Mon, May

What’s With the Worrying Over Biden’s Memory?


ACCORDING TO LIZ - Remember we live in an age of computers and the internet to remember the vast quantities of information with which we are faced every day. And Biden has a plethora of highly qualified advisors to keep him on track. 

Ten years after my mother’s death, I couldn’t tell you the day she died, just that it was shortly before my sister’s birthday. Even now I couldn’t remember the year until I looked it up online. I was off by a year. 

When I’m under pressure, there’s a whole range of activities that instantly become more difficult. Or revert to earlier behavior patterns. Most of us suffer human inconsistencies. 

Remember – if you can – that Biden is the president who overcame severe stuttering, an impediment that aggravates expression of thoughts and, in the moment, creates frustration that builds bigger barriers to clarity.

In the moment.  

Biden is not a man to make decisions in the moment. He is known for reflecting long and hard on the ramifications of his actions on the national and international stages. 

Do we really want a President to make decisions based on his memory? 

Which seems the approach of the alternate-facts camp. 

The one whose front man would take the United States out of NATO, who would only select yes-men as advisors... no matter how over-the-edge he gets. 

Some memories are more selective than others. And does recall, right or wrong, guarantee good judgment?

With all the bits and bytes flooding our brains in this information age, it’s not just accuracy of immediate recall, it’s the bigger picture understanding, and Biden’s grasp of situations remain clear. 

The real problem is this administration’s constant capitulation to special interests – to pro-Netanyahu standard bearers with deep pockets, to automakers wanting relaxation of emissions regulations intended to encourage Americans to switch to electric cars, to Big Oil and Big Ag, to the woke activists and the book burners. 

Why can’t Biden have the balls of a Bernie or FDR? 

Or even of Bill Clinton? After the Monica Lewinsky brouhaha, Clinton’s approval rating rebounded to 73%... because he got things done for the people. 

Trump never reached 50% although he never dropped to W’s low of 25%. Now in the low 40s, Biden had better be worried. 

But Biden’s problems have less to do with his personal memory lapses and far more to do with the fickle memories of the American people who forget what the current administration has done for them, both economically and in rolling back the worst of the excesses from the Trump regime. 

Much more remains to be done, some of which has been stymied by the packing of the Courts by the Republican right wing, more by the power of the plutocrats whose funds have bought out key votes. 

And by the endless repetition of twisted truths by Trump-pandering talking heads on talk radio, social media, and Fox TV. 

If told they are wrong, people tend to dig in; so the only way forward is to invite Americans all along the spectrum to stop and think. Woke academics as well as those they deride as redneck Trumpaholics. 

Stop and think. Appeal to their innate goodness. Ask them to walk for a while in the other person’s shoes. Engage with reason not emotion. Self-education from looking within at their personal core values. As Thomas Jefferson said: “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” 

It’s a risk, but a worthy one. Better than inundating the electorate with lies and counter-lies. Better than entrenching high-pressure propaganda and agitprop in our elections, demoting them to the pre-designated races of a Russia or Iran. 

The Biden administration, especially with its appalling support for Netanyahu and the genocide in Gaza, leaves a lot to be desired. However flawed, it is still a democratic institution. 

Something that would be quickly eroded if Donald Trump were to regain the White House. He wouldn’t rely on advisors, qualified or not, and he would not accept a government that worked for the people. 

Only one for the insular spoiled brat he has always been. 

That’s what should really be worrying Americans.

(Liz Amsden is a contributor to CityWatch and an activist from Northeast Los Angeles with opinions on much of what goes on in our lives. She has written extensively on the City's budget and services as well as her many other interests and passions.  In her real life she works on budgets for film and television where fiction can rarely be as strange as the truth of living in today's world.)