Godspeed, President Joe Biden

It remains unclear to me whether Joe Biden was elected president or whether Trump was not. Biden, who tried and tried back when he had a bit more spring in his step to be the Democratic nominee for the presidency couldn’t get any traction. He was an uninspiring speaker, prone to gaffes, without much of a vision beyond himself sitting in the Oval Office.

This time, he was the default, not Trump and yet not the craziest of the left. To some, Joe Biden was the least offensive choice. To others, he was the last chance to return to moderate politics, to reject the extremes. Maybe he was the best choice, as the last liberal left in the Democratic Party, if only he was strong enough to fend off the most radical of his left wing that left us with Trump last time.

When Trump was inaugurated this date in 2017, many wished him ill. They wanted him to fail to prove that he was a terrible choice, a terrible person, a person for whom only horrible things should come. After all, if he had any success, it would enhance his chances of re-election, which was the worst thing that could ever happen. Ironically, I suspect that if Trump had been capable of constraining his mouth and fingers, or listening to people around him who dwarfed him in intelligence, experience and decency, he would have sailed to re-election. But then, that’s not who Trump is.

Unlike others, I wished him well.

I wish President Donald J. Trump every success in improving the lives of Americans. I don’t do this because of Trump, but because of the people whose lives will be affected by his presidency. To wish ill on this administration is to wish ill on your fellow human beings.

This nation is deeply polarized, and both sides are remarkably similar though they are too blind to see it. For better or worse, Donald Trump will be sworn in as our 45th President. Regardless of your feelings toward him, hope for the best of times. Not for his sake, but for your own and your fellow Americans.

I do the same for President Biden. I wish you every success, Mr. President. I wish you health and strength. I wish you clarity of thought and, dare I say it, the vision to return us to a peaceful, cohesive, sane nation. We need to be able to disagree again without hatred and violence.

When Trump was elected, I refused to hate him as much as my compatriots did, and lost a few friends as a result. It wasn’t because I liked him. I did not. I found him personally repugnant then, and far more so today. But I refused to allow my personal disgust toward the man dictate my views about any particular issue, as so many others couldn’t resist doing. For them, if it had anything to do with Trump, it was, by definition, hated. This, I would not do.

You can’t be the good people you want to believe you are while hating other people. You can’t be the good person you want to believe you are while wishing other people harm.

The next few months will be interesting. From what little Biden has shown us, he’s trying hard to thread the needle of being the old school liberal that he’s always been, while placating the screamers to his left and not inflaming the conservatives and the radical nationalists to his right. I don’t know that this is possible.

Four years ago, my working theory was that the nation had 20% on the fringes, both right and left, who were prepared to put every effort into pushing their agenda and ideology into the mainstream. The crazy right was the far easier of the two to dismiss, consisting of overt brutes who make no effort to hide their repulsive views.

The crazy left presented a harder problem, their lofty claims concealing the brutality and irrationality of their methods. It was hard to disagree with their worthy ends, and indeed, were these not the same goals that we liberals supported for generations? But they were unprincipled, absolute and untenable. And they want to beat society into submission for its own good.

Four years ago, with 20% on either fringe, that left a majority in the moderate middle, with disagreements about what should be done and how best to accomplish it, but with a shared belief that the point was to make the nation a better place for all. As we used to say, a rising tide lifts all boats. What wasn’t said was that the boats of the few should rise and the boats of the many, well, too bad as they enjoyed the rising tide for too long. No nation can survive when the majority of its people are neglected for the benefit of the minority.

Joe Biden has uttered the words that he will be president for all Americans, whether they supported him, voted for him, or not. He has also uttered the woke words of race and gender whenever possible. These are not compatible. He may never be able to bring the Trump nutjobs into the fold, any more than Trump could do anything acceptable to the Resistance, but Joe Biden can be the president for the majority of Americans in the middle who share a desire to do what’s best for everyone, including those who have been marginalized in the past. There’s a reason why old Joe was the Democratic nominee, and not Bernie or Liz. Not even the Democrats wanted their economic or social “reimagination” of America. We wanted America.

My expectations of Trump were so low that he not only met them, but exceeded them. My expectations of Biden are that he will do better. I wish our new president, Joe Biden, every success in doing so. Godspeed, President Biden.

21 thoughts on “Godspeed, President Joe Biden

  1. CLS

    Though I bear no love for either Trump or Biden, I stand with you this day to remind myself I must be better than those who shrieked to the sky four years ago. It is time for healing and unity in this nation, no matter what the terminally progressive demand.

    Godspeed, President BIden. May you truly be a President for all Americans. I wish you well in the performance of your duties.

    And don’t you listen to a goddamn word that bitch of a Vice President says.

  2. KeyserSoze

    I wish the Biden administration well and hope they do well for all Americans.

    Hope for the best, plan for the worst, and hope the bill is not too high.

    1. SHG Post author

      If it makes you feel any better, I fully expect Biden to be the new Trump to the grievance journalism industry, who will seize upon his moderation to condemn him as inadequately woke. Next thing you know, you’ll have Biden to defend.

      1. KeyserSoze

        Nolo contendere.

        I think the relevant term would be autophagy, like the dragon Ouroboros.

        I just hope there is no butcher’s bill

  3. Jake

    Well said. Hail to the Chief!

    As for all those otherwise reasonable, intelligent men and women who argued for Trump, I’ll say it once and, never say it again: I told you so.

  4. Hunting Guy

    Change is in the air.

    The mining industry is already moving toward a shutdown. The Rosemont Copper project, after a $25 million Environmental Impact Statement and many more millions in preparation work is going to close down because they can’t get their permits. Resolution Copper, after a billion plus dollars in development will close down before it produces an ounce of copper. The international funding sources for lithium and rare earths production in the U.S. have dried up because the Forest Service and BLM are political and follow the lead of the executive branch. Biden saying he will shut down Keystone is the canary in the coal mine.

    On a personal basis, my partner and I told our landlord that we are closing our office. We are dumping claims and mothballing projects because we know we wouldn’t get the exploration permits we need on federal land and we are not alone. Most of our compatriots are doing the same.

    So for the NIMBs out there, enjoy the price increase for your computers and hybrid/electric cars as the price for conflict minerals go up and more indigenous people are moved off their land to provide your standard of living.

    1. SHG Post author

      Presidents tend to be better on some issue than others, but mining never stood a chance. When they need rare earth metals for iPhones, perhaps they’ll reconsider, or perhaps someone will come up with a better way to mine.

      1. Hunting Guy

        The AP just announced that that the Biden administration has put in a 60 day suspension of new oil and gas leasing and drilling permits on federal land and waters.

        Given the way federal bureaucracies run, the suspension will be permanent.

        Give us a year and the U.S. will be depending on foreign oil again.

        This hits my area of interest. How long will it be before something hits yours? I’m waiting for new pronouncements from the Department of Education.

        1. SHG Post author

          We’re not in the same place. This hit your pocketbook, which cuts in a different place than my concerns, which cover a broad spectrum of doctrinal areas, but don’t come out of my pocket. I understood your complaint when you first brought this up, and I’m well aware of the tradeoffs between environment and oil, rare earth minerals, etc., which are critical to our ordinary lives, but to which the unduly passionate haven’t yet connected the dots.

          It would be great if we could have a full, open and honest discussion of the costs and benefits of policy choices, the efficacy of aspirational changes built on fantasies and wishes, but nobody wants to do that. Except us, of course.

  5. Curtis

    After the election, I was mildly optimistic because Trump lost but the Republican did well in the house and held the senate. Since then reality (Trump’s lies, Republican obeisance, the insurrection, the big tech cabal, the general hysteria and unthinking giddiness, etc.) has been pummeling my hopes. I was feeling that the US was led off a cliff by the bat shit crazies on both sides.

    Somehow your would gave me a bit of hope. Thank you.

  6. B. McLeod

    Well, I think he will be safe enough from that one guy who besieged your state capitol today in the media-forecast wave of armed protests.

    1. SHG Post author

      Was it an overreaction or did the massive presence of national guard serve to quell any notions of storming the inauguration? Beats me, but I am thrilled to see peace prevail in DC and state capitols.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    I congratulate now President Biden on his inauguration but I expect to be disappointed. I was disappointed when Biden won the nomination over far more dynamic candidates, I was disappointed in the election and I expect the Biden presidency to be as anodyne as his candidacy, at least until the palace coup. I expect an internal struggle within the Democratic Party between the radicals and conservatives and I expect continued rioting even though Trump has left the building.

  8. John Barleycorn

    The content is wide… retire, think, write…

    We might leave it worse than we found it…

    AND yes we own part of that.

  9. David Meyer-Lindenberg

    I wish President Biden the best, and am glad his predecessor’s peacefully out the door. I’d also advise President Biden to start observing yichud, so he always has someone watching his back when Kamala’s around.

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