YARBROUGH COLUMN: A choice of Biden or Trump not much of a choice

Published 9:30 am Tuesday, May 16, 2023

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A recent poll from Associated Press and the University of Chicago’s research center NORC found that 70 percent of Americans, including 44 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of independents, do not want Donald Trump to run for president in 2024. The same poll found only 26 percent of Americans want to see Joe Biden run again in 2024, including 77 percent who say they are independents.

So, who are we likely to see as the two candidates in the 2024 presidential election? Donald Trump and Joe Biden, of course. Is this a great country or what? As for me, I am like the late baseball great Billy Martin in those old beer commercials: I feel strongly both ways. I don’t like Donald Trump and I don’t like Joe Biden. And if my mail is any indication, most of you agree with me.

When I write about politics, which is difficult for me because it requires holding my nose while doing so, reader response comes in three predictable categories. First are the left-leaning liberals who tell me I am a rightwing rant. Second are the rightwing rants who tell me I am a left-leaning liberal. The third, and by far the largest group of respondents, are smack in the middle as the above polls seem to indicate.

I had a reader recently inquire about my political leanings. I told him I was a Ronald Reagan/Johnny Isakson/Carl Sanders/Sam Nunn political partisan. He wrote back and said those were yesterday’s politicians. What about now? I referred him back to my original response.

A few columns ago, I quoted conservative New York Times columnist David French saying he sees no person, organization or institution that can bring us together as Americans. I would include Joe Biden and certainly Donald Trump in that conversation.

Joe Biden is clearly the most uninspiring president since Jimmy Carter. Like Carter, he presides over a sour economy that shows no signs of getting better and is perceived as weak by those countries that would do us harm. And I haven’t even mentioned the fiasco on the border or Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Since he and I are of the same generation, I don’t fret about Biden’s age. I fret about his mental acuity. In his State of the Union speech, he declared. “Putin may circle Kyiv with tanks, but he’ll never gain the hearts and souls of the Iranian people.” I am sure Ukrainians were heartened by that fact. Since becoming leader of the free world, Biden has twice introduced Vice President Kamala Harris as “president.” And at a White House conference, he asked where an Indiana congresswoman was seated so he could recognize her. No can do, sir. She is dead.

Claiming Republicans were trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, Biden say they had failed in 2018 because “we went to all 54 states” to defeat it. My personal favorite was when he told reporters that in his home state of Delaware, “there have not been many of the senators from Delaware. It’s a small state. As a matter of fact, there has never been one.” And we trust this guy with the nuclear codes? Can we trust him to even find the door to the Oval Office?

Donald Trump, on the other hand, is an arrogant, mean-spirited, narcissistic, misogynist bully. A man who brags publicly about grabbing a woman’s private parts because, “when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” Oh, really?

As for his zealots who continue to decry a stolen election, I would ask them if Trump was so all-fired popular, why was the 2020 election even that close? I don’t recall Ronald Reagan disputing either of his two elections in defeating Jimmy Carter (489 electoral votes to 49) and later Walter Mondale (525 electoral votes to 13.) Incidentally, in his 1984 reelection, Reagan won Georgia with 60 percent of the vote. With margins like that, there was no need to create fake electors.

I am sure all of this will get me the usual three categories of responses: Liberals irate at my taking potshots at a befuddled old man, Trump Harrumphs with their tiresome defense of the indefensible and then those of you who despair of either one being president again, as the above polls indicate. The bad news is that they may be our only choice in 2024 – a guy who thinks we have 54 states and one who is as divisive as he is smug. God help us. Please.