More than 6 months ago I heard a man discussing the upcoming 2020 election for President. Walter Isaacson.
I’ve always admired Walter for his dedication and contributions to American journalism. Always careful to “tell the story” not be in the story. He made his way up the journalism food chain including a stint as Editor of Time magazine. One of the things I admire most about him is after a stint leading the Aspen Institute in Washington D.C. — he left.
But he didn’t go away. He became a Professor of History at Tulane University and remained an important voice in American politics.
That voice caught my attention. Appearing on one of the cable news channels, Walter was asked his prediction about the 2020 Presidential Campaign. He answered with 3 words, his description of what the election would be about:
“Corruption, cruelty, character”
Up to our necks in politics with more TV ads than I can handle right now, it is almost impossible to look at the two candidates without those 3 words rattling around in my head.
Corruption = Trump has led the most corrupt administration in, as Trump would say “American history.” But when you look at the gang he brought into the White House, the place must have looked like one of those machines that look like old phone booths with fans aimed up from the bottom, with dollar bills flying around all over. Just grab as much as you can before they unplug the thing.
Cruelty = Under Trump refugee families coming across the Mexico-US border were arrested. Children as young as 2 years-old were taken away from their mothers and locked up in cages with no identification. Trump’s appointees hadn’t figured on that one. Hundreds of children, many of whom couldn’t speak English and had no idea where they now ‘belonged.’ But of course that’s just one example. He cruely attacked the families of American troops killed in foreign countries and called our brave men and women “losers and “suckers.”
Character = Biden is about as opposite of Trump as anyone could be. He has an abundance of something Trump has never had and never will: empathy. He built a life without a father’s millions and millions. He took his own college admissions tests. Trump’s niece confirmed what might have become obvious: Trump paid someone to take his exams. Biden suffered an unthinkable loss in 1972 when his wife and infant daughter were killed in a car crash. Biden was left to raise his two sons while serving as a U.S. Senator.
Can you imagine Donald Trump in the same circumstances? No. Of course not.