I just spent £2.50 in postage to bring about one of the last things I want. Specifically, the next-to-last thing I want. If the polls are right (and how should I know?), my absentee ballot will help leave Trump behind as a one-term historical aberration and install as US president an elderly Democratic lifer whose cognitive capacities remain uncertain.
Many an ambivalent Biden voter will share my concerns about victory:
Covid. Who is that masked man? Biden often flaunts his face coverings even when nowhere near another human being, while his party has embraced the mask as a badge of nobility, righteousness and partisan unity. Obliging computer modellers now posit that more than 100,000 Covid deaths ‘could’ be prevented if 95 per cent of Americans always wore masks. These dubious figures can’t possibly be substantiated. Due to ethics concerns and logistical challenges, no large controlled study on how well masks protect others from infection has ever been conducted, so the model’s inputs must have assumed the conclusions (that’s right next-door to, if you will, barefaced lying). Yet Democrats’ faith in masks is absolute. Horribly, a national mask mandate could be in the offing, perhaps in place for years. Worse, Democrats are in love with lockdowns. Still more chloroforming of the US economy would be catastrophic.
Come-hither immigration. ‘The Biden Plan for Securing Our Values as a Nation of Immigrants’ overwhelmingly stresses welcome wagon over enforcement. His ‘roadmap to citizenship’ for illegal immigrants translates as ‘amnesty’. Even Trump hasn’t significantly staunched rampant violation of American immigration laws, and historically high levels of deportation is one Obama policy that Biden is likely to dump. The handful of Democrats like me, who advocate stemming illegal immigration while encouraging more high-skilled legal immigration, long ago lost out to the de facto open-borders crowd. Time to finally learn Spanish.
Supreme Court packing. Biden has refused to rule it out. Now, I’m pro-choice. Nevertheless, court packing is the stuff of banana republics and demagogues. As we like to say now: not a good look.
Incontinent spending. According to analysts at the Wharton School, Biden’s policies would add $5.4 trillion to federal spending over ten years. Twice the size of Hillary Clinton’s, Biden’s prospective budget entails ‘the largest proposed spending increase by a presidential nominee since George McGovern’, says a Wharton economist. And the promised spree doesn’t include those inevitable stimulus packages to drag the States out of its lockdown black hole. More made-up funny money, more debt, more house-of-cards structural instability.
Higher taxes. Trump’s tax reform was hasty, messy and, for high-tax Democratic states, spiteful. But cutting the corporate rate was economically savvy. Biden will bung it right back up. As for his promise not to raise taxes on anyone earning less than $400,000? Balderdash. Whenever legislators get down to the nitty-gritty, thresholds plummet, thereby reaming the middle class — because otherwise, tax hikes just don’t raise enough revenue.
The unleashing of the hard left. Biden won the nomination as a centrist. But his new little friend Bernie is whispering in his ear, and among the Democratic party elite the wokesters are ascendant. Encroaching physical frailty readily crumbles the backbone. How effectively will Biden hold the line against the lunatics on his own side? When in the last debate he genuflected towards ‘systemic racism’, my heart fell. If Biden is inaugurated in January, Trump’s unusually sane directive that federal agencies not promote critical race theory might not last beyond Valentine’s Day.
President Harris. Given Biden’s age, the likelihood that he doesn’t complete a first term is uncomfortably high. Yet Kamala generated so little enthusiasm during her primary campaign that she had to drop out before anyone got a chance to not vote for her. I doubt I’m alone here: she has a superior, snide and scornful manner that grates. Conspicuously picked for VP to tick the right identity boxes, she’s already demonstrated eagerness to play the divisive race card, even on Biden himself. Arguably immaterial, sure — but I can’t stand the sound of her voice.
If the prospect of a Biden administration fills me with such foreboding, why did I just vote for the guy? I’ll spare you the standard foam-at-the-mouth diatribe about Trump being a threat to democracy itself and keep it short. The man’s incompetent. And Biden has upsides. His health care plan beats no health care plan. A president who has occasional verbal lapses beats a president who can’t talk at all. Biden might halt the attrition of qualified civil servants from every branch of government, while improving his country’s international standing — at least from knee-high to mid-thigh. Biden’s very dullness could restore a sense of order; rather than ‘Build back better’, his slogan might more persuasively have run ‘Make America boring again’. Cherry on top: returning Trump to a fading reality TV star would deprive the far left of their most beloved punching bag, for this ultimate emblem of evil and stupidity has proven the left’s most potent recruiting tool. Believe me, if The Donald loses, progressives will grievously miss that fat orange face.
On my absentee ballot, I did do something mischievous. Whimsically, I voted for the ‘wrong’ party for Congress, the only Republican I’ve ever voted for (although my eccentric gesture won’t matter; my New York district is fated for a Democrat). It’s just that I don’t fancy the same party completely controlling both the legislature and the White House, thus being free to do whatever they please. I prefer a constraining influence at play. Should the Democrats take the Senate, I’ll be uneasy.
But hey, I’m bound to feel glum in any event. Because my only options are getting pretty depressed and getting suicidally depressed, I’ve no champagne chilling for 3 November, even though I presently expect to ‘win’. Yeah, I do think it’s crucial to get an erratic, inflammatory, poorly informed buffoon who never reads anything out of the Oval Office. But I’ve no rosy illusions about a Biden presidency. So rather than bubbly, I’m thinking vodka neat. Cold. Make that a double.
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