Many families struggle with allowing a 79-year-old member to maintain personal safety or use online services to bank or shop. However, the Biden family enables their elderly member to oversee America’s complex security and financial health. Few would trust their debit card to an elderly neighbor showing signs of cognitive decline, but countries worldwide have economic and security policies directly tied to such a “neighbor.” China, Taiwan and the rest of the world recently received another reminder of the confusion (and alarm) created by a U.S. president – one who fails to instill confidence. While confidence serves as the bedrock of national security and a robust economy, it seems scarce as America’s unsettledness increases – and confusion abounds.
Although many individuals can hit the octogenarian mark and still maintain acuity and ability (Clint Eastwood, Betty White and Bernie Sanders, for example), the odds remain daunting. Despite age, cognitive decline can occur long before senior status – for many reasons. However unfair or complicated, the burdens of boundaries, safety and dignity often land on family caregivers. Yet, the human conditions of denial, greed or self-preservation lead many caregivers to prop up someone past his or her competency. In families, it’s painful enough, but on a world stage, the consequences can be dire.
The Oval Office remains a crucible of challenges that require the sharpest of minds, executive skills and the ability to “read the room” – and the nation. While history, including America’s young history, reveals numerous leaders enabled past their capabilities, the speed of decisions and information requires more of today’s world leaders than ever before. The love of country, and indeed the love of family, should surpass the love of power and ideology. Sadly, power and ideology remain the currency inside many of America’s halls of power and their families – particularly in Washington, D.C.
It’s difficult to determine whether or not Joe Biden recognizes the damage his administration is inflicting on the nation – and the world. The words Biden uses and the policies he puts forth as president seem to contradict much of what he espoused throughout his lengthy tenure in government. His inconsistency with his own history evidently led Elon Musk to state, “The real president is whoever controls the teleprompter.”
Whether through cognitive decline or apathy, Biden seemingly remains detached from the pain, fear and distress felt by an expanding number of Americans. As members of his party seek to distance themselves from him, Biden also seems disjoined from the increasing harm his administration inflicts upon fellow Democrats. Unlike Jimmy Carter, who lived to see the fruits of his failure, Joe Biden may spend the rest of his life oblivious of the swath of destruction caused by his administration. Biden’s disconnect is causing bipartisan concern – and perversely fulfilling Biden’s campaign promise to unite the country. The evidence reveals that an overwhelming majority of Americans feel that something is off.
When faced with the same glaring cognitive declines exhibited by Joe Biden, countless families wring their hands while taking the keys away from an aging parent – yet safety and liability issues demand they make the tough choice. Regrettably, the path forward remains difficult and filled with painful decisions that would have served the country better if made years prior. Sliding someone out of the driver’s seat of power may now prove tumultuous for America, but the right thing to do often requires the stoutest of hearts.
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