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May 29, 2024

How Joe Biden Made Mental Decline His Superpower

The problem with Biden’s obvious and continued mental collapse is that our expectations have also collapsed.

It’s impossible for anyone to survive in the world of politics without having a few tricks up their sleeve. And with a political career that has somehow spanned over half a century, Joe Biden has amassed more tricks than Sam Bankman-Fried on a night out with David Copperfield.

For decades, one of his all-time-favorites has been the use (and abuse) of grief. In other words, happily jumping onto the graves of dead relatives for political gain.

Now, to be fair, Biden has undeniably experienced tragedy. In 1972, his first wife, Neilia, and 1-year-old daughter Naomi died in a car crash. Their two sons, Beau and the infamous Hunter, survived critical injuries. Then, in 2013, Beau was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer and passed away at the age of 46 years old in Washington D.C. on May 30, 2015.

In the years (and decades) that followed, however, Biden never turned down an opportunity to use these horrendous moments to his advantage — to such an extent that it was even celebrated by the mainstream media, with one gushing example being Politico’s “How Grief Became Joe Biden’s ‘Superpower’” during his ultimately successful presidential campaign in 2019.

But as we approach another election season, Biden is going to be relying on a different superpower: his age.

Yes, his age.

More specifically, his obvious mental decline.

Let me explain.

Consider the phrase coined by Michael Gerson, a speechwriter for President George W. Bush: “soft bigotry of low expectations.” This usually refers to a subtle or even subconscious form of prejudice built on the assumption that certain people are in some ways less capable because of their identity group.

This bigotry is rooted in expecting less of someone because of characteristics like skin color, sex or country of origin. One classic example is the view that Black people and other minorities are somehow incapable of obtaining identification documents, and that the concept of requiring proof of identity to vote is therefore racist.

And it’s this form of bigotry that Biden is going to manipulate as he shuffles his way toward a second term.

The problem with Biden’s obvious and continued mental collapse — including the introduction of Bidenisms into the English language, such as “America is a nation that can be defined in a single word: asufutimafutim … ” — is that our expectations have also collapsed.

The brutal fact is that we expect so little from Biden that it’s almost impossible for him to disappoint. In previous generations, commander in chief of the United States of America was seen as the most difficult job in the world, and rightly so. Even the smallest slip-up would be declared as catastrophic (particularly if committed by a Republican). Today, however, it’s a strange sense of relief when Biden makes it through an event without sniffing a child, tripping over his own legs or confusing Mexico with Egypt.

What makes matters even worse is that these low expectations make life even more difficult for his opponent, Donald Trump. Think of their upcoming debate as a boxing match between an Olympic heavyweight and a 12-year-old child with a limp. We all expect the Olympic heavyweight to beat the 12-year-old child with a limp to a pulp … but we also know that the Olympic heavyweight will then be judged for cruelly beating a 12-year-old child with a limp to a pulp.

The same is true of this debate, and indeed this entire presidential race. In a strange twist of fate, much like Biden’s history of grief, he’s managed to turn his obvious mental fragility into a shield.

This is why Republicans cannot underestimate Joe Biden: a man who has made a career (and a fortune along the way) on the back of his good ol’ Uncle Joe persona. As expectations tumble like Biden on a mild hike on an uneven gravel path, his road to victory only gets smoother, with ample disabled parking available along the way.

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