A classic Twilight Zone episode featured the arrival of aliens bearing a book: “To Serve Man.” They were greeted warmly, and only too late was it discovered the book was a cookbook. Who knew that episode would foretell Joe Biden’s run for the presidency in 2020, as Hannity.com reports:
Former Vice President Joe Biden confused reporters at a press conference Tuesday; bizarrely saying the United States must ‘get our kids to market swiftly.’
‘To get our people to work and our kids to school safely, to get our kids to market swiftly, to power clean energy revolution in this country, we need to modernize America’s infrastructure,’ said Biden in Delaware.
On Fridays in my classes, I posted headlines appearing in the media that said something other than what was intended. Some examples:
Missippi’s Literacy Program Shows Improvement
Lack of Brains Hinders Research
Prostitutes Appeal to Pope
Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
Queen Mary Having Bottom Scraped
Lawmen From Mexico Barbeque Guests
Never Withhold Herpes Infection From Loved Ones
Kids Make Nutritious Snacks!
At first, many of the kids couldn’t see anything wrong with the headlines. Some had a vague sense something was wrong, but were at a loss to explain what it might be. I explained their brains tried to make sense of the headlines. The point was learning to see things as they are, and thereby gaining the ability to become better proofreaders and editors.
We can laugh because we realize Missippi’s literacy program obviously wasn’t improving spelling (one of my favorite signs in a storefront—and I swear this is true—read: “Illiterate? Help within.”), the Pope wasn’t naughty; the prostitutes were making an appeal to him–they were asking for something; it was the local dropout rate that was cut in half, though if we cut some of the dropouts in half that might cut the rate even faster; the HMS Queen Mary was having hull maintenance, the Mexican lawmen were guests at a BBQ, they weren’t eating people, and one shouldn’t withhold the knowledge of Herpes infection.
So we may, if we are people of good will, cut poor Joe a bit of slack and say he was trying to say we should get livestock to market quickly. Like the last example, he wasn’t suggesting kids are commodities and we should get them to market more efficiently because they’re yummy–or maybe was. That’s what a reasonable person would say, right? But Joe was reading from a teleprompter, and sadly, Joe just isn’t making sense these days. Consider these examples:
Queried in late April by a Miami TV newsman about his son Hunter’s highly questionable and possibly illegal business dealings with Ukraine, Obama’s former No. 2 responded: ‘My son’s business dealings were not anything where everybody that he’s talking about, not even remotely, number one.’
There’s no way to know what Joe meant to say. This isn’t a syntax of grammar issue. It’s confusion. Or this:
‘We cannot let this, we’ve never allowed any crisis from the Civil War straight through to the pandemic of 17, all the way around, 16, we have never, never let our democracy sakes second fiddle, way they, we can both have a democracy and elections, and at the same time correct the public health.”
We can make a guess what Joe meant, but there’s no way to be even remotely sure, because what we’d be doing is trying to imagine what a rational person might say about any one of the several issues/events to which he glancingly referred. For a video compendium of 30 of Biden’s more recent gaffes, go here.
Again, the problem is not that Joe is misspeaking, transposing the occasional word, forgetting which state or city he’s in, or even making a classic gaffe: when a politician says what he actually thinks instead of what polls well. The most recent classic was when Joe said D/S/Cs believe in truth over fact. They do indeed, and “truth” is whatever serves them at the moment. Apparently one of Joe’s truths is Arizona is an important city.
Even many D/S/Cs are beginning to speak about their worries about Biden’s obviously deteriorating mental acumen. They’re really worried about debates, and they should be. But all people of good will should be concerned for Biden. They should be concerned because his family, and the D/S/C establishment, know he’s not capable of being president. He’s likely not capable of making it to and through the convention. But they have political goals and if destroying a mentally failing elderly man in full and painful view of the public serves their goals, that’s a small price to pay.
Joe recently said he is going to beat Joe Biden. He just may, but his family and supporters are going to beat one of them–perhaps both–badly beforehand.