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Young people, Biden, Harris, and Trump

Great news, Israel-hating protesting college students! Iran’s ayatollah Khamenei says you’re on “the right side of history.” That’s just about the clearest sign imaginable that you’re on the wrong side of history. But here at home, it’s hard to dispel the widespread disillusionment among America’s young people, with their sense that the U.S. is led by “bad people.” Trump, the Bidens, Harris — they’ve all repeatedly chosen to put their egos ahead of their responsibilities to the country.

The vibe has shifted; you can tell that Democrats doubt the happy talk coming out of the Biden campaign and now fear Donald Trump is on a trajectory to win.

Politico: “Dems in full-blown ‘freakout’ over Biden”

NPR: “Biden’s problems with younger voters are glaring, poll finds”

The New Yorker: “Is the Biden Campaign Running on False Hope?”

NBC News: “How the Biden campaign is tackling its Black and Latino voter problem”

Ezra Klein, over at the New York Times: “Seven Theories for Why Biden Is Losing (and What He Should Do About It)”

A headline over at Semafor summarized how young people feel about American politics: “A dying empire led by bad people.” I don’t share the first half of that perspective, but I get where they’re coming from on the second. If you are inclined to believe that the 2024 presidential campaign is a showcase of bad people, you have no shortage of supporting evidence.

Do I need to spend a lot of time laying out the character of Donald Trump? I think the trial up in New York is a bad idea, stretching the application of the law beyond any precedent or reasonable standard. If you ask the typical Democrat to list the 100 worst things Trump has ever said or done, few will mention that Trump falsified business records in attempting to hide the fact that he was paying off Stormy Daniels. The fact that the case relies so heavily on the testimony of Michael Cohen, a notoriously shameless liar, makes me think it’s a spectacularly weak case. But juries can surprise you.

Nonetheless, this is all about hiding Trump’s tryst with a porn star while Melania was raising four-month-old Barron. Trump is a boor, a creep, a pathological liar, a rage-aholic, a guy who watched television while an angry mob that he ginned up chanted “Hang Mike Pence.” His mind has all the stability of a Jenga Tower made of Jello in the back of a pickup truck with a blown suspension, driving over the San Andreas Fault.

But the country is in its current mess because the guy who everyone thought would serve one term has decided to run for a second term, when he’ll turn 82 after Election Day. The United States of America is not going to have an 86-year-old president. It just isn’t. As Dan Ackroyd used to say in his impression of Bob Dole, “You know it. I know it. And the American people know it.”

Mister President, you know what your life is like. You know that you can’t remember things as well as you used to, and we witness it almost every day. It’s one thing when you’re telling your usual malarkey tall tales of being a truck driver. When you say you were just talking to the late Helmut Kohl and Francois Mitterrand, most of us know you meant Olaf Scholz and Emmanuel Macron.

But your inability to remember things correctly becomes more cringe-inducing when you claim you were arrested trying to visit Nelson Mandela or protesting for civil rights. (Hey, remember when Brian Williams’s made-up stories had some actual consequences?) If the audio of your testimony to Robert Hur made you sound good, you wouldn’t be making a nonsense claim of executive privilege to keep it under wraps.

We’ve seen you wandering off on television sets and United Nations event stages and the White House lawn.

Your health, mental clarity, and memory aren’t going to get any better over the next four years. We live in a dangerous world, with Vladimir Putin on the march, Xi Jinping eyeing Taiwan, North Koreans handling nukes, and Iran developing nukes and sponsoring terrorism. Throw in ruthless drug cartels and gangs, A.I. and quantum computing, and hypersonic missiles — the next four years are not going to be smooth sailing. We need a president who is at the top of his game.

Joe Biden shouldn’t be running for reelection, but he is. He’s putting his own personal ambition and ego ahead of the best interests of the country.

Yesterday, Jill Biden appeared on The View and said that in the upcoming debate, “You’re gonna see how smart he [President Biden] is and the experience he has. And then you’ll see somebody who, like you’re saying — I’m going to use Joy [Behar]’s words — ‘can’t put a sentence together.’”

The First Lady knows we can see her husband, right?

If Jill Biden told her husband that she didn’t think he should run for another term, it is extremely likely that Joe Biden would not run for another term.

And then there’s Kamala Harris.

Madam vice president, it is now abundantly clear you’re not going to grow into the job. It’s been three and a half years. You have an approval rating of 38.4 percent.

Even The Daily Show, which usually uses kid gloves on Democrats, mocked Harris by interviewing the fictional character of “Dahlia Rose Hibiscus,” the vice president’s “Holistic Thought Advisor.” “I lead the vice president on not so much sentences as idea voyages. It’s a process I call, ‘speaking without thinking.’ It’s not about the destination of the thought, it’s about the journey, and how many words you use to describe the journey.”

We know that not even many Democrats have any faith in you; otherwise, they would be clamoring for you to be the nominee instead of Biden. Not everyone is meant to be president. You are not up to the job, and you’re the primary obstacle to the Democrats replacing the doddering geriatric. The honorable thing to do would be to find some other role to play in American life. But we know you would never make that choice.

We have so many people who have responsibilities to something much bigger than their own ambitions — the country. And they ignore those responsibilities because of their egos. The presidency is not just a prize to be won, but a serious, heavy responsibility — one that ages most of the occupants of the Oval Office.

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