By Don C. Reed
Consider the physical, moral and political attributes.
A one -mile walk/run might reveal the physical fitness of the current leading candidates, former President Donald J. Trump and incumbent President Joe Biden.
Let the candidates show up in gym shorts at their local high school, and do four laps around a quarter-mile track, walking or running as they choose. Their physical status should be recorded. If one of the candidates collapses, for example, that would be important to know.
We should require a medical exam by a National Institutes of Health (NIH) committee, providing several expert opinions, not just a note from some hired gun physician friend of a candidate. A body fat index reading might be valuable, to see which candidate is closer to a heart attack or stroke.
Moral fitness? That will be determined in the courts of law. We do know Trump currently has 91 felony charges pending, whereas Biden has none. (1) Biden’s son Hunter may have legal problems, but we are hiring the father, not the son.
As for “Grampa Joe” himself? The Republicans are throwing what appear to be baseless impeachment charges against him, and will doubtless continue investigating every aspect of his life, hoping to find something — anything! — he might have done wrong. But as Lincoln once said in response to a similar threat: his past looks “clean as a hound’s tooth”.
As for political fitness, how will each survive and prosper (or not) in the mayhem of political combat? Here the two are more evenly matched. Trump understands the politics of cruelty.
There is a streak of meanness in us all, and Trump knows how to reach it, distracting us with endless manufactured threats. If the price of gasoline gets too high, he will talk trash about Muslims, Hispanics, African-Americans — the minority of his choice.
And Grampa Joe? His method is quieter, cooperation: working with others, getting things done. Does it work? Think about infrastructure: roads and bridges, airports and such; for how many years have we heard people talk about the crumbling infrastructure, fixing the potholes, widening the lanes? Talk, talk, talk — all just talk — but President Biden is getting it done. He did what seemed impossible, bringing Republicans and Democrats together — and now the broken bridges are being repaired — with a budget of $400 billion. (2)
And Trump? As President, he had two goals: to load the Supreme Court with judges who would overturn a woman’s right to choose, and to let the rich pay less in taxes. He succeeded with both — and our country is the worse for it. Roe v. Wade was overturned, allowing states to end protections of women’s rights which had stood for decades. He promised to lower taxes on the rich, and he did; not that it was needed; for ten of the past fifteen years the self-proclaimed billionaire paid zero federal taxes. (3)
In contrast, Mr. and Mrs. Biden paid $137,658 in federal income taxes on an income of $579,514 last year. (4)
Biden, meanwhile, used his political skills to help others: to protect and expand Obamacare in any state which will allow it: low-cost medical care for all who need it.
And Trump in a proposed second term? To what lofty goal does he now aspire?
Trump has pledged to kill Obamacare: to take away medical care from the poor and middle class — and replace it with what? (5) He does not say.
And there is the question we must shortly decide: in the great contest of Biden versus Trump — who is more fit to be the next President?
(2) https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/11/09/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-celebrates-historic-progress-in-rebuilding-america-ahead-of-two-year-anniversary-of-bipartisan-infrastructure-law/ https://fortune.com/2020/09/27/trump-paid-no-income-taxes/