I like Ike. I’ve always liked Ike, even though I can barely remember part of his term in office. But I do know that during World War II, when he launched D-Day, he had a handwritten note in his pocket to be read publicly if the invasion went badly. The note ends with this: “The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”
That, ladies and gentlemen, is leadership. That is character. That is what I look for in a president. And now, with an election coming up, it’s time to think about what kind of president I want. Let’s see:
Do I want a president whose response to his administration’s failing efforts against the deadly pandemic that’s sweeping the nation was, “I don’t take responsibility at all.”?
Do I want a president who knew how bad this pandemic could get way back in January — that it could be on the scale of the 1918 Spanish flu, which killed more than 650,000 Americans — but who has consistently played it down as no big deal? (“We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” … “One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”)
Do I want a president who ignores the medical experts and instead promotes a dubious drug, hydroxychloroquine, to fight the virus, and even suggests the idea that people should inject, or even ingest, disinfectants?
Do I want a president who holds mass political rallies during a deadly pandemic, with people packed in like sardines and almost no one wearing a mask — in violation of his own administration’s guidelines and state bans on large meetings?
Do I want a president who can’t seem to speak like an adult but instead laces his remarks with cheap insults (“Sleepy Joe,” “Crooked Hillary,” “Lyin’ Ted,” “The failing New York Times”), like a 15-year-old spoiled brat?
Do I want a president who brags about sexually assaulting women? (“And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”)
Do I want a president who publicly insults a Gold Star family who lost their 27-year-old son in Iraq?
Do I want a president who goes on TV and mocks a severely disabled reporter?
Do I want a president who calls the former British prime minister “a fool” and tells the German chancellor that she is “stupid” (these are our important allies!) all while cozying up to Russian President Vladimir Putin?
Do I want a president who comes out of a one-on-one meeting with Putin, looking like a whipped dog, while Putin smirks? Do I want a president who refuses to accept the U.S. intelligence community’s unanimous conclusion that Russia heavily interfered with our 2016 election but instead accepts Putin’s denial? (What went on in that room? We still don’t know.)
Do I want a president who has surrounded himself with crooks? Steve Bannon, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, George Nader and George Papadopoulos, all members of Donald Trump’s inner circle, have all been charged with or convicted of serious crimes. These are some of “the best people” who were supposed to “drain the swamp.”
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no and no.
Joe Biden may be no prize, but at least he’s sane, competent grownup.
Reach Glenn Richter at email@example.com.