I sat there with no joy. None. Like some 60% of the nation, I was going to tune in to the presidential debate with curiosity as my companion. I was interested to see if Mr. Trump would be able to control himself or if he was going to allow himself to be goaded into name calling, yelling, and all of the other distasteful behavior of their first debate (the second one was much better in that regard). 

For Mr. Biden, I was curious to see if he was able to debate, his obvious cognitive decline on display for a while. Those who deny that implication are simply wishing it not to be true despite what their eyes and ears tell them. While the former was able to reign in his baser instincts, being about as measured as I’ve ever seen him, the latter was a shell of a man. Whether one agrees or disagrees with his policies (or Mr. Trump’s for that matter), is neither here nor there. What the nation and the world saw the other night was a live political execution, and something which should not be seen by either the public or the world.

Let me explain.

There is no such thing as a perfect presidency, no such thing as perfect policy, especially in the era wherein partisanship trumps (no pun intended) all, no matter what the conditions or circumstances. “Vote Blue no Matter Who or Vote Red until I’m Dead” are foolish mantras that should be jettisoned as soon as they’re uttered, either one revealing the person uttering such a statement so locked in to their faction they’ve lost the ability to rationally examine the current to correct the future. Nations crumble under such blindness as history proves time and again.


What we saw the other night was the emasculation of a man on the world stage, and it wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t right, and it should never have happened. I would go so far as to say Mr. Biden’s handlers, and most especially his wife, should be ashamed of themselves.

This transcends politics and speaks to an individual’s dignity. Despite those who might have problems with Mr. Biden historically or with his policies, no one deserves to be eviscerated on world wide television as was Mr. Biden. No one deserves to have their dignity stripped from them, standing there as the emperor with no clothes. 

No one.

I understand the political overtones, the political necessity for some to retain power, and the lure the power of the presidency has for those that surround the office of President of the United States. I also understand the addictive quality of power, so addictive assassination, cold blooded murder and palace intrigue have plagued the human existence since the Sumerian period of not before. Power and influence are drugs for which few have a cure. There have been some in history, Marcus Aurelius to name one, and maybe even Joseph II of Austria who have, to some degree, resisted the contagion of hubris and all consuming control that accompanies raw power, but those people are few and far between, the exception rather than the rule.

A leopard cannot change its spots just as those in power cannot easily forego it’s allure.

However, until recently, the American presidential tradition has been two fold: First, former presidents do not get involved in current presidential business. As General MacArther once said of a good soldier, “They simply fade away.” This has been true since President Washington, and largely true today, the exception being Mr. Obama who is the most visible former president in history. Second, should a president become infirm, they’re generally hidden from the public so as not to embarrass him as well as to protect the nation from the predators that roam the earth, those eager enemies abroad who lie in wait for any sign of weakness by leadership. 

We may not like the latter comparison, but it does not make it less true. 

In the first place, the example was Jimmy Carter, generally seen as one of the least effective presidents in American history. Not only did he fade away, his reputation has gone through something of a rehabilitation in the process. He is now, in his final years (maybe months), looked at a little more kindly, something he was not afforded in the immediate aftermath of his tenure. The same can be said of most former presidents like Harry Truman who is now considered one of our best, when at the time of his tenure, he left office with one of the worst approval ratings ever, only now to be seen as one of our finest.

This opportunity was not afforded Mr. Biden. He will forever be remembered for the performance on that stage the other night, a performance which will not only overshadow the rest of his presidency, but his entire presidency, no matter what the partisan pundits push as their narrative. As Orwell once said, “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” 

Too late. We saw it, and we won’t soon forget it.

In the second case, not only did the world see our president as hapless, but essentially hopeless. All the television pundits who crowed about how “sharp and effervescent” he is in policy meetings lied…and lied again. He is none of those things and that was on full display. Does anyone think our adversaries didn’t take notice? Furthermore, does anyone think he is actually in control of the White House?

When Woodrow Wilson was on his deathbed, his wife Edith Bolling Galt Wilson was essentially the woman running the show. She guarded Mr. Wilson’s dignity while he lay dying, and doing the duty of the chief executive in his absence. It is not a stretch to consider her the first female president. 

The same cannot be said for Jill Biden who, after the debate, shunted her husband in front of a crowd and complimented him as a child reciting the alphabet for the first time correctly saying to him publicly, “You answered every question” while the president stood there, unmoving, a small smile crossing his face.

I cannot imagine anything more emasculating and embarrassing for a President of the United States.

I am hurt for him. I am sad for him. And I am angered that those in charge of his care are committing what to me is little more than elder abuse in the pursuit of raw power. This is not how anyone, politics aside, should be treated in their final years, and certainly not how the President of the United States should be seen or remembered. They all should be ashamed of themselves; all of his excuse makers over the last year, all of the news media who protected and lied about his condition because of partisanship, and most of all, his closest friends and advisors…namely, his wife. 

For a party that espouses compassion and love at every opportunity, there seemed to be precious little of either for the man who carries their banner and that of this nation. He was pushed out on that stage in no condition physically or mentally, with little empathy or compassion shown by those surrounding him, all in the name of power and control.

No matter what one thinks, he is the President of the United States, and deserved better.

Shame on them all.