Fear and loathing in 2024

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For months, national polls have made one point very clear: Most Americans do not want a rerun of the 2020 presidential election, pitting Democratic President Joe Biden against the Republican incumbent he defeated, Donald Trump.

But with less than a week until the 2024 election season officially starts, Biden and Trump appear to be well-positioned to repeat as their parties’ nominees. This year’s presidential race will kick off with the Republican caucuses in Iowa, where Trump is the overwhelming favorite, followed eight days later by the nation’s first presidential primary, in New Hampshire.

Many observers and scholars believe the 2024 election could push the nation’s democracy dangerously close to the breaking point. They see a deeply polarized electorate, the result of a range of political, economic and social factors.

Among Rochester Beacon readers who took part in a survey this week, Biden enjoys strong support, though some say they back him because he is the only real alternative to Trump. Asked who they support among more than a dozen declared presidential candidates, Biden was named by 69 percent. Nikki Haley, the Republican former governor of South Carolina and United Nations ambassador under Trump, was favored by 12 percent, double the support for her onetime boss. Chris Christie, who ended his presidential campaign Wednesday (after the survey was completed), and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. each were supported by 3 percent.

“If Trump is elected, we will become an autocracy. Democracy is at stake in this election,” wrote Seth Oser.

Richard Byers agrees. “As a Republican I feel my voice has been taken away by MAGA republicans,” he wrote.

Kathleen Cloonan “would like to see a bipartisan ticket as was proposed a while back by the No Labels & Unity parties. Currently, I do not feel comfortable supporting either Trump (too divisive & egocentric) or Biden (too old)…”

While he thinks that Biden should step aside for a younger Democratic candidate, Jeff Linn believes “the Trump alternative is frightening. He is a con man and bully, and those may be his best traits. I will vote Biden to ensure our Republic survives.”

Another measure of Beacon readers’ opposition to Trump: seven in 10 want him disqualified from running again.

Colorado and Maine have removed Trump from their primary ballots for allegedly engaging in insurrection after the 2020 election. Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Trump’s appeal of the Colorado ruling. The justices, who are slated to hear arguments Feb. 8, will weigh whether Trump’s actions to prevent Biden from taking office are covered by Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which disqualifies individuals who have “engaged in insurrection” from holding political office.

Ted Pawlicki was among the minority who oppose removing Trump from the ballot. He wrote: “Everyone knows that the Democrats are abusing the justice system trying to keep Trump off the ballot. This is reprehensible.”

The extreme divisiveness that has marked U.S. politics since the 2016 presidential campaign continues to worry many Americans. Asked whether they are concerned about polarization in U.S. politics, 99 percent of those taking part in the Beacon reader survey said they were—and 85 percent described themselves as “very concerned.” Those percentages are little changed, but slightly higher, than the results of a Beacon poll conducted right after the 2020 election.

As before, the respondents to this week’s Beacon reader survey are more Democratic than registered voters overall in Monroe County. Asked about their political affiliation, 61 percent responded Democrat versus 15 percent Republican; unaffiliated and other parties accounted for 24 percent.

By contrast, the breakdown in the Monroe County Board of Elections’ official fall 2023 enrollment was Democrat, 42 percent; Republican, 26 percent; and unaffiliated/other parties, 33 percent.

In the 2020 election, Biden received 59 percent of the votes in Monroe County, compared with 38 percent for Trump.

Nearly 290 readers took part in this week’s Beacon survey, which was conducted Tuesday. The following are the complete signed written comments of survey participants. Many additional unsigned responses were submitted. As a matter of policy, the Beacon does not post unsigned comments.

Readers’ thoughts on the 2024 presidential election:

I am completely pessimistic about the 2024 election. I truly believe that whoever the Democratic candidate will be will win the popular vote by a significant margin. The racist and antiquated Electoral College, however, will result in the Republican candidate winning because those “swing” states with Republican legislatures have enacted voter suppression laws and gerrymandered districts. While we once could rely on the Supreme Court to rectify these anti-democratic practices, that is no longer the case. The Supreme Court now has a majority of corrupt, morally and ethically bankrupt judges. This country is completely doomed.
—Lauren Frank

What concerns me the most is that I have lost touch with many others in America about why they support Trump. I see the issue with Trump as transcending politics since it is an issue of morality and ethics. I truly cannot understand how others in this country can support someone who lacks the character we have always insisted on in a leader of this country, especially when there are other candidates who have similar political views who have not demonstrated Trump’s lack of character.
—Gail Norris

The purpose of government is to serve the greater good, guided by the Constitution and rule of law. The U.S. was established to be the enlightened opposite of a monarchy or totalitarian state. Let’s stay the course set by our founders and build a country that earns the respect of most of the world.
—Bill Lampeter

I cannot believe we are doing a repeat of the last election and that our country is more polarized than ever.
—Camille Martina

Joe Biden, although he is not a media rock star, he’s done amazingly good things during his tenure. I do not want to see a single party in this country. I still hold out hope that most people will see through the Republican party front-runner and punish the Republican party up-and-down the ballot. Unfortunately, the support for the Republican party front-runner reflects the sad state of education in the United States. In the effect of right wing media propaganda to distort reality for many people.
—Michael Thompson

Our leading candidates are a concern to me. As they say, “where there is smoke there is fire” I believe applies to Trump, he just can’t be trusted. President Biden is smart, politically aware and a honorable man, unfortunately his age is a concern. Bottom line I cannot vote for Trump, I will vote for Biden, unless someone with Biden’s qualities and younger appears on the stage. Peace and courage.
—Mike Bausch

A country founded on great principles like ours should be able to find persons of character and ability to work together and lead it. The two currently leading candidates of the two major parties do not have those qualities.
—Robert Zinnecker

Democrats are governing. Republicans are whining. I’m not voting for people who favor treason, which appears to be every Republican candidate. Joe Biden has done the job and deserves our vote.
—John Huber

If Trump is elected, we will become an autocracy. Democracy is at stake in this election.
—Seth Oser

I don’t fully understand why Joe Biden does not have more support. It seems to me that he has accomplished a great deal under stiff opposition. It is very disturbing that Donald Trump has so much support in this country.
—Mary Lou Wilson

Biden has enough delegates to assure his renomination. After the primaries he announces the release of his delegates recommending an open convention. While I would personally prefer Kamala Harris, I think a more likely outcome would be Whitmer-Booker. Who knows?
—Nick Robfogel

Trump did enough damage the first time.
—Miriam Rudnick

I would like to see a bipartisan ticket as was proposed a while back by the No Labels & Unity parties. Currently, I do not feel comfortable supporting either Trump (too divisive & egocentric) or Biden (too old), but a ticket with a combination of a Republican, Democrat, and/or Independent candidate would be more palatable.
—Kathleen Cloonan

I recently heard that the issue is not Trump but is a Republican issue. As a Republican I feel my voice has been taken away by MAGA republicans. Trump supporters view this as a war against Democrats. I want to see Americans with differing views coming together to solve some complex issues but instead we have infighting.
—Richard Byers

Given the polarization, it will be a tough and angry Presidential race. I think Biden will be re-elected.
—Mike Bleeg

Not a quality candidate there.
—Neil R. Scheier MD

Third party or multi-party candidates are spoilers that cannot win in our two-party system. See Teddy Roosevelt, one of our most popular Presidents. He ran as the candidate of a real Progressive Party and was designated their candidate at their convention. “Bull Moose” was an invention of the press after a flesh wound while TR was giving a speech. There was no Bull Moose party. TR came in second over the Republican, and Democrat Woodrow Wilson was elected. In the history of third parties only TR achieved second place. If the popular and former president, Teddy Roosevelt, could not win, lesser political figures have no chance, other than to stop the candidate with the most votes, and putting an election into the House of Representatives. Our two-party system, where most resources are, often requires voting for the lesser evil of two candidates. To move one of the parties to the right or left is only done successfully via primaries. That it just reality borne out by history.
—Jim Bertolone

Though I believe Trump fomented the insurrection, he has not yet been convicted and so remains eligible to run for office. That said, if and when he is convicted of insurrection, he should be removed from ballots.
—L Phillips

Although there are arguments that removing a popular candidate from the ballot is undemocratic, we cannot continue to ignore the unprofessionalism, polarizing nature, and autocratic leanings of one certain Republican candidate. The baseline standard of American politics has been shoved so far down because of this person and we all deserve better options in our presidential candidates as citizens. We’re being pigeonholed further into this bipartisan system because of all of this political party drama. At the end of the day, this should not be a decision between Biden or Trump, but unfortunately that’s what it’s likely to boil down to again.
—Stephanie LaScala-Lodato

This might be the year that we fail to keep a Republic as Franklin put it. Never underestimate the stupidity of the American people. Churchill said we will finally do the right thing after we have tried everything else and was he spot on. Our current abysmal state of affairs shows that the great experiment is at the Rubicon. Now is truly the time for all good men to come to the aid of the country. Where is Thomas Paine when you need him?
—Jim Gaden

While Sec. 3 of the 14th. Amendment is silent on the question of who has authority to determine that an individual has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion … or given aid or comfort to the enemies” of the United States, it does make clear that any such determination, which automatically covers both federal and state offices, can be overridden by a 2/3 vote of Congress. This strongly implies that only the federal government has the authority to bar an individual from office under the Amendment. Though the question of which branch of the federal government possesses that authority remains unclear. Accordingly, while Question 2should be answered with a resounding YES, I don’t believe that the issue before the Supreme Court at this time is whether Trump should or shouldn’t be on the 2024 ballot, but rather whether a state has the authority to make such a determination. I anticipate that the Court will rule that neither Colorado, nor Maine nor any other state has such authority. They will then proceed to remain silent on whether Trump should in fact be disqualified from office on a national basis.
—Michael J. Nighan

Besides President Biden’s legislative successes, he has brought normalcy, decency and rationality back to the executive office. Trump is telling us what kind of president he would be the next time. He will make changes to Schedule F, he will seek retribution to those who disagree with him, he admires autocracies and dictators and promises to be a dictator for his first day in office. There are many issues I don’t agree with Trump on – the environment, women’s reproductive health care, support for Ukraine to name a few. However, the biggest threat a second Trump presidency will be the loss of our democracy. A vote that is not for President Biden is a vote for Trump and the end of democracy in the United States.
—Renee McNiffe

Let me begin by asking a question….with over 300 million citizens in these United States of America, the best we can do is what we have? Our current Commander in Chief is a feckless leader. I could list all the lies, the economy, the politization of the courts, the Justice Department, the FBI, etc. but the Afghanistan withdrawal, for me, was and remains a military and human disaster. We lost 13 of our finest, hundreds of civilians dead, billions in equipment left behind, citizens and those promised citizenship left behind. Many of those interpreters were butchered in the most creative ways. Some are still trying to get out of their hell hole. We have a major recruiting problem today because the government trust factor has dissipated. That trust factor decline has also affected us internationally. That historical military disaster was, …singularly, … a Joe Biden decision. The Chief of Staff advised against it. He owns it, period. Did I mention the border? So … where do we go from here. I believe that Nikki Haley would be my choice at the moment, followed by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Nikki Haley has valuable international experience. She has also proven herself nationally. Robert Kennedy is solid when it comes to common sense. At the moment common sense is absent. Notice no mention of the apparent Republican front runner, Donald Trump. Donald Trump is and has been wronged in so many ways. We point to election fraud overseas, but we have plenty of political shenanigans of our own. The Democrats are scared to death of seeing him on the ticket. In the process of trying to dump Trump they are making fools of themselves and abusing the legal system. The 2024 election is critical to our Republic. Make no mistake about it, the world (especially our enemies) is watching. Will the U.S.A. falter or rebound from its current political position nationally and internally. Will the upcoming election revive our nation or will we further our downward trend toward demise. SEMPER FI.
—Josh Jochem Porte

We are in uncharted territory. While I agree with others that Biden should step down for a younger candidate, the Trump alternative is frightening. He is a con man and bully, and those may be his best traits. I will vote Biden to ensure our Republic survives.
—Jeff Linn

President Biden ran in 2020 as an established, experienced, center-left candidate who help the country move on from a chaotic presidency. I supported him then, and he has governed as I expected, with some effort to confront serious problems facing the country, in health care, civil rights, and climate change. He has weathered the inflation issue fairly well, and shows an above-average willingness to work with both Republicans and Democrats to get things done. I am not worried about his age. If something happened, Vice President Harris has had four years to learn, and will inherit an experienced administration. She’d be fine in continuing the Biden Presidency until the next election.
—Bill Maier

My hope is that the court cases facing Trump are held and decisions reached that will disqualify him for running. The delays in bringing him to justice only aid his candidacy.
—Tom Swartz

I list as Democrat to be able to vote in the primaries but for any race I am committed to voting for the person who seems most likely to move our country forward in what I consider a positive direction. That usually is a Democrat. While I will vote for Biden and work for his election, I am deeply disturbed that we do not have a younger, highly talented and electable candidate instead of him for one of the most challenging and important positions in the world. As a 77-year-old who is still very active and capable, I see the changes/declines in my own capacity over time and think we need a younger person in the job. I can’t believe there is no other strong candidate who will rally voters, and am concerned that President Biden’s insistence on running will have similar effects as Ruth Bader Ginsburg (and other aging politicians on both sides of the party divide) insisting on staying in office too long, with serious harmful impacts for our country.
—Jane Bleeg

I wish that we had younger, more people-focused candidates who had the ability to unite the country rather than continue to fracture it.
—Ed Palumbos

Trump’s attempts to divide the country should not be allowed. Politicians have always lied, but he has brought it to a new level. I am also concerned about outside interference with our elections. Intimidation of poll workers should be subject to felony penalties.
—Al Schnucker

There are only two choices for President in 2024: Biden and Trump. Anyone who stays home, or does not vote for Biden, is supporting Trump for president.
—Paul Kingsley

Simply, this election is about the survival of Democracy and human decency, not just in the U.S. but around the world.
—Michael Stone

The 2024 election will represent a critical point in our democracy, the outcome of which will have a major impact on our future.
—Stephen L. Gaudioso

I understood that politics is ultimately about the art of compromise especially in a republic. Sadly that seems to have been lost in the present moment where politics is practiced as winner takes all. Donald Trump’s failure to act once people entered the Capitol is for me the ultimate example of why things must change. Regardless of his point of view, by his oath of office he ought to have acted to secure the space. I want leaders who will value their oath over politics, duty over their desire and their word over their personal choices.
—Patrick B Fox

Leftist Democrat party has fundamentally transformed the USA into a Totalitarian Dictatorship under the O’Biden regime in total disregard for the Republic’s Constitution, which they took an oath protect and preserve. Treasonous.
—Luis R. Zamot

I’ve voted both Republican and Democrat over the years, up and down the ballot. Given the events over the last several years, my ability to ever vote for a Republican has evaporated. Led by Trump, who has made a career out of lying, name calling and most recently democracy killing, the number of Republicans who have supported him by either loudly aligning with him or silently accepting his actions is just mind boggling. While the Democrats are not perfect, the Republicans have taken it to an unforgivable level.
—Warren Hern

Quite honestly, if Biden is not elected, I fear that it will be the last election we have. We will have completed the slide into fascism and our democracy will be over.
—Debbie Tretter

This could be the year that ends the U.S. as a democracy if Trump or someone like him get selected. This election isn’t about party affiliation or policies; it’s about preserving the Constitution and the rights we take for granted.
—Anais Salibian

It is a terrible mess. There is no real leadership or integrity or concern for our country among the majority of the current elected national officials. The only real concern shown by the majority of current national elected officials is for their re-election. The only time they say what they really think is when they are on their way out of office.
—Clinton Swingle

Everyone knows that the Democrats are abusing the justice system trying to keep Trump off the ballot. This is reprehensible.
—Ted Pawlicki

I am a conservative Democrat, and I am very disappointed in the choices that we have for the upcoming election.
—R. Carter

It’s sad that Trump has such a strong hold on the Republican party. Too many are afraid to speak the truth. The hypocrisy and childishness of our elected officials is mind boggling. All of a sudden as “Payback” everyone is being subjected to threats of impeachment.
—Remy Fenster

Entire system, including Electoral College, needs a major overhaul.
—Richard Kaza

Biden will not be the Democrat candidate in 2024. Should be an interesting summer prior to the convention!
—Paul R. Boehm

We are at a moment when political gain trumps effective government through consensus and compromise. This year’s presidential and down-ticket election races will confirm this focus on “anyone but him/her/them” politics. Some of it is fueled by the drift away from fact and toward emotion. Some of it is encouraged by Donald Trump’s constant lying, gaslighting and name calling. Buy he’s not alone in culpability.
—Joel Elliot

Our U.S. system of governance has, for the most part, always been noticeably corrupt, but our rule of law has served to significantly limit the extent of corruption. Unfortunately, along with the growth of direct corruption over the past half century, there’s also been a slow but steady degradation of our rule of law during this same period, both with respect to the state and execution of law itself, but also with respect to our citizenry’s propensity to actually abide by our rule of law. In my view, this double whammy is a serious problem that is not very often the focus of public discourse, which makes it all the more dangerous.
—Mike Rudnick, PhD

I’m looking for stability, integrity, courage, accountability, RESPECT for the laws of the land (without exceptions), vision, truthfulness and someone who understands what this country needs and prioritizing those needs. Someone who can mediate and handle all political affiliations to focus on what’s best for the people of the United States of America and not patronizing lobbyists, foreign governments because of their wealth, or others who have self-interest that doesn’t benefit the many but the very few. MY LIFE depends on someone fulfilling the highest office in the land, by putting his and/or her trust in GOD to make the right decisions that ensurs a better life for all Americans!
—Sandra J. Simon

It’s going to be ugly. I’m an election worker and I’m a bit concerned. The MAGAs are deep in their cult and the rest of us just have to keep our heads and make sure everyone votes.
—Martha Bush

At this point in our lives and Country, we need President Trump to finish what he started prior to 2020. We also need God in our Nation more now than ever before. Without Him, our Nation will suffer and will affect my children and their children and more. God Help Us !!!
—Ron Schumaker

We need to get behind Joe Biden quickly.
—Dr Lisa Barr

I’m becoming more fearful that our elections will be filled with hostility, attempts at subverting the democratic process and voters (and candidates) who will not accept the outcome as legitimate.
—Loret Steinberg

This will be the most divisive election in history. I think we’re heading to a Second Civil War. I think that explains it in a nutshell.
—Pastor Robert K Hoggard

The decision on Trump’s eligibility to be on the ballot seems a no-win situation. Either he’s found eligible and we run the significant risk of his re-election, as unfathomable as that once seemed, or he’s found ineligible and the polarization accelerates to more widespread lack of faith in our system, violence and possible civil war. Two undesirable outcomes, a lose-lose.
—Marilyn Rosche

I want Mr. Trump to win. The country did better, we did better. He was a strong leader. Other countries respected him.
—Valerie Gleason

Our country is at a dangerous crossroads. I fear that there is no way back from the deep division we are facing as a nation. Quite frankly, I fear for every aspect of our lives if we cannot find some ways to bridge the current political divide. Never have I witnessed such hate and vitriol. Not only is our future uncertain, it is most certainly on the precipice of something sinister. We have lost our tolerance for the “other side/sides.” As a person who lives in faith, I am finding it harder and harder to hold on to my beliefs and not despair. I want to believe that we are good people, living in a good country. I want good to prevail over evil, and kindness to lead us out of darkness. What will our children’s lives be like if our society is unable to maintain the Rule of Law and learn to live with respect for others, respect for ourselves, and with civility and dignity? Our current state of affairs is far from what I thought the United States would be like in 2024. It’s heartbreakingly sad to see America slide into chaos. My only hope is that hope springs eternal.
—Adele M. Fico

Paul Ericson is Rochester Beacon executive editor. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected]

12 thoughts on “Fear and loathing in 2024

  1. The left does want power. They already control 2/3 of the elected federal offices: the Presidency, the Senate, and almost the House. The left also controls most of the federal bureaucracy. The left didn’t try to overthrow the government but helped create chaos during the protest and riot. Biden technically was the winner. However, there was much evidence of voter fraud and irregularities. As one example. there were legislative hearings in all the battle ground states shortly after the election which had hundreds of witnesses and affidavits testifying to voter fraud and irregularities. I watched 25 hours of these hearings some of which were on C Span.

  2. It appears the respondent didn’t read my facts about the UCLA study. He’s using elementary school insults instead of facts. It sounds like he’s a denier of Trump’s election irregularities case in which there’s voluminous evidence of. He may be a Clinton apologist who maintained the 2016 election was rigged by Russian collusion. He may be self projecting when he uses the words. “endless hateful, clueless bashing”. It’s a fact most of media supports the left when reporting. The UCLA study is only the tip of iceberg about media bias. .

    • This reader was not responding to you.

      But as long as you brought it up: You have posted zero specifics on your allegations. And I don’t believe it was “the left” which tried to overthrow our government on January 6, 2021. Spoiler alert: “the left” has no actual interest in power.

  3. When you have no facts, just resort to junior high school insults. But sure, Semper Fi.

    “I think that is about the best one can expect from the arm chair of one’s home” – says a Trump apologist who won’t even acknowledge who won in 2020. But sure, Semper Fi.

    Says someone who does nothing but arm chair in endless hateful, clueless bashing of the Rochester City School District – who wouldn’t last a day in a building. Who can’t be bothered with learning the most basic facts. Feel the entitlement. But sure, Semper Fi.

  4. A number of responses have stated that our Democracy is being threatened. To be more accurate, our Republic is being threatened by the leftists in media. A vast majority of media is the mouthpiece for the Democratic party and the left. The voluminous daily misinformation and disinformation spewed by media have affected not only those in the United States but the world including many of the readers of the Rochester Beacon. I have compiled hundreds of examples of this media malpractice over the past decade. Almost 20 years ago, there was a study completed by UCLA, which studied 20 of the major media outlets. The conclusion of this study stated that 80% of these outlets had left leaning bias. I submit that this left leaning bias has multiplied substantially since then.

  5. Thank You, Beacon readers, for being so engaged. Despite differences, it is gratifying that so many people wrote comments to go with your survey. Unfortunately, I was unable to take part in the survey. Occasionally, I reflect on whether we are all talking to ourselves, the well-read, educated, and mostly left-leaning citizens who actually vote. After watching MSNBC’s coverage of the disgraced former President and failed businessman’s trial for fraud in NYC and his attempt to game the system to establish grounds for appeal, I’m convinced the more official pressure that’s being put on him, the more he appears to be going off the rails., it’s unlikely any of the verdicts in the many trials will be handed down before the election. Somehow, our leaders need to find a way to address the grievances systematically, legitimate or otherwise, of the Republican front-runners’ ardent supporters both emotionally and intellectually. New York is a blue state and will vote for President Biden. Along with his Cabinet members, he’s done a fine job. I want to encourage all those who commented on your poll to do whatever they can to continue actively engaging in the discussions and perhaps bring some undecided voters along to the Democratic side.

  6. “It’s the economy, stupid” So said Bill Clinton, in 1992. .It’s the economy. stupid, in 2024.
    Let me sound a warning. I fear that if Trump is elected, the economy, will likely fall apart.
    Why, would the economy fall apart? Because, with Trump as president, the nation will lose confidence, immediately. There will be a lose of trust in business, and throughout the nation.
    How can you do business, in a society, where there is no trust? How can you run a government, without trust? Democracy cannot function without trust, without honesty, without sanity?
    It amazes me that the Democrats have not been warning about the threat of Trumpism, when it comes to the economy. They talk and talk about how Trump and the Right threaten, but they say little about the threat to the economy, jobs, markets, etc.

    As FDR said, in 1933, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Voters do not seem to be afraid of Trump and the Right, when it comes to many issues. But what about the economy?

    • Biden and Democrats have NO DREAM. But Trump and the Right have their nightmare!
      Biden and Democrats have NO DREAM. But Trump and the Right have their nightmare!
      I feel like repeating this Democratic mistake, over and over. Shout it from the roof tops!
      Yes, Biden has programs, programs, programs, but programs are not exciting voters.
      “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day” was just celebrated. He said, “I have a DREAM” in 1963.
      Because of that speech, in Washington, DC. We remember him in our hearts and souls.
      Now, I hope that Biden and Democrats come up with their own DREAM to win the election
      Instead of coming up with a DREAM, Democrats are waiting for Trump to go to jail.
      But Trump marches on, as a super hero to the Right. When will Democrats get a DREAM?

  7. Dr. Lisa Barr….we are indeed behind Joe Biden. Let me tell you just one instance, one decision, one historically horrific military order that got 13 of our finest killed. It left billions in American military equipment behind. It was an action directly responsible for the many interpreters who supported our men and women on the ground and in the air to be butchered in thee most creative ways. They were promised safe haven and citizenship. That is only the half of it. Our national and international trust was lost. Once lost it can take many years to get that trust back. Afghanistan withdrawal come to mind? That decision belongs, solely, to Joe Biden. That loss of trust is directly responsible for the recruitment problem we are experiencing. Don’t know if you’re aware but we decommissioning naval ship due to a lack of personnel. If you’re OK with all that….by all means support Joe Biden. By the way, I am not a Trump fan either. I am a registered independent. That said, I venture a guess that your viral and bitter hatred for the other candidate has you carrying his banner. It will be the death of our Republic. Any time you want to debate that subject, let me know. I’m an immigrant at age 12 from The Netherlands, served in the US Marine Corps, completed a career as medical imaging director and I am a staunch support of this nation, this Constitution and yes, I stand for the National Anthem. I’m deeply appreciative for all the opportunity this nation has offered me and my family.

    • Thanks for that revisionist history. In Feb. 2020, to great fanfare from the Republican National Committee, the Trump administration signed the withdrawal deal with the Taliban to take effect in May 2021. The Pentagon begun planning the withdrawal logistics before the ink dried on the agreement. Over the next few months, against Pentagon advice, Trump ordered repeated withdrawals of US troops from Afghanistan, reducing our presence from the high of 10,000 troops in 2017 to just under 2,500 by Jan. 15, 2021. At the same time Trump pressured the Afghan government to release up to 5,000 Taliban fighters. Thus, by the time Biden took office the Taliban was in it’s strongest military position in over two decades. Upon taking office the Pentagon informed Biden that 1) the could not meet Trump’s May 2021 withdrawal date, and 2) they could not guarantee the safety of the reduced US military presence without sending in reinforcements. Biden extended the withdrawal date to September 2021, but bowing to the fact that the US public was sick of our involvement in Afghanistan, declined to send in more troops. But I did enjoy your claim that Biden told the Pentagon how to conduct their logistics that they;d been planning for almost a year before he took office. But hey, that’s Trumpublican “logic” at it’s finest. BTW, it’s also amusing (and telling) that, when the Pentagon’s conducting of the Afghanistan withdrawal was coming apart, the GOP hurriedly removed their previous praise of Trump’s deal from the RNC website.

      • I think that is about the best one can expect from the arm chair of one’s home. Ever wear a pair of boots? Didn’t think so. I just looked at my watch and I have some other place to be. I guess I have something in common with Joe Biden, for the moment anyway. Semper Fi.

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