Regular Joe, the UnTrump

I hoped for Passionate Old Jewish Guy Bernie or Wise Sharp Teacher Liz. I would have happily settled for Electric Kamala. We got Empathetic Catholic Grandfather Joe. Regular Joe.

If we could have dreamed of a candidate whose style was the absolute opposite of President Trump’s, we might have imagined Joe Biden. He stumbles, he mumbles, mixes up his words. He wears his heart on his sleeve and probably a lot of other places. He calls his grandchildren so often, he’s kind of a pain in the ass.

I’m starting to enjoy him.

He went to Kenosha and met with members of Jacob Blake’s family. Then he met with members of the community. That took guts. How would YOU like to go to Kenosha and speak to Black people as some kind of authority figure, let alone Presidential candidate? I’d be terrified.

He said to the people in Grace Lutheran Church, “I can’t understand what it’s like to walk out the door or send my son out the door or my daughter and worry about just because they’re Black they may not come back.”

That is not eloquent. That is not even good grammar. But to say, “I CAN’T understand…”, is to acknowledge that the burden of being Black in this country surpasses the comprehension of white people. And many in the audience nodded in agreement.

“I can’t understand…” That’s a deep level of empathy. I don’t know if any of the other white Democratic candidates would have said that.

On Friday Joe spoke held a press conference about the latest scandal — the report that Trump called U.S. soldiers in World War II, who are buried in cemeteries in France, “losers” and “suckers.”

From the NY Times:

“With barely concealed fury, Mr. Biden said that his son Beau, who served in Iraq, “wasn’t a ‘sucker’,” adding “The servicemen and women my son Beau served with, particularly those who did not come home, were not ‘losers.’”

He was unsparing in denouncing Mr. Trump’s behavior. “I’ve just never been as disappointed in my whole career with a leader that I’ve worked with, president or otherwise. It is sick. it is deplorable. It is so un-American. It is so unpatriotic.”

Again, no eloquence. Just plain outrage, plain speaking. AND he used the words “un-American” and “unpatriotic” to attack the man who declared he would “Make America Great Again.” I thought that was just dandy. Usually, my guard goes up when I hear those words. They’re almost always used to question the legitimacy of anyone who challenges the status quo. I loved that Joe was throwing them back at Trump. Let his supporters chew on THAT!

Later in the press conference, again from the NY Times:

Asked about supporters of QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy theory, Mr. Biden suggested they should seek treatment.

I’ve been a big supporter of mental health,” he said. “I’d recommend the people who believe it maybe should take advantage while it still exists in the Affordable Care Act. It’s bizarre. Totally bizarre.”

That was so compassionate, so strategically brilliant, so true. Instead of fear and hatred, Joe suggested medical care.

I’m a-wishin’ and a-hopin’ and a-lookin’ forward to the possibility of a landslide for Regular Joe. He is the unTrump. I’m hoping he will trump Trump and unTrump the country with his straightforward, plain-talking ways.

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Terry Baum is an actress, director, teacher, filmmaker, political activist, and award-winning lesbian playwright. Her blog BAUMBLOG is a “Top 100 LGBTQ Blog.”