Trump v Patton and the Biden disaster

June 5, 2021

There’s a scene in the movie Patton where Karl Malden playing Omar Bradley informs General George Patton (George C. Scott) that Third Army supplies are being diverted to British forces in the north to destroy German V-2 rocket sites targeting London.

Patton suspects his war time rival, British general Bernard Montgomery, who he’d always deemed too timid in attack and angrily pleaded his case to Bradley.

Bradley:  No use arguing with me.  This wasn’t my idea.

Patton:  What did you pick me to command for if you won’t let me kill Germans?

Bradley (now exasperated and angry himself) responds: I didn’t pick you!  Ike picked you.  You’ve performed brilliantly.  You are loyal, dedicated – you’re one of the best field commanders I’ve got – but you don’t know when to shut up…. George, You’re a pain in the neck!

A metaphorical illustration if you will of the rise and fall of the Trump Presidency.

In 2016 the economy was sluggish at best and the heavy hand of regulations was taking its toll.

Combine that with “If you like your plan/doctor you can keep your plan/doctor” betrayal, jokes about “shovel ready jobs”, re-writing U.S. immigration law with the stroke of a pen, ISIS rampaging across the Middle East while Iran used U.S. dollars to fund terrorism around the globe and the American electorate was ready for a change.

Faced with a perceived third term of Obama via Hillary Clinton or the renegade Donald Trump voters chose the renegade.

But President Trump never mustered the humility Patton showed next in that exchange:“I have a lot of faults Brad, but ingratitude isn’t one of them.  I owe you a lot.  Hell, I know I’m a prima donna – I admit it!  What I can’t stand about Monty is he won’t admit it.”

After four years of Twitter tantrums and playground antics, he sealed his own fate.

Never mind that pre-pandemic Trump policies were delivering an economy not seen in decades, America had secured energy independence, the southern border was being secured, ISIS was decimated, Iran was back on its heels and China was on notice.

But it mattered not.  If 2016 was “anyone but Hillary”, 2020 was “just make it go away”.

That pain in the neck that voters of 2016 tolerated to stop Mr. Obama’s “fundamental transformation” had by 2020 turned into a throbbing they were no longer willing to endure.

And so, it was, that just enough Americans tossed aside their chance to return to pre-pandemic prosperity in exchange for the perceived calm of one Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr.

For those not informed of Biden’s history and what was truly at stake, it was an easy choice.  Four more years of grade school drama or a cooling off period with a caretaker who promised to govern for all Americans?

Yet just four months into a four-year term the result of that choice is proving something far worse than two a.m. tweets and a media bombardment of “orange man bad”.

In his first Memorial Day address our new President noted that “Democracy means the rule of the people — the rule of the people.  Not the rule of monarchs, not the rule of the moneyed, not the rule of the mighty — literally, the rule of the people.  The lives of billions, from antiquity to our own hour, have been shaped by the battle between aspirations of the many and the greed of the few.  Between people’s right to self-determination and the self-seeking of the dictator.”

If only Mr. Biden would act accordingly.

On his first day he denied that right of self-determination  to over ten thousand Keystone XL pipeline builders and has added untold thousands more to the current and future unemployment rolls with his freezing of oil and gas leases on federal lands and the Tuesday suspension of leases already approved in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

And that toll doesn’t begin to describe the damage as states lose the revenue that provides millions in funding for schools and hospitals.

It took over sixty years to return America to energy independence.  It’s taken President Biden just four months to jeopardize it all.

Toss in his proposed six trillion dollar budget, the largest tax increases in decades, a federal takeover of state elections, a de-facto open southern border and a constant drumbeat that America is no longer the “land of the free and home of the brave” but a body rotten with “systematic racism” running through its veins and you have a President who by his own actions screams that he has no desire of unifying anything.

Trump’s tweets were irritating, but what Biden’s attempting isn’t just disingenuous, it’s downright dangerous.

Dangerous not just for us, but the world itself.  Because if we fail, there is no one else.

And if that doesn’t get your attention, nothing will.

Publisher note:  A version of this column appears in the June 5th, 2021 edition of the Joplin Globe.

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