Saturday, September 03, 2022

Biden's speech was the wrong setting, the wrong tone, the wrong props, the wrong message and a missed opportunity.

by Rod Williams, Sept. 3, 2022-  Watching Biden's speech to the nation on Thursday night, even before he opened his mouth, I thought, "this is weird."  The lighting looked like lighting for a horror movie. Who came up with this lighting, I wondered. The weird lighting was my first impression and it got worse from there.

Usually, a presidential prime-time speech to the nation is about something new and something of substance. I was expecting a new policy toward Ukraine or Taiwan or something really stupid like the imposition of wage and price controls.  Instead what we got was a campaign speech. 

The thing is, I agree with much of Biden's criticism of Trump. It is clear Trump tried to hold on to power despite losing an election.  I agree that Trumpism is a danger to our democracy.  That is why I will never vote for Trump again. Also, I am being more circumspect with my financial support for Republicans. I do not want to see Republicans elected who would support the appointment of fake electors or Republicans in Congress who would only recognize an election result if their candidate won.  

Despite my agreement with some of what Biden said, this was the wrong setting, the wrong tone, and said by the wrong person with the wrong props.  Instead of convincing Republicans that Trump is evil, I suspect the speech drove some wafering Republicans back into the Trump camp. The speech was not unifying; it was divisive. 

The use of Marines as a backdrop only reinforces the impression many Republicans have that government is an enemy of the people used to penalize legitimate opinions. Many Republicans already view the CIA, FBI, Secret Service, and IRS as part of police state forces used to suppress opposition to the deep state. The use of Marines reinforces that view. The president is both the leader of our nation and the leader of a political party.  The two roles should be kept distinct and that can be difficult. Deciding not to use Marines as a backdrop should have been easy. 

With a different tone, sitting, props and lighting, the speech could have been salvaged had the President been a little more balanced.  A denunciation of political violence across the board would have provided some balance. The BLM/Antifa riots that occurred across the nation were not that long ago and Democrats excused it, encouraged it, and embraced it. To denounce the January 6th Capitol riot while not denouncing other recent politically motivated violence is hypocritical. 

One thing Biden could have done to keep this from being a purely Trump-bashing political speech was to denounce the Democrat Party policy of working to nominate the most radical election-denying Republicans. In the recent primary, Democratic campaign groups have spent more than $46 million to boost candidates who support former President Donald Trump and his claim of a stolen election. I know their reasoning is that election-denying Trumpinista Republicans will be easier to defeat than moderate mainstream Republicans.  If we end up with more Marjorie Taylor Greens in Congress as opposed to Liz Cheneys, one can thank the Democrats.  Biden should have called out those across the board who put loyalty to party or an individual above loyalty to country.

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