“The Joe Biden Most Americans Don’t Get To See”

Opinion by Michael McFaul

[Note from Annie: I think the article below, which appeared in The Washington Post on October 24, provides a helpful addition to the public’s understanding of Joe Biden from the perspective of someone who worked closely with him–in this case, on foreign policy.

This aspect of a President’s responsibilities has understandably not received much attention in the midst of our internal crises. In fact, despite its importance, foreign policy often doesn’t attract much interest from the public.

But it is likely to become more evident as hoped-for President Biden begins the necessary task of reshaping America’s role in foreign affairs following Trump’s decimating our leadership reputation and the long-held sense that the US has been—for the most part—a force for good and stability in a dangerous world.

Biden is definitely not a warmonger: he has said his vote leading up to the Iraq War was a mistake, and he opposed the surge that increased our presence in Afghanistan. He sees our troops as individual human beings, and I have confidence he would not send them into harm’s way unless he believed–after receiving the best advice–that US security hung in the balance. Importantly, he knows the vital role our allies play, and he would never cozy up to dictators.

McFaul, whose writings I’ve highlighted previously, served as US Ambassador to Russia during the Obama administration. He is now a professor at Stanford University.]


“I have already cast my vote in the 2020 election, and I don’t mind telling you I voted for Joe Biden — in part because of his positions on issues and in part based on my assessment of President Trump’s performance over the past nearly four years.

But a third factor influenced my vote as well — Biden’s conduct and character that I witnessed personally while working at the White House with him during the first years of the Obama administration. When you work behind the scenes with a political figure, you see what’s real and what’s for show. Most voters have never seen how Biden governs. I have.

We were late leaving Tbilisi, Georgia, in July 2009, but the country’s then-president, Mikheil Saakashvili, asked then-Vice President Biden to squeeze in one last informal meeting with refugee children from South Ossetia who had fled their homes as a result of Russia’s invasion of Georgia in August 2008.

Saakashvili knew Biden. He understood that such an encounter would translate our abstract, geopolitical negotiations into a more emotional appreciation of the horrors of war. He was right. On the plane ride out of Georgia, Biden gave a passionate indictment of Russia to an American reporter, offending Moscow at the moment when Russian and American diplomats were negotiating a major arms control deal. Biden believes that morality must play a role in U.S. foreign policy, even when inconvenient.

But that doesn’t mean he can be manipulated. He’s too well-prepared for that. On a trip to Moscow in March 2011, I was part of the team that helped Biden get ready for his long meetings with then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Biden’s work ethic was something to behold. He doesn’t wing it.

Putin is intimidating. I’d met him before with other U.S. officials. In his meeting with Putin, Biden was polite but forceful and principled, seeking agreement on a limited agenda, but never friendship. Moments after leaving Putin’s office, Biden met with Russian human rights leaders, which annoyed some in the Kremlin and some in our own government. And that was just fine with Biden. Biden’s strategy of engagement with autocrats, as well as their critics, is exactly right.

On the flight back home from our trip, Biden didn’t retire to his private cabin, but joined us staff in the back of the plane — not just for a few minutes, but for several hours. The more we talked, the more energized he became, covering everything from missile defense to the Violence Against Women Act.

At some point during the flight, his national security advisor, Antony Blinken, fell asleep in his seat, right across from Biden. When he woke up, I asked Tony how he could fall asleep in front of the vice president. Tony replied that if he didn’t, he’d never sleep on these trips, since Biden always had more energy and more interest in engaging with his colleagues than anyone else on the plane. Biden loves being part of the team.

Yet he also has an ability to work with people beyond his inner circle to get things done. In December 2010, I was there when Biden presided over the Senate’s ratification of the New START Treaty, reducing by 30 percent the number of deployed nuclear weapons allowed in Russian and American arsenals. President Barack Obama assigned Biden the job of corralling the required 67 votes. He secured 71. When the cameras were off, I saw the depth of the friendships Biden had developed with Republican senators, which he drew upon to enhance the security of all Americans.

In January 2012, on my last day working at the White House before deploying to Moscow as the new U.S. ambassador to Russia, I was sitting in the West Wing reception area, waiting with my family to say goodbye to Obama, when a Biden aide walked by and asked why my family happened to be there. After learning why, this aide came back several minutes later and ushered our family into Biden’s office.

Someone important had to wait for a while longer as the vice president rearranged his schedule to express his gratitude to my wife and two sons for agreeing to take on this assignment to represent our country in Russia. Biden focused in particular on my sons’ sacrifice, knowing well the burdens public service puts on families. Biden didn’t have to do this meeting; he wasn’t campaigning or doing anyone a favor. But both of my sons will be voting for Biden as well.”

Continue reading ““The Joe Biden Most Americans Don’t Get To See””

This Huge Issue Is Also On The Ballot…

Image courtesy of pikrepo.com

There are tons of issues on the ballot when we cast our votes for either Donald Trump or Joe Biden. One of them has vast ramifications in our society. It’s complex, and I can’t do justice to it here. This isn’t a new issue, but I think it’s just beginning to get the attention it deserves.

It’s how we define masculinity in America. Specifically, it’s what’s called “toxic masculinity” or “hyper-masculinity.” (It has nothing to do with gender: it can be found among some gay men as well as heterosexual men.)

Donald Trump is its personification. He’s demonstrated it repeatedly: it involves being cruel, devoid of compassion, ridiculing and even bragging about assaulting women, doing whatever you need to do to get what you want—rules, norms, or impact on people be damned—even advocating violence.

It leads to attacks on those he views as most vulnerable and adoration of so-called “strong men” such as Putin and Kim Jong-un.

Shaped by this view, Trump has no sense of the unforgivable obscenity of his administration’s “policy” of trying to deter immigrants from coming to the US by ripping babies from their mothers and casting them into cages.

Asked during Thursday night’s debate about the fact that more than 500 of these children will probably never see their parents again, his response was: “They’re well-taken care of.”

It also includes a stubborn refusal to acknowledge mistakes, take responsibility for them, or to learn from them. In terms of COVID-19 alone, these trumpian traits are killing Americans by the tens of thousands.

A Different Form of Masculinity

Joe Biden demonstrates a different masculinity. I heard Charlie Sykes, a never-trumper who used to have a conservative talk show in Wisconsin and is now editor-in-chief for The Bulwark, contrasting Biden with Trump. 

“Empathy is manly,” he said. “Being a loving father is manly. Being willing to admit when you’re wrong is manly—integrity, responsibility, being willing to apologize are manly…In the Trump world, demonstrating a relationship with your son is a sign of vulnerability.”

Biden has shown how well he fits the latter description. When he turned to the audience during the second (and fortunately last) debate to reassure Americans in the throes of a still-raging pandemic that he knew they were hurting and would work to bring the pandemic under control, Trump chided him for his “political” trick of talking to the audience—“being a politician.” 

Trump is incapable of doing what Biden had just done; he couldn’t even assess the sincerity that motivated it because he can’t feel it.

Voters can. In good measure, this distinction shows up in the gender gap that has put Biden ahead of Trump among women by between 14% and 23% in the four most recent national polls—and between 11% and 19% in six battleground state polls. 

But Trump is leading Biden among men in the battleground states, and he even appears to be running ahead of where he ran last time among Black and Latino men.

Knowing of his hateful rhetoric and actions in inciting violence against Black and Brown people and immigrants, I found it hard to understand this phenomenon until it was explained as Trump’s “machismo” appeal and the belief in his purported glittery success, which has been shown to be illusory. 

However, the Biden campaign is cognizant of this fact, which President Obama touched on in his powerful exhortation to young Black men to make sure they vote. 

It’s also why The Lincoln Project, the never-trumpers—present and former Republicans who find Trump appalling and want to ensure his defeat—is running this brief video:

I do want to note one matter that occurred during the debate that I think makes the case for Biden’s form of masculinity quite well. Trump, sensing Biden’s vulnerability about his sole surviving son, Hunter, attacked father and son repeatedly, and somewhat incoherently, about a wild scheme that Trump and his gang had thought would at last smear Biden’s reputation and be the “October surprise” that brings Biden down. 

It was a charge that once again, a la Hillary, resorted to hacked emails, purportedly but not definitely from the computer of Hunter Biden. They dated from the period between when Joe was Vice President and before he declared his candidacy. 

I will spare you the details, which you can read elsewhere. The story fell flat because it’s been largely discredited by reputable sources, and the FBI has been investigating Russia’s role in purveying it, even adding phony passages to legitimate emails.

But Trump kept at it, and will probably continue to repeat it between now and at least Election Day. 

During the debate, Biden simply shook his head and said it wasn’t true. 

What he didn’t say was, “You want to talk about children?,” and then provide a lengthy list of alleged crimes and rampant, fairly blatant corruption involving Trump’s sons, Donald Jr and Eric, and his daughter Ivanka. 

Biden did not go there. He took the nonsense thrown at him “like a man,” and declined to stoop to Trump’s level.

The concept of toxic masculinity does, of course, have immense implications apart from the candidates—including domestic violence, right-wing militarism, and other complex issues. 

It is evident in the bizarre politicization of masks to protect against the coronavirus. Think of the armed vigilantes storming the Michigan state house, and domestic terrorists plotting to kidnap Michigan’s governor because of her actions to curb the pandemic.

“There has been a very dominant strain of men who clearly feel that wearing a mask would so expose their vulnerability that they would rather risk death from the virus,” observed Anand Giridharadas, author of “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.”

Giridharadas,  interviewed by a New York Times writer, said this perception of masculinity, which leads to abuse and assault against women, “actually doesn’t really work for most men. It traps men in images of ourselves that have failed most of us and that don’t fit our lived inner experience.”

An Effort to Change the Image

Coincidentally, I just learned that October 18-24 is “National Masculinity Week 2020,” so named by an organization called CAMPUSPEAK which holds forums and speakers designed to educated college students on the topic. 

Here’s how the organizers described the purpose:

“Thousands of years of history have defined masculinity.

“CAMPUSPEAK is launching National Masculinity Week (NMW) with the intent of changing the narrative nationally.

“The goal of National Masculinity Week is to change the national conversation to focus on what it means to be a positive male role model and challenge the unhealthy and harmful aspects of traditional manhood and the mantras that ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘men will be men…’

“National Masculinity Week is an investment in the future. NMW will create an opportunity for men to explore healthier norms of masculinity by providing a means of deconstructing traditional definitions of masculinity and exploring how they manifest in society and men’s lives. Throughout the week CAMPUSPEAK will provide resources to advance the conversation and support university communities, athletic programs, fraternal organizations and men engaging in these critical conversations.”

This announcement included the bios of a series of diverse speakers. 

I found it most encouraging that young people are being offered another way to look at manhood that could free them from self-destructive views that harm them, those around them, and our society.

And I believe that in electing Joe Biden, we will be automatically changing the conversation with an appropriate role model: a compassionate, thoughtful leader who is not at all intimidated by covering his nose and mouth with a piece of cloth to save people’s lives.


Continue reading “This Huge Issue Is Also On The Ballot…”

“BATTLE for the SOUL of the NATION”

Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden Speaks at Gettysburg

I am including this video of the speech Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden delivered at Gettysburg in its entirety because I think it gives such a good overview of the man and his values. I hope you’ll spend the full 22 minutes to watch it. (To begin, click on both the central arrow and the one in the lower left-hand corner.)

There are briefer versions online, but they don’t do justice to the breadth and passion within. It is a fine, Presidential speech that is worthy of far more attention than it’s received. A transcript is also available.

I am as eager that it be seen and heard by folks outside the US as by American voters because I know the world needs reassurance that most of us in the US have not gone crazy.

Biden represents who we are and where we want to go as a nation—in the immediate future and the years ahead.

I have been urging everyone not to panic about the possibility that Trump could win by cheating. I had planned simply to post the video of Biden’s speech.

But I think there are growing ominous signs we must be cognizant of and emphatically oppose. To change direction, the remedy remains the same: they are all on the ballot in this election.


The hatred and division Biden spoke about was writ large in the arrests of domestic terrorists determined to kidnap Michigan Governor Whitmer in a vast plot that included killing police officers to start a civil war.

Yet the current occupant in the Oval Office will not condemn white supremacy. He and his attorney general persist in claiming, against all evidence from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), that it is a left-wing conspiracy we should fear–not the emboldened armed and dangerous so-called militia groups and individuals he’s encouraged with his rhetoric.


For the first time in my lifetime, I heard a United States Senator—Republican Mike Lee of Utah—say/tweet:

“We’re not a democracy. That’s a good thing…democracy isn’t the objective; liberty, peace, and prospefity [sic] are.” 

He also wrote:

“We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that.”

Rank democracy? Fits in with the phrase tyranny of the majority” that I cited in a previous post.

Lee was harking back to the “republic vs democracy” debate of the founders, which eventually brought us the Electoral College. Although the founders were concerned about Athenian democracy in which small numbers of the public were working on policy, this argument has been misconstrued and used by Republicans through the years as an excuse to oppose the will of the majority on a host of issues. 

OK. So one Senator goes off the deep end. But how representative is his thinking of that of his colleagues, who have remained silent as Trump has smashed through one norm after another?

An article in Vox, offering historical perspective, observes:

“In the context of the 2020 election, the anti-democratic strain embodied by Lee’s rhetoric takes on particularly serious significance.

“President Trump has been clear that he believes any Biden win will be fraudulent; he has refused to commit to accepting the results of the election or even agreeing to a peaceful transition of power.

“The Republican Party as a whole has largely aided and abetted this approach, most notably by insisting on the fiction of massive voter fraud and enacting policies at the state level that make it harder for Democratic-leaning constituencies to vote.

“The idea that majority rule is intrinsically oppressive is necessarily an embrace of anti-democracy: an argument that an enlightened few, meaning Republican supporters, should be able to make decisions for the rest of us. If the election is close, and Trump makes a serious play to steal it, Lee’s ‘we’re not a democracy’ argument provides a ready-made justification for tactics that amount to a kind of legal coup.”

It’s worth noting that FBI Director Chris Wray, officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the government’s chief counterintelligence official released a video in which they all stressed the integrity and “resilience” of the election system and explained what their agencies were doing to ensure that integrity. 

Much of this was prompted by concerns about Russian intervention in favor of the President.

Without mentioning Trump, they also knocked down his claims of mail ballot fraud. Said Wray:

“No matter which method you choose, your voice is important. Rest assured that the security of the election, and safeguarding your vote, is and will continue to be one of our highest priorities.”

Chris Krebs of DHS stated that the results may be delayed beyond November 3, but not by fraud —“and that’s OK. But we’re going to need your patience until official votes are announced.” 

That is welcome news, of course, in view of the pronouncements from Trump and his Attorney General. The infamous Bill Barr seeks to play an oversized role in thwarting a fair election. 

He has bolstered Trump’s phony charges about fraud in mail-in ballots.


It’s a sad day for America that one failing candidate’s power obsessions have necessitated all this lawyering up by the Biden team as well.

There is concern that lawyers in swing states are prepared to make nit-picky charges to disenfranchise minority and other voters presumed to be casting ballots against Trump. 

Many have associated the President’s increasingly bizarre behavior with one of the medications he’s been receiving as part of his coronavirus regimen.

Thus, a statement by the chief counsel of the Republican National Committee emphasizing the vast number of legal (?) actions they anticipate has to be the most mordantly ironic statement of all:

“[legal activity] is going to be on steroids this year.”

To counter that possibility, Tom Rogers, who founded CNBC, and Timothy Wirth, a former Colorado Senator and Undersecretary of State, warned in a Newsweek Op-Ed about the lawyers who participate in such chicanery, knowing that the incidence of vote-by-mail fraud has been proven to be essentially a phony issue:

“As much as President Donald Trump has tried in many ways to subvert our system of constitutional government, it is the lawyers supporting this ‘cancel vote culture’ tactic who will lead to post-election chaos. Lawyers should not be party to these attempts…

They urge state bar associations in the swing states (which they cite as Maine, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado, Arizona, Montana, North Carolina, Georgia, and Iowa) to issue statements to attorneys that…

“2020 election-related litigation will be scrutinized, and frivolous lawsuits brought to deprive citizens of having their vote counted will not be tolerated.”

In other words, be forewarned, lawyers who are contemplating or plan to knowingly engage in Trump-Barr chicanery. Such behavior may get you disbarred.

I hope that a consideration of the shipwreck that is the Trump Administration—with so many close advisers convicted of crimes and so many others in danger of legal repercussions—will make any lawyer (or prosecutor) think thrice before risking their licenses and reputations on such a Putin-pleasing plot to destroy America.

The goal, of course, is to deprive Biden of a victory he’s earned in both the Electoral College and the popular vote and throw the election into the courts and/or Congress, where Republicans have an advantage due to various procedures (12th Amendment or Electoral Count Act of 1887).


But the prevention of these wrongful acts also remains with us. The citizenry, already voting by the millions, can be the bulwark. That’s why every single vote for Biden and Harris and the Democrats is absolutely critical. A landslide may not prevent the attempts to wreak havoc, but it will make them a helluva lot harder to gain traction.


Continue reading ““BATTLE for the SOUL of the NATION””

Expanding the Definition of “Pro-Life”

Elizabeth Neumann, former DHS official.
Image courtesy of npr.org

I noticed it first when I watched Elizabeth Neumann speak about her reasons for resigning from her position as the Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary of Threat Prevention and Security Policy.

She was tasked with following right-wing threats inside the United States, and she emphatically stated that President Trump had made her job harder. 

She called him a racist and a danger to America, excoriated him for blocking plans that could have reduced the impact of the coronavirus “because he didn’t want the economy to tank and he didn’t want a distraction from his campaign,” and said: “We are less safe today because of his leadership. We will continue to be less safe as long as he is in control.”

And she announced that she is supporting Joe Biden for President.

I was grateful for her courage and forthrightness. She offered, however, another reason that made it clear how much soul-searching she had done. She said she’s a lifelong Republican and voted for Trump in 2016 because of “the pro-life issue.”

But Trump’s cavalier attitude toward the lives of so many Americans, and his treatment of immigrants, convinced her that Trump does not have a “pro-life ethic”–that he had “absolutely failed” and was, in fact, endangering human lives. 

It was good to hear someone who declares a reverence for life moving beyond the pro-life versus pro-choice position.

Then I learned about the formation of a new group, “Pro-life Evangelicals for Biden.”

Here is their official statement.

“As pro-life evangelicals, we disagree with vice president Biden and the Democratic platform on the issue of abortion. But we believe a biblically shaped commitment to the sanctity of human life compels us to a consistent ethic of life that affirms the sanctity of human life from beginning to end.

“Knowing that the most common reason women give for abortion is the financial difficulty of another child, we appreciate a number of Democratic proposals that would significantly alleviate that financial burden: accessible health services for all citizens, affordable childcare, a minimum wage that lifts workers out of poverty.

“For these reasons, we believe that on balance, Joe Biden’s policies are more consistent with the biblically shaped ethic of life than those of Donald Trump. Therefore, even as we continue to urge different policies on abortion, we urge evangelicals to elect Joe Biden as president.”

In an Op-Ed in The Christian Post, two of the signers expanded on their position. First, they pointed out that the signatories included a 2016 Trump voter, a lifelong Republican who wouldn’t vote for either Trump or Clinton in 2016, and people who were publicly endorsing a political candidate for the first time. 

Among them are former presidents of evangelical universities, the board chair emeritus of Christianity Today, and Billy Graham’s granddaughter, Jerushah Duford.

Duford wrote an Op-Ed in August that bore the title “I’m Billy Graham’s granddaughter. Evangelical support for Donald Trump insults his legacy.” The subtitle reads: “By supporting Donald Trump, evangelical leaders are failing us and failing the Gospel. Christian women must step up where our church leaders won’t.” It’s a powerful essay.

Jerushah Duford, Billy Graham’s granddaughter.
Image courtesy of huffingtonpost.com.au

The Pro-life Evangelicals for Trump write:

“Poverty and diseases we know how to prevent kill millions every year….Poverty is a pro-life issue…Lack of health care kills people. Health care for all is a pro-life issue….Racism kills. Racism is a pro-life issue—and it is on the ballot in 2020 in an unusually significant way. Climate change already kills untold thousands and will soon kill tens of millions unless we change…Climate change is a pro-life issue.”

In each instance, the Op-Ed faults Trump’s policies, actions, and statements.

That brings us to Joe Biden, a practicing Catholic who has spoken openly about how his faith has sustained him at the most difficult points in his life. Biden states that although he personally is opposed to abortion, he believes in a woman’s right to make that decision. 

His position has evolved from opposition years ago to his present belief that the public option he proposes for the Affordable Care Act will cover abortions and contraception.

He wants to restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood. He now also opposes the Hyde Amendment, which has—to my mind—mercilessly punished poor women for years by denying them abortions through restricting federal funding.

Some say that a Catholic politician who takes such positions is hypocritical because it is necessary to do so to win support from Democrats, who are largely pro-choice. An interesting discussion takes place in The Tablet, an international Catholic weekly publication based in the UK that endorsed Biden for President.

The paper says Biden’s position that he will not impose his views on abortion on others who may disagree is “a very common position for Catholic legislators to take, but it sits very awkwardly with church teaching” and is “problematical.”

It claims that there “was not a binary choice between the pro-choice and pro-life positions” and suggests that Catholic legislators could argue that abortions could be reduced by tackling poverty and providing maternal healthcare. (That is a partial answer, but a good start.)

But its editor, Brendan Walsh, concludes:

“Mr Biden has been justifiably praised for his decency and his strength of faith…it is a sound Catholic principle never to let the best be the enemy of the good. And in the present circumstances in the United States, the election of Joe Biden would indeed be good.”

Also of interest is The Tablet’s assertion that “the Church needs to give more thought to the dilemma faced by politicians like Mr Biden, given the conflict between the Church’s absolutist moral teaching and the demands of a democratic system. Otherwise it could become impossible for Catholic politicians to seek public office.”

That statement seems to me an acknowledgment of the very basis of the argument for the continuation of Roe v Wade, which is now in serious danger of being struck down by the addition to the court of Amy Coney Barrett, an ardent—even extremist—opponent of abortion.

One bedrock of our democracy has been the separation of church and state, though we have witnessed attacks on this concept in various arenas for years.

To me, that means that in a democracy in which a strong majority favors the preservation of Roe v Wade, a Supreme Court that overturns settled law because of individual justice’s religious convictions is not demonstrating judicial behavior that serves the public interest. 

Poll after poll have indicated strong support for retaining Roe. The same is true, not incidentally, of gay marriage, voting rights, and Obamacare—all important matters that substantial majorities of Americans support and  now appear vulnerable in the Supreme Court.

Abortion is a very difficult issue. In my hope to find common ground where it seems impossible, I’ve long felt that we should focus greater energy on contraception. If we spent as much time and effort encouraging contraception and making it readily available as we do on the abortion battle, we could greatly lower the abortion rate. (Unfortunately, some of those who oppose abortion also oppose contraception—and certainly oppose government funding for it.) 

Yet for so many vital reasons—physical, emotional, economic, and deeply personal—I think it is essential that all women continue to retain control over their reproductive rights, which includes access to abortion in safe environments.

Women have always felt the urgent need to end unwanted pregnancies, and that need would not disappear if Roe were struck down. Wealthy and middle class women would find ways to get safe medical abortions regardless. 

Once again, our society would be further endangering the health and lives of poor women, forcing them to take desperate measures to do what an enlightened society would never, ever, find acceptable.

The Catholics and Evangelicals who have expressed their support for Joe Biden seem to be indirectly acknowledging this grievous imbalance in so many areas of American life.

I am most encouraged by their publicly stated redefinition of “pro-life,” which opens up new potential for coalitions that would promote equity in our society on issues extending well beyond the subject of abortion. This year alone has laid bare so many areas that cry out for remediation.

And I believe they are right that Joe Biden, a compassionate man with a strong moral core, could begin the work of moving us toward the promise of America that a majority of Americans long for.

Or am I being naive? Is this support for Biden merely a temporary effort to reconcile the vote against Trump—and the coalition that I see as so promising more likely to be situational and ephemeral? Or is it enough that these individuals and groups have joined so visibly to defeat this president, thereby helping us save our democracy?

What do you think?


Continue reading “Expanding the Definition of “Pro-Life””


Image courtesy of palazzostrozzi.org

NOTE: I composed the acrostic below before last night’s debacle. I thought about not posting it because it seems almost quaint today.

However, as I mull over Trump’s performance in the debate, I wonder whether the recent disclosures of his mounting financial problems—and the evidence many of us have long suspected that his alleged empire and fabulous wealth are in fact a house of cards—contributed to his unhinged performance.

But make no mistake about it: this “President” has given up on any thought that he could win the election.

In his frenetic attempt to hold on to power—and hold off the possibility that he could spend time in prison for any number of crimes—he will continue to attack the legitimacy of mail-in ballots and has given a green light to right-wing terrorism and violence.

That fact alone should disqualify him from being the President of the United States.

If you care about the continuation of our democracy, you must not let him discourage you from voting. That is his goal. The higher the vote for Joe Biden, the more difficult it will be for Trump to disrupt the outcome. 

Don’t be afraid, and don’t allow your disgust to immobilize you. Joe Biden is a decent man with sound, progressive ideas on how to move this country forward and try to heal us. He is an experienced uniter, and he withstood the onslaught and spoke directly to the American people—when he was able to get a moment to do so. He is very much attuned to America’s needs at this critical juncture.

We are all being tested now, and we must forcefully support the democratic processes and the precious exercise of our franchise, which we are in danger of losing if we allow this very unstable man who pretends to be our President to deter us from performing our rightful civic responsibility. Please vote—as early as you can. 



T HIS time
H e may not get away with his monumental
E vasions

T he number $750. (or zero) in taxes
R ings loudly in voters’ ears as such gross
U nfairness to the rest of us that
M ore people may think it
P rudent to replace this financially
I nept loser who turned his
A pprentice TV earnings into mountains of
N on-income-generating golf resort fiascos  

A nd now we’re closer to learning
U nder which autocrats’ thumbs our
D ebtor faux leader squirms while he
I s selling out American democracy—
T hus, his rendezvous with real justice commences.