Election 2020: hubris humbled and feelings misplaced

November 15, 2020
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“You arrogant ass, you’ve killed us!”

The quote is from the 1990 movie “The Hunt for Red October”.

Sean Connery plays Marko Ramius an iconic Soviet submarine commander who rather than see new silent propulsion technology solely in the hands of his communist government decides to defect and surrender the ship to the United States for inspection.

When former student Victor Tupolev, commanding the submarine Konovalov catches up to Red October, the battle begins.

After two failed torpedo runs Tupolev is raging.  When Red October appears again Tupolev ignores the warning of his executive officer Andrei Bonavia and fires the third torpedo without safety measures.  Red October maneuvers out of danger but now the torpedo is hunting for a new target.  It reacquires on the Konovalov and as the sonar pings turn staccato, Bonavia exclaims the quote to Tupolev, the torpedo strikes and the Konovalov disintegrates.

As election 2020 comes to its inevitable end, I find Andrei’s last words quite fitting.

President Donald Trump had been warned for years that his name calling, tweet storms, and constant exaggerations was putting his re-election in jeopardy.  That his base was fully behind him but that if he wanted to secure a second term he needed to build out rather than contract in.

But just as Tupolev to Bonavia, “The Donald” ignored the warnings.  And in all honesty, he got what he deserved.  A humbling beyond humbling.

Beaten by a man who had already failed twice, can barely string two sentences together without a teleprompter and who former Defense Secretary under both Republican and Democrat administrations Robert Gates noted as being “wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”  If that doesn’t hit the hubris where it hurts, nothing will.

Yet as angry as I am at the President for not adapting when the country needed him most, I’m even more disappointed that so many today lack the ability to separate personality from policy.

Abraham Lincoln noted that “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.”

And one need look no further than the front page of this very paper last Sunday to see Abe’s words in action.

Right there in full color a photo of one Fletcher Peters, New York University journalism student, hands over tearful eyes of joy.  Ms. Peters quoted “I think it’s so beautiful because I’m a member of the press, and I can’t believe we won.  It means so much to me as an aspiring journalist.”

There is also much celebration these days that Mr. Biden will restore traditional alliances and of the warm reception he is getting from world leaders.  And why not?  Trump took away their piggy bank, Biden’s breaking it back open.  And Mr. Biden has declared that he will re-join the Paris Climate Accords and the World Health Organization.

The United States is already well on its way to reducing its carbon emissions, ironically much of it due to its cleaner natural gas coming from fracking.  But that doesn’t put dollars into other country’s coffers.

Ditto with the World Health Organization.  Under a Biden administration your tax dollars will again flow into the same organization that protected Communist China while the virus from Wuhan spread around the globe.

It’s not that the Paris Accords or the W.H.O. aren’t noble goals, it’s that Paris has no enforcement and puts the U.S. at an economic disadvantage and restoring funds to the W.H.O. without needed reforms is like giving a case of whiskey to your alcoholic uncle to celebrate his discharge from rehab.

Then there are reports that just when Arab nations are on the verge of a political and economic re-alignment with Israel and the Iranian Mullah’s are seeing their power wane with each passing day, Mr. Biden appears ready to give the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism a lifeline by reviving the disastrous Iran Deal.

Oh, and you can kiss goodbye those pre-COVID-19 unemployment numbers, rising wages, and small business growth.

For all the smug satisfaction so many are feeling today for ousting Trump, feelings don’t put food on the table, secure our borders or keep terrorism at bay.

I wonder how they will feel when the full consequences of a Biden foreign policy hit home and the high energy prices, slow growth, and regulatory nightmare of the Obama years return with a vengeance?

Make no mistake, Biden is government first, government best, government forced on all.  He is the antithesis of everything this nation was founded on.

Trump was flawed, but history shows that Biden could very well prove fatal.

And that’s a terrible feeling to have just five years shy of America’s 250th birthday.

PUBLISHER NOTE:  A version of this column first appeared in the Sunday, November 15, 2020 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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