Boggs. His narrow victory made him the fifth youngest senator in the nation’s history. That year, just a week before Christmas, his wife and daughter, Naomi, were killed in a terrible car accident while Christmas shopping. His two sons, Beau and Hunter, were severely injured. Devastated to the point of considering suicide, Joe desired to withdraw from the Senate seat, but his family and friends convinced him to honor his commitment to the voters. Considering his family situation, he decided to commute to Washington from Wilmington by train. This commute continued for his 36 straight years in the senate.

Biden married his second wife, Jill Jacobs, in 1977, and they had a daughter, Ashley, born in 1981. Jill Biden has a PhD in education. In 2015, Joe Biden suffered another personal loss when his son, Beau, died at age 46 after battling brain cancer.

In 1987, Joe decided to run for president, but dropped out of the primary after reports that he plagiarized part of a speech. He had been suffering headaches during the campaign, and doctors diagnosed two life-threatening brain aneurysms requiring surgery. After seven months of recovery, he resumed his senate obligations.

Twenty years later, the senator once again ran for the presidency. However, his 35 years in the senate failed to create enough support to overcome the field dominated by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. He dropped out after receiving less than 1% of the Iowa caucuses votes. A few months later, the victorious Obama selected Biden for his running mate. His job was to help the low-experienced Obama convince the blue collar workers he could recover the sluggish economy. The duo prevailed in victory.

Vice President Biden’s main wheel house was behind-the-scenes advisor to the president in foreign affairs and financial policy. He is credited in hammering out negotiations with Russia and tax increases with the Congress. He was also a leading figure in the national gun control debate.

His climb to the top of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race has been fraught with many issues. His alleged Ukraine scandal to enrich his son, Hunter, plus Hunter’s other misdeeds are constant drags on his campaign. His age at inauguration, if elected, would be 78, eight years older than the next oldest newly elected president in our history…Donald Trump. Biden would be 82 at the end of his first term, older than 98% of all Americans. A lot of speculation is stirring about his health, particularly his mental acuity at that age. Many go so far as questioning his mental state, even suggesting he has the onset of dementia or alzheimer’s. These assessments are mostly based on his exponential increase in verbal gaffes.

Although Joe has been gaffe-prone most of his life, he seems to be stockpiling the incidents of late. Here are just a few examples from his present campaign rhetoric:

  • Calling his opponent, Julian Castro, “Cisneros”
  • “You can’t, in fact, preach to the choir if you can’t sing.”
  • “I’m going to make sure that we rejoin the Paris Peace Accord on day one.” (The Paris Peace Accord was the treaty to end the Vietnam War)
  • Saying he went to college at Delaware State (a historically black college) instead of University of Delaware
  • Claimed that over 40 students were shot at Kent State in 1970 (actually only four)
  • Confusing Iraq and Syria
  • “We have to start rewarding work, not just wealth. I would eliminate the capital gains tax.”
  • “Why in God’s name should someone who’s clipping coupons in the stock market pay a lower tax rate than someone who is a school teacher and a firefighter.”
  • Claimed his policy would put more than 720 million American women to work
  • “My health plan is not quality and will increase premiums.”
  • “Who is Boris Johnson?”
  • Told a moving story about pinning a Silver Star on an elderly Navy captain in Afghanistan. When the statement was challenged as being totally false, he said the central point of the story was correct.
  • “We choose truth over facts.”
  • “Poor kids are just as bright as white kids.”
  • Referring to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, he said he remembered when the Parkland kids came to see him in Washington when he was vice president. (The Parkland shootings were in 2018, over a year after Trump took office.)
  • “What’s not to like about Vermont?” (He was in New Hampshire.)
  • “It’s a three-letter word: jobs.”
  • Recently declared, “I’m running for U.S. Senate!”

Many political pundits say the Democrats are going to Biden because he is the moderate choice. I suppose he is moderate compared to Bernie, but, make no mistake, he has spent his career pursuing liberal policies. He is far left of center. Joe Biden has had many personal and political challenges in his life and has shown amazing resilience. The question is, do we want a life-long, very old liberal politician who has never known anything but beltway politics since law school. He is ensconced in the swamp and may have serious mental issues. America has a crucial decision to make.

 

 

 

Older Posts
%d bloggers like this: