Connect with us


Debating Relative Degrees of Senility

Is this election between two candidates with different degrees of senility? Will it be the last election of the two-party system?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email



A study in senility and dementia - Biden in close-up with sunglasses

Last week in a press conference, President Biden confused Mexico with Gaza and said he had recently spoken to François Mitterrand, who has not been the president of France since 1995 and died in 1996. On the same day, former President Trump said in a speech to the National Rifle association that he saw a migrant shoplifting a refrigerator. It is truly frightening to watch both Biden’s press conference and Trump’s speech, and think that one of them will likely be our president for the next four years.

On Sunday, I was on a television panel discussing the two incidents with a Biden supporter and Trump supporter arguing over which gaffe was worse. Is this really what our country has come to – debating which of the leading candidates for the nominations of the Democratic and Republican parties is less senile?

The American people have certainly not missed the awful choice they are likely to face in November. Polling has consistently shown 60%-75% do not want to see a Biden-Trump rematch. The polling also shows that a majority of those who plan to vote for one of the candidates are primarily motivated by wanting to vote against the other guy. That is a large percentage of voters that could make a real difference by coming together or by simply not giving in to the two-party system.

As of now, Biden is clearly coming out on the short end of the cognitive stick in voters’ minds. But he is much more in the public’s view now because of the various international hot spots and his inexplicable border policy. Such events always put the spotlight on whomever is president. As the campaign heats up, the public’s attention will become more focused on Trump. And there are a couple of things we know about Trump. He cannot stop talking and he cannot stay on script. So, there is no telling what will come out of his mouth between now and November.

I think we should be wary of relying too much on the polling at this time to predict what will happen in November. One can imagine all kinds of events between now and the election that could sway the independents who will decide this race. And at ages 81 and 77, there is the distinct possibility that either could suffer an acute health crisis between now and the election, especially when you consider the enormous pressure and stress of a presidential campaign. I believe the election could go either way.


Regardless of the outcome in November, the dysfunction of the two-party system will never have been on a grander display than in this trainwreck of an election. Defending the two-party system after it has forced this dreadful Hobson’s choice on us won’t be easy.

In his 2020 book, “The Storm before the Calm,” George Friedman predicted that after a tumultuous decade, there will be a historic reset of the American political landscape in 2028. His prediction is predicated to a large degree on the collapse of traditional institutional authority and credibility, including our two derelict political parties.

Most Americans are not actively engaged in politics. They are too busy making a living, caring for their families, coaching youth sports, attending their place of worship, and the myriad other activities that make up their daily lives to pay a lot of attention to the nonsense that passes for civic discourse today. So far, they have been content to suffer the growing dysfunction of our government at all levels, as is indicated by the fact that a third of Americans do not bother to vote, even in presidential elections. Many who do, mostly go to vote – with little enthusiasm – for the least objectionable alternatives on the ballot.

But as Theodore Roosevelt once observed, “The American people are slow to wrath, but when their wrath is once kindled it burns like a consuming flame.” I think that moment is coming, and perhaps as George Friedman predicts, it will come in the next election cycle. It may be a wild ride, but I agree that there will be a calm on the other side of the building storm.

This article was originally published by RealClearPolitics and made available via RealClearWire.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Co-Chair of Texas State Party at | + posts

Bill King is a businessman and lawyer, and is a former opinion columnist and editorial board member at the Houston Chronicle. He has served in a number of appointed and elected positions, including mayor of his hometown. He writes on a wide range of public policy and political issues. Bill is the author of “Unapologetically Moderate” and currently serves as the co-chair of the Forward Party of Texas.

Click to comment
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Would love your thoughts, please comment.x