It’s Biden’s Moment, and Trump Knows

I’m not a lover of Joe Biden. I always thought liberals were sellouts, not heroes. The definition of liberal that I learned in my coming-of-age years was someone who always said the right thing but then pulled back at the time of decision.

But when a crazed, mini-authoritarian boar is the only alternative, liberals look good.

Biden looked good last night in the first debate. He was decent. He was – I can’t believe this is a campaign issue – pro-voting.

He is more pro-family and pro-life than Trump, whether you define those terms from a right or a left perspective.

He spoke in complete sentences.

He soared over a low bar.

He had at least two missed moments:

  1. When Trump touted his 200+ endorsements from military and law enforcement, Biden could have mentioned his nearly 500.
  2. When Trump pointed to poor forest management as the cause of the California fires, Biden could have pointed out that 58 percent of California forests are federally owned and so Trump’s responsibility; only three percent are state-owned.

But those lapses didn’t hurt him. I think Biden is driven by the sense that history is calling him to this moment. Whether you believe it or not, Biden does, and it gives him energy.

Trump, meanwhile, is tired, ignorant, and standing naked and aware in front of an electorate that is embarrassed.

Ken Wachsberger is the author of You’ve Got the Time: How to Write and Publish That Book in You and editor of the four-volume Voices from the Underground Series.

Survivors of Clinton Defeat Meet at Panera

Survivors of Clinton defeat meet at Panera, still stunned after week but determined, waiting for lunches to arrive.

First declares week long enough to mourn. Time to assess what went wrong and move on. “Our resolve, our courage, our love all are being tested,” she says. “If love is politically correct, then let’s celebrate political correctness, not run from it.”

Second reflects on mood of country and concludes: “Hatred and cowardice won this time around, even though love had more votes. Let’s find strength in that fact.”

First imagines good folks who worshipped Trump when they realize he used them to get what he wants and doesn’t need them anymore: “They’re going to be real disappointed.”

“How can we do outreach to them on issues where we share common ground?” asks second. “That’s our challenge as we build new coalitions and a better community.”

Floor staff person brings lunches, soup and salad for her, soup and sandwich for him.

I Felt a Shiver

Dateline Ann Arbor, Temple Beth Emeth ballroom: I arrived at 6:35 a.m. I was the thirteenth in line. Seven more followed immediately behind me.

I felt a shiver as I waited and it wasn’t from the cold and I recognized it as being either because I was going to vote for the first woman president or because I was going to vote against the first possibly certifiable lunatic. As a country, we’ve got our work cut out for us after the election no matter who wins.

When the polls opened at 7, sixty voters stood behind me. By the time I left, the line extended around the hallway toward the sanctuary.

Relief that it’s over. How can we best prepare for the next phase?

Ann Arbor Embraces Local Muslim Community

Amazing open house yesterday at Ann Arbor Mosque from 3 to 5. Young and old of many religions celebrate solidarity with the Muslim community in response to Republicans’ incitement to hatred. Arrive a few moments after 3:30 expecting to park in the lot, go inside, mingle, meet members, express my solidarity, and leave. Instead, I am turned away by a traffic cop who tells me the lot is full. I park at the lot of an adjacent business complex. Warm greeting at the mosque door, asked to take off shoes, as is customary. Glance at the heels of my socks and am relieved to find that I had grabbed a pair that didn’t have any holes.

Formal program taking place in what looked like a reception hall. Chairs all filled. Standing room only. Not able to take notes while squeezed as we were. But I did manage to secure a piece of baklava from the dessert table. I’m happy to see Temple Beth Emeth well represented, including rabbi and more than a handful of congregants. Not sure how many speakers there were altogether. Arrived to hear last three, including Mayor Taylor.

The overriding message: We are all one. We’re all in this together. America’s motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” means from many, one. And the expected joke: Donald Trump brought us together. It was a light moment for a serious affair.

Talk with mother of four children, from Jordan, in country five years. She notes that Americans read more than Jordanians. I ask her if I can shake her hand, offer my hand but cautiously so as to not offend. She smiles. Says no with no unnecessary explanation. We both laugh. I say I’m a hugger.

Members of mosque community acknowledge that they should have done this sooner. I agree but that goes for all of us.