Elections are not won on the basis of policy but on the perception of the strength of character of a given candidate, a belief that he or she possesses the leadership qualities that will signal a winner, the person who can command and enforce meaningful change. In past years these qualities included honesty, intelligence, and a form of ethics rooted in morality as may be demonstrated in the way they have conducted their lives, past performance and success in their career and consistent public statements of record.
Yesterday, as I watched the televised roll out of the Biden Harris campaign, I was struck by the vast difference in style between the Democratic candidates and their Republican opponents. Where Pence is muddled, obtuse and willfully unclear, Harris is precise, focused and logical. But as much as the event was to introduce Kamala as Biden’s VP choice it was nevertheless Biden who made the most significant and lasting impression.
To see him speak was to watch a man comfortable in his own skin, confident in his remarks, and while clearly supported by prompters, seemed to effortlessly glide through his speech as if each utterance was impromptu, flowing unconsciously from deep within. He was speaking truth from his heart, unlike Trump who rambles through his rallied speeches with disconnected anecdotes of divisive commentary and draws from a catalog of standardized insults, demonstrating a lack of meaningful substance. That’s the real Trump, but when the other Trump is required, teleprompter Trump, his delivery slows as he stumbles and stalls in trying to expel the subdued vitriol prepared for him by villain Steve Miller, stunned by what he appears to be reading for the first time, like a third-grader stumbling over a new three-syllable word, such is his skill and comprehension. To put it mildly, Trump is a glorified dullard.
In case you have been in a coma for the last three and a half years, you may have missed the ample evidence of Trump’s total lack of qualification for the office he occupies. Trump does not read the reports he is given by his advisors but rather makes decisions by watching TV, surfing the internet and consulting with the kings of Fake News, commentators like Sean Hannity, for advice rooted not in factual data but in prejudicial opinions that favor his ability to arouse an emotional response from the most intellectually vulnerable in their beliefs. Is this a model for inspiration or desperation? The answer could not be more obvious.