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Why I Want a Warm Human Being Back in the White House

I want a president who is able to listen, share power and empathize. A leader who values human life and dignity more than his poll numbers or dollar signs

Donald Trump. Illustration by Antonella Martino.

There are many reasons why I’m ready for “Uncle Joe” to be my president. I’m sick and tired of waking up in fear of what outrageous thing Donald Trump is doing today to undermine the constitution and the rule of law. A true leader is one who knows how to recognize ability and delegate, not one who rejects science, acts out of vanity and revenge, stokes hatred, and creates dangerous situations because he refuses to recognize his own ignorance.

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Let’s not kid ourselves, we all know that Joe Biden is past his “sell-by” date. This is of course, just my opinion; however, I think there’s no denying the gaffes, the lapses, the weak positions and responses. And yet I’m praying with all my might that he will win the Presidential election in November. What is the compelling reason that would make me—and judging by the strong numbers that he is polling–and so many others do that? Why is his lead growing?

Joe Biden. Illustration by Antonella Martino

In a word: I’m sick and tired of waking up every day to hear about the latest insane and destructive proposal or “decree” by the most malignant and incompetent president that America has ever had. In fact, Donald Trump the aspiring dictator, preempts all the people that he appoints and insists on doing their jobs—ALL their jobs.  Or as history has proved since he took office in 2017, he forces them to resign out of desperation.

Repeatedly we have heard that he knows more about science than the scientists, more about teaching than the teachers, more about the military than all the generals that he so despises. Indeed, when hurricane Dorian was about to hit the southern states, he even claimed to know more about hurricanes than the meteorologists.

Despite the fact that he was contradicted by the National Weather Service in Birmingham, Alabama and the Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, he doubled down on his claim that Dorian was going to make landfall in Alabama and showed the infamously altered map where he himself had drawn lines with a sharpie to include Alabama.

Contradicting all medical and scientific knowledge and guidance from the CDC and NIHS, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, he publicly suggested dangerous practices that some of his equally ignorant supporters went on to attempt: to take drugs whose effects were not known and to inject disinfectant directly into the body. “There is also some evidence that some Americans have tried to self-administer chloroquine formulations in the wake of Trump’s comments….And in Arizona, a man died after ingesting chloroquine phosphate to guard against the coronavirus.”

What leader in his right mind would feud with the leading expert who is providing potentially life-saving information to the public during a pandemic that seems to be impossible to bring under control? And yet Donald Trump has publicly and loudly undermined Dr. Anthony Fauci at every turn, has even refused to wear a mask (and we know that this is out of vanity because it would mess up his hair). Even at its worst, when 40 states are experiencing a resurgence approaching a peak of cases, Trump started a whisper campaign to discredit Fauci.

President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, listen as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony S. Fauci delivers remarks during a coronavirus update briefing Thursday, April 16, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

By now even some of his supporters have to admit that his response to the Covid-19 crisis has been totally botched. Indeed, the US’s response to the pandemic has been less effective than that of most Third World countries. We have a “leader” who insists that “testing makes us look bad… When you test, you create cases.” He therefore asked “his people” “to slow the testing down”.

When he was finally forced to admit that the crisis may get worse before it gets better, on July 21, it was only because his poll numbers have been plummeting. In other words: he did it out of self-interest.  And we need to add that while providing this altered picture, he continued to lie about numbers and available care status—and that he did it at least four months too late.

His feud with Dr. Anthony Fauci would be bad enough, but what’s worse is that it represents a wholesale rejection of science and research—as evidenced by the defunding of government agencies and the rollback of science-based environmental protection regulations in all areas. Promoting fossil fuels and denying climate change are just two examples. Indeed, one of the reasons that the Covid-19 response has been so dismal is precisely because in April, 2018 he started to cut back funding for the CDC and dismantled the team in charge of pandemic preparedness. 

This brings me to why I want Biden to win despite the fact that I know he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer. It’s because he knows that too!

Joe Biden is a modest man, he himself has acknowledged that he has struggled with dyslexia and stuttering and that he certainly wasn’t ever the best student in any class. That doesn’t bother me because as an educator, I know that there are ways to compensate for such shortcomings. On the other hand, I can see that Donald Trump has no natural intelligence and is also woefully uneducated. That worries me more because there is no strategy or pedagogical fix for ignorance when it is as stubborn and determined as his; and as I have been saying, that’s destructive and dangerous.

To be educated you need to recognize facts when they have been deemed to be credible and produced by those who truly are experts in their field—something that Trump has demonstrated to be unable or unwilling to do countless times. Trump’s facts are made up in his own mind, disregarding all research, evidence and even empirical evidence. To be educated you need to have a mind that is open to analysis and revision as new facts emerge; you need to trust in those who have the knowledge and above all, you need to appoint experts and get out of their way and let them do their jobs.

Only a truly ignorant person is not aware of the depth of his own ignorance—and that’s a definition of Donald Trump. The more you know, the more you realize that you need to learn the facts and delegate to the right people. Trump places himself above all the very people that he himself has appointed.

Donald Trump visits St. John's Church

Donald Trump visits St. John’s Church. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

If Biden wins, I have every expectation that he will follow the model established by almost every previous president. As a modest man who respects science and research, he will appoint the best and let them get on with their jobs. Essentially this is a version of “government by committee” of the best kind, with knowledgeable people providing facts and the President informing himself and then evaluating and respecting them.

A true leader is one who knows how to recognize ability and delegate, not one who rejects science, undermines the Constitution and the rule of law, acts out of vanity and revenge, stokes hatred, and creates dangerous situations because he refuses to recognize his own ignorance.

Of course, there are other reasons as well why I’m praying that Biden wins: I want a president who is able to empathize. A leader who values life, one who does not put children in cages, one who does not carry a Bible to a church just for a photo-op, one who has a moral compass and is not a crook, a serial adulterer or “p—y-grabber”. A president who aims to unite a nation, not foment hatred and divide it.  I don’t want to wake up every morning and fear reading headlines that tell me about the latest outrageous blathering of an ignorant and dangerous president who should never have made it to the White House. In short, I want a responsible, empathetic and moral human being to win and be my president.  I’m ready for “Uncle Joe.”


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