Low Expectations and High Offices

There were two surgeons available for my first arthroscopic knee surgery.  One was abrasive, obnoxious and in many years had a record of no post-op infections.  The other was a pleasant fellow who had several post-op infections on the record.  I try to vote in a similar fashion to that surgeon selection – I want the candidate who is most likely to provide a satisfactory outcome.

When Donald Trump was elected President, I had low expectations.  He exceeded those low expectations.  Having watched Joe Biden for most of my adult life, I again had low expectations when he was inaugurated.  I have to admit, they weren’t low enough to be accurate.  Still, Joe reached a new level about 10 days back with this statement:

“If we elect two more senators, we keep the House and Democrats, we’re going to get a lot of unfinished business we’re going to get done. Folks, look, we’ll codify Roe v. Wade. We’ll ban, we’ll ban assault weapons. We’ll protect Social Security and Medicare. We’ll pass universal pre-K. We’ll restore the Childcare Tax Credit. We’ll protect voting rights. We’ll pass election reform and make sure no one, no one, ever has the opportunity to steal an election again.”

Still, this was about the same time that he announced the Republican opposition as “semi-fascist.” 

We’re careless with the creatures we accept as leaders. 

Last week I read (and listened to) another Biden quote: “Do you realize the bullet out of an AR-15 travels 5 times as rapidly as a bullet shot out of any other gun.”

Well, Mr. President, I’ll fact check you on that one.  Back in the late seventies, I bought a 223 rifle – there was some appeal to cheap military surplus ammo.  It’s a bolt gun.  With a longer barrel, it’s 223 bullet goes a little faster than the AR-15.  The bolt action doesn’t tap into the gas to work the action – so the bullet is a little faster than one from the AR-15.  We have a lot of ignorance in the oval office.  It isn’t the first time.

We have a system that provides little choice.  Trump ran against Hillary Clinton.  I recall a friend explaining, “I’ll hold my nose and vote for Trump.”  That still strikes me as a rational decision – his primary criteria was how the 2nd amendment would be interpreted.  Another friend, a long-term republican politician, went for Hillary . . . and that, too, was a rational decision.  Can’t say I agreed with the basis, but it was not my decision, and not my basis.

Both continue to be friends.  Each made a choice for his own reasons.  I do wish my friends had had more options to pick between in 2016 and 2020.  I fear that I won’t have great choices for the top spot in 2024.  I know that the system has left me without a viable choice in 2022.

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