Joe Biden Was Right All Along

The First Words from Joe Biden as a Candidate Are at the Heart of This Election

Take Note
Political campaigns are full of forgettable phrases. They also can contain words for the ages. As it turns out, Joe Biden uttered two of the latter when he declared his candidacy. They proved to be the defining issues of this campaign and what we will be as a nation going forward.

History rarely puts that large a stamp on a few words, but it did this time. If Biden wins, it will be
largely because most Americans came to agree with him.
What Did He Say?
Biden had, of course, been thinking about running for some time. He had run before and has had the fever for quite a while. Still, there were a lot of reasons not to run. Then came Charlottesville. We watched people marching with torches in the street chanting “Jews will not replace us.”
We watched them wave Confederate and Nazi banners. We saw them run over a peaceful protestor. And we heard the president say there were fine people on both sides.
For Joe Biden, that did it. He said he was running for two reasons. One was that this was a battle for the soul of the nation. Should we become the nation reflected in Donald Trump, America as an aspiration would be dead. Second, he said that character counts. How simple and powerful a statement of fact.
Those two statements transcend all the talk about policies and priorities. What are we, what do we aspire to be as a nation? And what do we expect from those who lead us.
Are we most motivated by what America is/was or by what we think it can be? Do we want leaders who bring out the best in us or those who scratch our most base instincts?
Last Week We Ran Out of Time to Avoid the Truth
That Biden is right on these two foundational elements has been apparent for some time to most of us. But last week’s events brought it home beyond any ability to pretend otherwise. The Atlantic article about his disdain, disrespect, and lack of empathy for those who serve riveted the nation.
Equally important, more stories came out in the wake of the Atlantic. Many stories, many sources, different times and places, all confirme the ugly truth. Trump has no concept of service and sacrifice and thinks that those who do are losers.
You cannot generate that many stories along the same lines and not believe this is the truth. As we all read the still unveiling stories, we (even Trump supporters) know it’s true. This is who Donald Trump is. He is unworthy. The sooner we are rid of him, the better.
As Joe Biden said, this is about our soul as a nation and the character of those who choose as leaders. Both issues filled our consciousness last week and demanded our reply. Who are we? Whom will we follow?
The majority of the country has known the answer to these questions for some time. Now the remaining Trump supporters have to ask themselves if this is who they are. Is this is the man that represents their values?

At this point I can only muster pity and sadness for those who persist in following this hollow shell of a human being
. Your own life must be two dimensional if this is your standard bearer.
About the Military
I spent much of my adult life as a proud member of the US Army and I still follow the military community as best I can.
As a culture, the military tends to be more conservative than the country at large. It is an institution built to operate in chaos, to find order and discipline in dangerous times. That naturally gravitates toward a more conservative view.
But I was always confident that the troops would figure out Trump in due course, and so they have. Early on, Trump’s comments about “my generals” and disparagement of respected leaders disturbed many. We don’t do that sort of thing in America, and they are no one’s personal generals.
Political interference in military justice (rewarding war criminals while punishing those who stood up for their troops) was the pivot moment for many. The use of troops in Washington to help disrupt peaceful protestors was the last straw for many of the rest.
Every member of the military takes an oath to the constitution and they take that damn seriously. Trump began forcing people to choose between him and the constitution. That is a losing hand, Donnie.
People in uniform began remembering the call to a young widow from the botched special operations mission Trump ordered in 2017. His message to her was that her husband knew what he signed up for, so there we are.
His dismissal of brain trauma, of Russian threats and increasing close calls between units. His description of those suffering from PTSD as weak. The desire for a “North Korea kind of parade” in Washington. On and on it goes.
The Pattern is So Very Clear
Consider his insistence that he knows more about military matters than the generals. His appointments of political hacks and corporate types to key defense posts. The many posts simply left vacant or filled with “acting” officials). His insistence on installing a retired Brigadier General whose temperance and statements made him unacceptable. Unaccepable even to Republican senators (and that is a LOW bar).
Just because he thought he could, one more last week. He tried to shut down Stars & Stripes, an independent newspaper that comes from inside the US military.
If you disagree with Trump, you get isolated, then fired, then denigrated. Great way to ensure you get unvarnished truth and competent advice, isn’t it? No organization with that kind of leadership thrives or even survives for long.
Trump’s views and misuses of the military are a window into his makeup. It explains much of what passes for his approach to leadership. Groups like VoteVet got it a long time ago and have been doing excellent messaging to make a change. ( Here is a good example of their work:
Those who serve and supporting civilians have decided enough is enough. Trump has lost their vote. That slippage will accelerate over the remaining weeks of this campaign.
We cannot say we were not warned.
Character counts. The soul of our nation has called us out.

     Bill Clontz

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3 replies to Joe Biden Was Right All Along

  1. Bill – Thank you for your service and for your words. Last week was shocking and this morning even more shock as he continues to denigrate our military. Again thanks for what you do. Peace Tom Eshelman

  2. Bill, thanks for this. Your outrage is like a defibrillator to a nation that’s lost its own pulse. I hope we find it soon.

    Plus I love the range of signature photos you have been closing with! Well done.

    • Glad you found the article useful. If you are enjoying the signature photos, just wait until this Friday!

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