If the prospect of Joe Biden as fills me with such foreboding, why did I vote for the guy? I’ll spare you the standard foam-at-the-mouth diatribe about Trump being a threat to democracy itself and keep it short. The man’s incompetent. And Biden has upsides.
His health care plan beats no health care plan. A president who has occasional verbal lapses beats a president who can’t talk at all. Biden might halt the attrition of qualified civil servants from every branch of government, while improving his country’s international standing — at least from knee-high to mid-thigh. Biden’s very dullness could restore a sense of order; rather than ‘Build back better’, his slogan might more persuasively have run ‘Make America boring again’.
Returning Trump to a fading reality TV star would deprive the far left of their most beloved punching bag, for this ultimate emblem of evil and stupidity has proven the left’s most potent recruiting tool. Believe me, progressives will grievously miss that fat orange face.
On my absentee ballot, I did do something mischievous. Whimsically, I voted for the ‘wrong’ party for Congress, the only Republican I’ve ever voted for (although my eccentric gesture won’t matter; my New York district is fated for a Democrat). It’s just that I don’t fancy the same party completely controlling both the legislature and the White House, thus being free to do whatever they please. I prefer a constraining influence at play.
But hey, I’m bound to feel glum in any event. Because my only options are getting pretty depressed and getting suicidally depressed, I’ve no champagne chilling. Yeah, I do think it’s crucial to get an erratic, inflammatory, poorly informed buffoon who never reads anything out of the Oval Office. But I’ve no rosy illusions about a Biden presidency. So rather than bubbly, I’m thinking vodka neat. Cold. Make that a double.
This is an extract from Lionel Shriver’s latest Spectator column