by Barry Nussbaum
Who, exactly, is a vice-president supposed to be?
The arrival of Joe Biden’s decision on a running mate is a true turning point in the history of American politics.
There has never before been a presidential candidate who, prior to entering the White House, has shown such undeniable signs of age-related neurological decay. All political disagreements disregarded, the sight of an elderly person succumbing to the demons of those dreaded cognitive ailments -- which all too often rob us of the older people we love -- is truly excruciating to behold.
The political outcome of Biden's mental state is, if possible, even more unsettling. The role of the president is meant to be powerful. All constitutional checks and balances considered, the sheer power of the chief executive, in that one single person invested with authority to counter-balance the power of the legislative and judicial branches, is truly awesome.
In our situation today, we see a man who is clearly not in full command of his mental faculties, who is allowing himself to be considered for that office of chief executive; an office which, unlike a prime minister in a parliamentary system, is intended to be stable and not prone to regular changes in leadership.
The expectation of a normal four-year presidential tenure on Biden’s part if he is elected must, at the very least, be subjected to serious doubt. If pronouncing basic words -- let alone quoting the most famous phrase of our Declaration of Independence -- is such a confusing ordeal for him, then it is our urgent duty to question whether this individual is fit to be the man who must accept the ultimate responsibility for this country’s national security and well-being.
These facts squarely cast the Democrat side of the current election as not a presidential election at all, but a vice-presidential election.
Should Biden win, the chances are very probable that his vice president will become the 47th president to finish out his first four-year term. As the vice president automatically succeeds to the Oval Office if the president dies or is rendered permanently incapacitated, the profoundly anti-democratic repercussions of this situation is worsened by whom Biden has actually chosen.
The traditional custom for presidential hopefuls is to either choose the second-highest-polling candidate in a primary race, as Ronald Reagan did with George H. W. Bush in 1980, or to choose a highly capable politician who is well-respected by most of the party, as Donald Trump did with Governor Mike Pence in 2016. In both of those cases, the aforementioned running mates reflected the Republican Party and its voters quite respectably while promoting unity.
It is highly questionable, meanwhile, whether Kamala Harris -- aside from all of the establishment media’s expected giddy cheerleading -- really represents her party all that well. She was polling at 2% nationally by the time she ended her own presidential bid on December 3, 2019. Her more radical positions, such as support for the Obama administration’s Iran deal, prosecuting a journalist who exposed Planned Parenthood’s collection and sale of aborted babies’ body parts (while receiving campaign donations from them), and defending Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitism, may indeed sit well with a great many leftists, but her actions as Attorney General of California may not. While in that position, Harris jailed hundreds on marijuana charges and authorized anti-prostitution sting operations which, according to SF Weekly, disproportionately targeted Latino men (a crucial Democrat demographic). In addition to this -- though she later admitted it was a mistake -- she prosecuted and jailed the parents of truant teens. She even refused to release the names of Catholic priests accused of sexually molesting children, abnegating law enforcement’s most basic and humane duty -- regardless of anyone’s opinion of the Catholic Church.
it is highly debatable if these are positions that a high number of progressives who voted for the Democrat primary runner-up, Bernie Sanders, would approve of. Especially today, being tough on minority and drug crime -- to the exclusion of “white patriarchal” clergy sex abuse -- is not en vogue among the Democratic Party’s truly energized base, which is largely college-educated millennials taught to have contempt for not only aggressive inner city policing, but inner city policing overall.
It also remains a question as to how many black American voters Kamala really represents. Without doubt, she completely failed to gain these voters' support during the primary. Many black Americans responded to Barack and Michelle Obama due to their image as people who empathized authentically with the black experience of living in inner city America. Harris’s flip-flopping on criminal justice issues has clearly deprived her of the Obama touch.
What should highly concern all Americans of whatever political persuasion is the fact that, given Joe Biden’s medical condition, a Democrat victory in 2020 could very likely result in a person for whom only 2% of Democrats and Democrat-leaning Independents supported to become president.
The reasons for Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris as his running mate are as yet not entirely clear. What is very clear, however, is that a new president of the United States in the near future could be a person whom a weak and faltering man chose by fiat, and not someone whom the majority of the country elected by the ballot.
That's a problem.
It's a problem for America -- and it's a serious and profound problem for American democracy.
Barry Nussbaum is an exceptional American businessman and real estate mogul, whose distinguished career extends more than 38 years. He is an experienced news commentator on international affairs, who has been featured on major television networks, web-based and in print media. Visit his site: AmericanTruthProject.org.
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