Boomer Opinion: A Closing Argument

With tens of millions of Americans waiting for Election Day itself to cast their votes, BoomerCafe’s co-founder and executive editor Greg Dobbs makes his closing argument. With this Boomer Opinion piece, he hopes that if you’re still undecided, maybe it’ll help you decide. And that if you’ve already decided for Biden, it will buttress your belief that you’ve made the only choice this bitterly bifurcated nation can afford. And that if you’ve decided for Trump, maybe, maybe, you’ll rethink it.

If you’re part of the plurality of Americans who won’t vote until Election Day itself, this is for you.

A good friend of mine— as decent a man as I know, philanthropic and family-oriented, smart and educated, unshakably moral with middle class roots— told me the other day he’s voting for Trump, because “His economic policies are right for me.”

Well, when it comes to wanting more money in my pocket, I’m as eager for earnings as anyone else. But while I could argue until the rivers run dry about the toxic long-term impact of Trump’s economic policies— the trade wars, the deficit, the unbalanced tax cuts— let alone his environmental policies, his immigration policies, his healthcare policies, that’s not what your decision this time ought to be about.

What it ought to be about is the irreparable cost— to our standards of honesty, and decency, and morality, not to mention the cost to our security— of a second term with Trump. Wearing my own decision on my sleeve, I’ll channel Joe Biden: “Decency, science, democracy, they’re all on the ballot.” What your decision ought to be about is whether the next president strengthens these traits of our national character, or weakens them. Whether the next president leaves this nation a better place than when he came, or worse.

There is no contest. To quote San Francisco columnist Nick Hoppe, “Donald Trump is an evil, miserable human being who has no business being the leader of our country.”

Greg Dobbs

Why not? Let me count the ways.

Read reports from abroad and you’ll see, the western world that America once led no longer looks to us for leadership. Donald Trump in these four years has trashed old friends and cozied up with tyrants. His love letters with North Korea’s brutal Kim Jon-un, his baffling bromance with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Trump revealed a lot when he took Putin’s word over that of his own intelligence chiefs about Russian meddling in our elections. He revealed even more when he recently said of Turkey’s thuggish president Erdogan, “The tougher and meaner they are, the better I get along with them.”

Moreover, some of the most maniacal regimes on earth have greater nuclear capacity today than they had when Trump came to office. Case closed.

So Donald Trump hasn’t made America great again. He has only made it weaker, he has only made it worse. Less safe. Less influential. Less respected. Sometimes the laughing stock. Another four years of this already unanchored president and he will be totally unleashed.

Meantime here at home, he has unshackled the worst, not the best, of our nation. He can minimize as much as he likes his disgraceful declaration, after neo-Nazis and Klansmen rallied for white power in Charlottesville, about “very fine people on both sides”— or walk back his refusal to ask the armed and atrocious “Proud Boys” to stand down— but it doesn’t change the facts on the ground. These people now think they can take off their hoods and militarize their malfeasance. If you don’t believe it, just ask the governor of Michigan if she feels safe any more. Or ever will. This law-and-order president even had the effrontery last week to say of the plot to kidnap, try, and execute her, “Maybe it was a problem, maybe it wasn’t.”

Trump has been trying to pin all the darkness and disorder in America for the past six months on Joe Biden. But connect the dots: none of it happened on Biden’s watch. It happened on Trump’s.

And then there’s Covid, which the president pretends, at our nation’s peril, is disappearing. Even the staid, 208-year-old New England Journal of Medicine took a stand on the election last month, which it has never done before, calling Trump and his team “dangerously incompetent,” lamenting that they “recklessly squandered lives.” With twice as many Americans now dead from Covid in just nine months than the total of Americans killed in every war since WW2, the numbers speak for themselves. And as you read this, the trend lines keep moving in ever more dangerous directions.

Let this meme that’s been going around sink in: The President of the United States has done more to stop us from voting than he has done to stop us from dying.

He has made America— at least parts of America— more militant. More hateful. Less moral. Less respectful. Less secure. And during this pandemic, less likely to survive. Another four years, if he’s let loose without even a crumb of caution about reelection? Heaven help us.

Donald Trump’s mood is dark. His language is dark. His vengeance is dark. His gospel is dark. And if you think about leading by example, his example is dark. That what’s behind another meme going around, which shows a young boy on his dad’s shoulders holding a sign saying, “I’m not allowed to act like the President.”

I hope that come Inauguration Day in January, he can put that sign down.

14 Comments

  1. Thank you Greg- beautifully stated. Let’s hope your message convinces even a few undecideds. Quite frankly I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone could vote for this evil person simply because they “think” their portfolio will grow, all at the expense of those without a portfolio.

  2. Balance the scale, Greg. Report on the good things Trump has done. Lowest unemployment in decades before the virus hit, for one. There are more, you just have to look beyond the media’s propaganda. While you’re at it, report on some of Biden’s faults: plagiarism, how little he has accomplished in FORTY-SEVEN years in the swamp, his family’s greed to use his rep with his approval, his anti-crime bills. If you can’t see and report on both sides of the story, you’re just part of the left’s machine.

    1. Your description of Donald Trump is undeniable – and anyone who would do so is suspect in my mind. We face really frightening outcomes while we await the results of this election and neither side provides a clear path to good governance. On the one hand, we have seen a reasonable economic growth and prosperity and a good record of employment. As you carefully noted, we have also seen frightening foreign diplomacy forays – and others, as in the Mideast, that show some hope. On the other side, we are faced with the near certainty of more economic turmoil, foreign policy shifts with huge impact and effect on our economy.
      So, as we wait, we can contemplate whether we will again be forced to have the loathsome Mr. Trump in the White House or face the specter of Mr. Biden as a ‘sock puppet’ for a host of really, really radical politicians bent on remaking our country in their own image.
      The final question for me is not what we are to be faced with once the votes are counted, it is how we cannot seem to find better people to lead our country. Our choices continue to amaze. We most assuredly do get the leaders we deserve, much to our discredit.

    2. Your reply actually exemplifies Greg’s point. No matter the list of positives you can find for DT, they are enormously outweighed by the severity and breadth of the negatives. Our country is less safe, less healthy, less civil, less trusting, on DT’s watch. If the price of covid deaths alone, due to science denial, politicalization of public health, and abject failure of leadership…. isn’t enough to sway anyone (but regulations and my taxes went down #%$&???), then so be it. That 42% of our country is never changing their mind. So be it. It is up to the rest of us to see DT out the door.

      1. Pat, I understand the difference quite well. However, Greg made his reputation reporting the news, and people expect him to be fair. In my opinion, he owes it to his reputation to not provide one-sided articles.

  3. Denver, while you’re balancing the scales, let’s add virtual treason to the mix. As Greg notes, Donald Trump stood before the entire world at Helsinki and proclaimed that when it came to the matter of whether Russia meddled and intervened in the 2016 election he said he believed the denial of the corrupt autocratic murderous leader of an adverse foreign power (“his denial was very powerful”) over the opinion of 1,000,000 hard-working AMERICANS in the United States’ 17 Intelligence agencies whose job it is to keep America safe. This disgusting act doesn’t fit the full legal definition of treason (because there is no declared war) but it goes as far as you can otherwise to provide “aid and comfort” to an enemy at the expense of our own country. If for no other reason this makes Trump fully unfit to be a president of the United States.

    1. Perry, you can add that Helsinki statement to the list of “politically-expedient lies” that every politician has told in public but doesn’t believe for a minute in private. And everybody knows Trump lies, right?

  4. I am British by birth, an Irish citizen by choice and now living in France. My late husband was American but lived outside the US for many years. He never took part in party politics but voted in the Presidential elections for the person whom he believed in all conscience would be the best President. Some of his family vote Republican, some vote Democrat and a few keep it to themselves.

    I honestly don’t know the difference between the two parties but I can confirm one thing in your article, that Trump has made America the laughing stock., especially here in Europe where he is considered to be rude,low class, coarse and narcissistic. I prefer not to believe negative media hype about Trump but there is no denying the content of his tweets. “In my opinion, these patriots did nothing wrong, ” he said about the armed Trump supporters who surrounded and threatened the bus-load of Biden supporters. I find that really frightening that he should condone harassing voters and I am so concerned about the safety of the American people in the aftermath of the election, whichever way it goes.

    1. Hazel, one of the things I learned while stationed in Germany for seven years was that the French consider everyone else “rude, low class, and coarse”. A common joke was that, while visiting France, they didn’t like you because you didn’t speak French; and if you did speak French, your accent was horribly wrong.

      1. Denver, with respect I find that there is a great difference between being in a country because you are stationed there and actually living and working in the country alongside the local people. I did both when I lived in Sardinia, Italy for 15 years. I taught at the NATO School in Sardinia, first for the Canadian children and then for the British. They had their own PX / NAAFI store at the base, they had their own social clubs, mail service and sports activities. They ‘lived’ in the local community but primarily in apartment buildings with several other NATO families. With very few exceptions, they did not learn Italian and did not mix with the local people. The Canadians were more respected because they made an effort but the British tended to look down on the locals and had no interest in the culture of the area.

        My family avoided the ex-pat way of life like the plague and all of our close friends were Italian. Our three children were born in Sardinia and go back there as often as they can. My husband and I spoke Italian fluently and both did a lot of interpreting but I had to get used to the idea that every educated Italian believed they had the right to correct our grammar. The French and Italians , not to mention the Germans and Spanish, still study grammar from 6 to 18 and it bothers them when people, including their co-nationals get it wrong. Have you ever heard an American or English person say, “He used the past participle of the verb instead of the past tense or she should have used the subjunctive ‘If I were you instead of if I was you’?” Console yourself, that’s why they feel obliged to correct us.

  5. Early morning, the day after George W. Bush won his second term in office, a friend’s mother who lived in London called her son.

    “Jeff,” she said emphatically and in frustration, “yesterday the Iraqi War was George W. Bush’s war. Today it’s America’s.”

    The message was clear: By reelecting Bush, Americans were endorsing “W” and his administration, including what many abroad perceived to be a flawed presidency with disastrous foreign policy consequences. High on the list, Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

    Should Donald Trump be reelected we, as Americans, will own him lock, stock and barrel, and we will face even harsher scrutiny from abroad, the global repercussions still to be determined.

    1. Harsher scrutiny from abroad? Global repercussions? Larry, we have subsidized the “global abroad” community for too many decades. I could not care less what they think of us, and I spent multiple active duty assignments and years in Germany, Korea and Japan enjoying the culture and tiptoeing around local sensibilities. What we do at home is none of their beeswax, especially while many of them are getting foreign aid from us.

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