My tally of pros, cons of Biden, Trump

Back in 2016, light years ago in today’s political environment, when former President Trump was less known to potential voters, I started a list of reasons to vote against him in the primary and general election. My final tally was 104 such reasons, including telltale facts that he consistently cheats at golf and never reads a book.

He, of course, went on to win the Republican primary and the Electoral College, even though he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by two million votes.

Washington County gave him a 68% margin and did so at the same level when he ran for a second term in 2020. Our county is one of the reddest in the country.

My locally published reasons to vote against him obviously had little impact. But I’ve learned in a long life that it’s important to play the long game and to persist when you have what you think is the right game plan and really believe in what you are proposing.

Hence, I’m going to assemble another list of reasons to vote for and against candidates for the presidency in 2024, but I will try to be more balanced and even-handed. I will summarize current reasons to vote against the Republican and Democratic candidates for the highest office, but also reasons to vote for them.

There are 14 months until the general election on November 5, 2024, but only four months until the first primary elections next spring. I’m not kidding myself that what I write as reasons for or against will have a major impact on the final outcomes in 2024. But every American has do his or her part in determining who leads this country. Local journalism is what I have always done.

On the tally against President Joe Biden, the first negative is quite simply that he is too old. I am of his vintage, so I am very aware that he must have lost a step or two on the physical and mental side of his capabilities. By the end of his four-year term, he will be 87 and lucky to be alive. The average lifespan for an American male is 77. The average additional years of life for a male who makes it to 82 is seven more years.

On the Trump side of the ledger, he is also too old at 78. He has only four-year advantage on Biden.

Reason Number Two to vote against Trump in 2024 is his growing torrent of unhinged tweets.

As a recent example, Trump attacked our current chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, Army General Mark Milley, for his interaction with his Chinese counterpart during the tumultuous last weeks in office of the former President Trump.

Trump posted that Milley “was actually dealing with China to give them a heads up on the thinking of the President of the United States. This was an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!” He essentially suggested execution.

General Milley was wisely trying to head off any overreaction by the Chinese.

That over-the-top attack by Trump is exactly the kind of loose cyber talk that cannot come out of the mouth of a candidate for the presidency.

Reason Number Two to vote against President Biden is his failure to give a full accounting of his business relationships with his son’s foreign ventures. He needs to spell it out.

I’ve always had a problem of the League of Women Voters’ method of assessing candidates for office. They tend to be excessively even-handed, even when the case for or against a particular candidate is lop-sided. In contrast, I will tally the pro and con reasons as they fall.

To reveal my bias in advance, I detest everything about Donald Trump. He is a train wreck of a man without any apparent virtues. His hallmark is to divide our nation, pitting us against one another.

But I will attempt to be brutally objective and factual as I list the pros and cons of each man.

Parenthetically, I remain hopeful that both men drop out of the race for president and make room for younger candidates with fresh approaches to solving the problems facing the United States. We need problem solvers, not problem makers at the helm.

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