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Debate debate

I watched the so-called debate, but I turned off the talking heads who were “scoring” it. I prefer to think for myself instead of having highly paid media stars tell me what and how to think or respond.

Here’s what I think about the “debate.”

1. Democrats reacted like Democrats. They’re wringing their hands in abject defeat and despair, crying, The sky has fallen! The ship of state has sunk! Biden lost the campaign! We’re doomed! The nation is doomed! Joe Biden can’t handle things anymore! He looked and sounded like a doddering old man! He has to step down now!

2. Yes, President Biden disappointed last night. I have no way of proving my theory about his demeanor last night, but it seemed to me President Biden decided to follow the outline of his notes, speaking too fast, as if he felt he had to get to all the points he wanted to make. It was a mistake. It was not Joe Biden. Joe Biden, when he speaks from his heart and his gut, is forceful, believable, strong. He needed to give Mr. Trump a figurative punch in the mouth, to talk to us, the ordinary folks.

Was it the end of the world? No. Was it the end of President Biden as a candidate? Of course not. Does it mean President Biden is unfit to be president of these United States? Oh please. President Biden had a bad night. A bad 90 minutes.

To put this in some perspective, a week ago Willie Mays died. Willie Mays is acclaimed by most baseball fans and experts as one of the greatest players in baseball history. And yet, in a game on June 7, 1967, Willie Mays struck out four times. Every time he came to bat. Willie Mays had a bad day. Did that bad day define him as a ballplayer? As a man? No, and No.

President Biden had a bad 90 minutes. Does that define him as a president? As a man? Did his stumble last night take away his integrity, his honesty, his commitment to the people of this nation and to the world? No, of course not.

And yet, if you listen to the attacks being leveled at him, you would think President Biden had violated his oath to the constitution by inciting an armed insurrection against the rule of law for which he was indicted. (Oh, wait. that was Donald J. Trump in 2020).

And this is my point: President Biden is not and never will be, Mr. Trump.

President Biden may sometimes stutter and reach for a word, but on July 5, 2019 then president Trump said during a political rally that the Continental Army “took over the airports from the British” in the American Revolution.

President Biden honors the men and women of our military, and supports their courage and commitment, their sacrifice. He is not Mr. Trump, who said John McCain was a loser because he was a prisoner of war during the Viet Nam war.

President Biden may not walk or talk as fast as he did fifty years ago, but he does not lie every time he speaks. Mr. Trump does, because Mr. Trump is a pathological liar.

President Biden fights for the rights of women to make decisions about their own health, to be able to get medical care when their pregnancy becomes life threatening. Mr. Trump was convicted of raping E. Jean Carroll, (July 19,2023), and brags that he was the one behind the Supreme Court’s decision to ban Roe v. Wade.

President Biden lives by the rule of law, even refusing to use his position to pardon his own son. Mr. Trump declares that if he is elected, he will end the independence of the U.S. Department of Justice and place it

under his control as president.

Oh, by the way: after Willie Mays struck out four times in that June 7, 1967 game, did Herman Franks, the manager of the Giants, bench Willie Mays for the rest of the season and bring in someone else to play centerfield?

I think citizens of voting age, particularly those who are registered Democrats, need to put this in the rearview mirror, and get to work. Knock on doors, write letters, support not just President Biden, but all candidates, regardless of party, that you believe will work for a government of, by and for the people.

Finally, you may consider heeding the advice of someone who suffered through a disastrous debate that he began by saying “Good Morning” instead of “Good Evening,” couldn’t remember words or ideas, and was elected to the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania by a large margin. Senator John Fetterman’s advice to his fellow Democrats? “ Chill the #@#x out, Democrats!”

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