Leonard Zwelling

I was taking on heavy artillery in my email the morning I posted “I Don’t Recognize My Country.” My conservative readers insist that Trump was good for the country and that Biden is the short route to socialism and widespread chaos. My liberal readers think I was too tough on Biden and that he represents exactly what I said I was looking for in a president. I guess I must have gotten it right if both sides think I got it wrong.

Let me explain.

First, for the righties, I am not saying that Trump did everything wrong. He did not. Much of what he did in the sphere of foreign policy was a real advance. No one can doubt his approach to the Middle East was both novel and led to progress where previous administrations were stuck. Basically ignoring the Palestinians and branding them as irrelevant to the big picture was brilliant and I suspect Joe Biden will get the Saudis to sign on to a peace accord with Israel within the first year he is in office. He can thank Trump for that. Additionally, Donald Trump’s alert on the threat that the Chinese pose on all fronts was spot on. I am less supportive of his treatment of our European allies although much of this was stylistic. He’s right about them having to pull more of their weight in the defense arena. I think he got Russia completely wrong, but they are not the real threat to the US that China is. Russia is over the hill and a true wannabe nation. Trump gave Putin too much credit and too much creditability. He deserved neither.

But, Trump was an inveterate liar, never put forth an alternative health care plan, never promoted an improvement in infrastructure, appointed some real know-nothings and do-littles, and most importantly forgot the four P’s of Washington, DC—policy, process, politics and personality in ascending order of importance. His personality was so grating, his policies got lost, which was unfortunate.

To my conservative friends, I am afraid the package inhabited by a politician does matter and Trump is an awful package. He just needed to go and now becomes the fourth elected incumbent president to lose his reelection bid in the past 100 years (Hoover, Bush 41 and Carter).

To my liberal readers who are extolling the virtues of Biden and castigating me for deeming him too old—give me a break. Just because he can skip to the podium after winning doesn’t make him spry of thought. Was he the better choice? He was. He is a good one to lead this young nation? Not so much in my opinion, but I am willing to be proven wrong.

Mr. Biden has a major challenge even if his party wins both contested seats in Georgia, which is unlikely. The Senate will still be Republican and that gives the GOP veto power on all of Biden’s appointments. I suggest the President-elect get with Mr. Mitch ASAP and discuss who the Senate can support and who it will not (e.g., Susan Rice, Stacy Abrams, Elizabeth Warren, AOC, Bernie and others as Cabinet officials). I could see some early fights that could be avoided with true advice and consent from the Senate before any public announcements.

Everyone is going to have to stay calm even after there’s a vaccine, which is looking good right now. I remain pleased with the outcome of the election at the top of the ticket, but very concerned that so many Americans voted for Trump (the second most in history). No one has a mandate. That’s what America has said.

In essence, no Green New Deal, no Medicare for All, no Bernie in the Cabinet, and no Trump in the White House. America needs a rest. If Joe can deliver peace and quiet, then he will have done well.

I guess the in-coming to my blog proves that I am indeed in the middle as both the left and the right were not happy with me. Good for me!

Larry Hogan’s op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on November 9 has it just right:

Definitely worth reading.

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