Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Letter Rip

I reply to everyone who emails about my columns. I’ve had coffee with detractors. In one case, we became friends and got together often. More commonly, fizzle happens. Email conversations end when, after being called a liar or commie, I ask for examples.

Never addressing my specifics, captious letters to the editor are similar: boilerplate, counterfactually amusing, rarely original: “The Herald is a lefty rag; Schwab is blinded by Trump hate; subscription canceled.” But a recent one posed a reasonable question: Instead of recounting the dangers of reelecting Trump, why not provide reasons to vote FOR President Biden? Fair enough. It must be said, though, that wanting reasons to vote for Joe, as opposed to not voting for Trump, is like being in a burning building and demanding, “Don’t tell me why I have to leave; tell me why it’s safer outside.”

A self-described “moderate independent,” the writer must not yet have started paying attention. I can help.

Claiming to be “independent” or “I don’t watch Fox” or “I do my own research” is usually code for closeted Trumpophilia. The writer accuses me of “extreme hostility to half the country.” She refers to Biden’s “constant lies,” providing as examples, “The border is secure,” “Inflation is under control.” “I’m the president for all Americans,” “That people are better off today than when Trump was in office. That Biden never talked to his son about his business dealings.” Her independent moderation leaves her unbothered by Trump’s lies about electoral fraud, rampant immigrant crime, what liberals want, etc.

I confess hostility toward Trump’s crude hate-mongering, and I despair that millions (not half the country, yet) are fine with it. President Biden did once say the border is secure, and that was embarrassingly wrong. If he’s repeated it “constantly,” I haven’t heard. In fact, he was a driving force behind the Senate’s bipartisan border bill which acknowledged severe problems and provided significant remedies. As Trump demanded, it died in the House; for me-first, America-last reasons.

Never as high here as in other countries, inflation is now a third of what it was. No president will be, in the minds of every single American, “for them.” But President Biden has never said Republicans hate America; nor called them anything comparable to “communists, Marxists, fascists and radical-left thugs that live like vermin within our country;” never called the press “enemy of the people.” Better off? Seen any refrigerated morgue trucks outside hospitals lately? Anyone employed now, after, as did millions, becoming unemployed under Trump? Have any investments?

Accusations abound about our president and his son. Yet, after months of made-for-Fox “investigations,” no evidence has been presented. So, as Marco Rubio once put it, let’s “dispel with this fiction” that the writer is moderate and independent. Hers are textbook Foxotrumpian talking points.

Reasons to reelect Joe Biden depend, of course, on where one stands. If you believe climate change is real, dangerous, and that the US should work to mitigate it, President Biden is your choice. Trump, obviously, isn’t. If you believe that abortion should remain legal, at least within the restrictions of Roe v. Wade, President Biden is your choice. Trump, obviously, isn’t. When it mattered to him, personally, though, he was.

If, living in Washington State, you know that mail-in ballots are convenient and fraud-free, choose President Biden. If you think poll workers should be free of intimidation; if you think equal access to voting is good for democracy, and that extended days including weekends, convenient drop-boxes, and evenly-distributed polling places promote it, choose President Biden. Trump has called for one-day, in-person voting only.

If you consider record-breaking job creation while addressing our infrastructure needs desirable, it’s President Biden’s doing. In Trump’s term, more jobs were lost than created, and “infrastructure week” became a running joke. If you think environmental poisons need regulating, President Biden agrees, and is. Pleasing his pay-pals, Trump did the opposite.

If you consider Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the ACA worth preserving, Joe Biden will. Trump won’t and has said so. If you value public education, science, and expertise, President Biden does, too. Not Trump.

If you prefer a president who’ll appoint competent, experienced people to address pressing needs of the American people, rather than sycophants who’ll facilitate a promise to use our government for punishing critics; if that troubles you, even if you think you’re marked safe; if you like democracy, vote for Joe Biden. He hasn’t promised vengeance if he wins, nor a “bloodbath” if he loses. Trump has made it clear that a “day one” dictatorship would be just the beginning

Here are additional reasons, from other writers, including actual conservatives.

Finally, and not insignificant, President Biden is empathetic and decent. Go back far as you want: Trump never has been. And if that's not enough, enter here, the burning building.

Coffee’s on me, Ms. L. I'm in the book.


  1. Buh-rilliant column. I'm going to try committing it to memory so I can use your evidence when needed.

  2. Poop. I meant to submit that comment as me.

    1. Glad you did, second time around. Nice to see you here!

    2. I'm starting to get my mojo back. I've been reading along, but haven't had much to say publicly. Gearing up!

    3. Good 'un, Sid. Alan

  3. Burning building, indeed! I hope that your letter writer is strong enough to take you up on your offer.

    1. Nice to see you here, too, D.S. If I hear from her and meet for coffee, I'll probably mention it in a future column, unlikely as it is.

  4. You could add stability of the Cabinet, competent people who follow the law, left to do their jobs and not afraid to disagree with the man at the head of the table. Has there been a cabinet resignation in the Biden administration? I don't think so.

    1. Well, I did say "If you prefer a president who’ll appoint competent, experienced people to address pressing needs of the American people, rather than sycophants..," which kinda implies the same.


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