Despite the obsession we're all experiencing over the coronavirus pandemic right now, there's still a presidential election going on. Donald Trump's support ticked up at first, in part because the country rallies around the prez in a crisis, but also because he seemed to be leading a fairly competent (if late to the party) response -- and he sounded hopeful. We need leaders who will tell us the truth, even though it be hard; but we need leaders to give us hope, too. As time has gone on, there hasn't been a lot of good news to announce, nor more hope to give (particularly as regards unleashing the economy), and Trump -- being Trump -- has frittered away his use of the bully pulpit on narcissistic chatter and personal grudges. If, in the end, the American people decide that Trump wasn't up to the challenge, or took their fears lightly, he is in real trouble -- or would be, if it were not for his probable opponent.
Joe Biden can be just as nasty and just as weirdly off the beam as Donald Trump. He has recently been credibly accused of sexual assault (not that his "believe all women" supporters acknowledge that), and has been seen on camera being far too handsy with women. And besides all that, he seems small, somehow. Trump is an outsized character, a P.T. Barnum type. Biden seems normal by comparison, I guess, but currently he seems not grown up, but grown old. Damaged as Trump has been by his own mouth's offshooting, where it would appear that anyone reasonably experienced and well-spoken could be a reasonable alternative, the idea that the people will turn to -- Joe Biden? -- seems still an iffy proposition. It may be a tossup, but the tie breaker, I think, still goes to the incumbent.
So, Biden would be marginally less embarrassing than Trump in the role of President. But both men are more than merely themselves. Both stand at the head of their respective parties. They bring with them all kinds of people and ideas. And here, there is a different choice to consider.
The Democrats are selling straight poison. Their fundamental argument is, "Our guy is fit to be president -- and their guy isn't." But this only masks what they want to do. It masks what Biden is currently promoting. Vote for the lesser of two evils on a comparison of candidates, personally, and you get all this other stuff; socialism, the diversity scam, contempt for the rule of law, further incompetent taking-over of health care, etc.
Trump's team -- such as it is, since he can't seem to keep good help, nor listen to its advice -- is made up of Republicans. They have come down in the world and are listening to the siren song of populism more than conservatism these days, but they remain responsible people. And behind the chaos that Trump likes to personally inhabit, there are good people doing good things. Not just the appointment of good judges, though I really, really like that. I also see some good things in economic management, in foreign policy, in maintaining the rule of law, and in not constantly pressing the envelope on expanding government power and interference with everybody else. I wouldn't give the Trump administration a very high grade, but I'd give it a passing grade. So, if you consider the candidates not as personalities, but as quarterbacks, which team constitutes the lesser evil to vote for? And for me, as long as Donald Trump isn't actually crazy or selling out the country to the Patagonians, any Republican administration -- even one presided over in the tiresome manner of DJT, is better than any Democratic administration, at least as either would be currently constituted.
I'm not enthusiastic about Trump, but I'll vote for him, to save the country from the other guys. And even now, I'll say a few kind words about him. Bumbler and carnival barker though he be, in his heart I think he's trying to do the job right. When his own gremlins aren't riling him up, he likes people -- and people sense that. He wants to do good things, and he doesn't completely get in the way of the people who work for him who make those good things possible. I wonder sometimes if we can afford the luxury of such a man at the head of our affairs -- but then I look at the other guys and say, we surely can't afford the luxury of empowering these power-mad grifters.