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As president, there can be no bad days

By Staff | Jul 5, 2024

To the editor:

The recent debate between President Biden and President Trump was written off as Biden having a bad day. He was “over prepped” and tired. By having two presidential candidates in their late 70s to 80s one has to realize that both are too old to have the endurance to work past bad days.

While Trump appears to have more stamina and thus an advantage, time is not on his side. Time is definitely not on Joe Biden’s side and another four years will be catastrophic to our country.

Let’s review some bad presidential days in history. A sickly Roosevelt had some bad days at Yalta. A poorly negotiated end to World War II led to borders in Europe not being resolved and the start of the Cold War. That bad day led to 44 years of economic and proxy wars. Eisenhower relying on two out-of-touch statesmen named John Foster and Allen Dulles led us into the Korean War and the Vietnam conflict. Those wars killed thousands of U.S. citizens between 1953 and 1975. That was 22 years of entanglement. John F. Kennedy had some good days, 13 in fact, when he was awake and able to negotiate an agreement that kept us out of a nuclear conflict with Soviet Russia and Cuba. His bad day was authorizing the Bay of Pigs invasion which led to the crisis. Work of the Dulles brothers again. Was Barack Obama having a bad day when there was an attack on the consulate in Benghazi? Was it bad advice or poor decision making skills that stopped rescue forces? What was Joe Biden’s condition on the day the U.S. started an evacuation from Afghanistan where several U.S. citizens were killed and 9,000 left to be rescued by private volunteers?

The point is, not being able to physically and mentally be able to handle the job of president should be more of a consideration than all the headline issues we hear of nightly. It is the job of the president to select cabinet members and advisors that can research and advise so the president can make good choices in a short amount of time. The president has to be of mind to hear these choices and navigate what is best for the country not in the short term but looking at long-term consequences as well. The president needs to have the presence of mind and physical endurance to debate and override the cabinet members, advisors, interest groups and lobbyists and steer a long term path for the country. Feel-good decisions that get votes today but cause problems long term are not only a disservice to our country but dangerous. Carving out interest groups through identity politics in order to pander for votes undermines the security of our country. Selecting our cabinet members based not on qualification but to satisfy minority identity groups does not represent the best interests of the U.S.

Perhaps there was a bad day when the open border policy was created. Or perhaps the cabinet members echoed biased policy pushed by a political party agenda when advising the president in order to gain votes. For three and a half years Biden stood in front of the nation and stated he did not have the authority to change the policy. On June 4, 2024 Biden finally determined he did have the authority. Confusion? Bad days? Bad advice? Inability to deal with a crisis? Eight million illegal aliens entered our country.

Our country is at a point where its voters cannot go to vote for a president based on one issue because it personally resonates with their particular passion. We need energy, endurance and leadership that will steer all policy to the best interests of the majority population. As a citizen and voter in the U.S. one might have to suck it up and forget abortion rights in order to elect a president that will not get us in a war and kill us all. Climate change agenda might have to take a back seat to preventing a nuclear war. Gay rights might have to be forgotten when selecting a President that will appoint generals and military advisors based on ability to protect our country and advise on sound military policy not on how they care to present or identify themselves. State department employees might have to be selected on good international policy skills and background not just because they check an identity box.

Each individual voter is not so insulated that the impact of poor presidential choices will not be felt.

In 1963 Khrushchev, premier of the Soviet Union said to the U.S., “We will bury you.” Don’t think they have stopped trying. If we elect a “bad day” president, we will bury ourselves.

J. Caplin

Cape Coral