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Goldwater Spoke Hard Truths to Nixon
Is There Anyone Today Who Will Tell Biden and Trump that It's Time to Go?
On Aug. 7, 1974, as the Watergate scandal was closing in on President Richard Nixon, Sen. Barry Goldwater, along with the Republican leaders of the House and Senate, went to the White House to tell him that he faced all-but-certain impeachment if he remained in office.
One day later Nixon resigned. And one day after that he left office.
I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering if there’s anyone like Barry Goldwater — in either party — who would tell Joe Biden or Donald Trump that for the sake of the country they should not run again.
In Biden’s case, it’s about what at least looks like his declining mental abilities. A few examples: He has said Russia is at war with Iraq. He told environmentalists that “We have plans to build a railroad from the Pacific all the way across the Indian Ocean.” In 2022, during his State of the Union message, he said that, “Putin may circle Kyiv with tanks, but he will never gain the hearts and souls of the Iranian people.” At another event, he asked where Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind) was. It’s not only that she was dead — but President Biden himself had commemorated her death just weeks earlier. And then, of course, there was his closing statement after a speech at the University of Hartford in Connecticut when he said — for no known reason — God save the Queen, man.”
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A recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that more than 60 percent of Americans (62%) believe that Biden’s mental fitness is a problem that would affect his ability to be president. At 80, he’s already the oldest U.S. president. He’d be 82 on Election Day and 86 at the end of a second four-year term. Who thinks he’ll get sharper as he gets older?
As for Donald Trump: He was impeached twice while in office and indicted twice since he left office — and there’s a good chance he’ll be indicted again, maybe more than once. He’s chronically dishonest and is responsible for one GOP loss after another. And some polls tell us that as weak as Joe Biden is, his best shot at winning in 2024 is if he runs against Donald Trump.
Who in the Republican Party has the gravitas to go to Mar-a-Lago and tell the former president that most Americans don’t want him to run again, that he has lost the confidence of independent voters who any candidate would need to win, and most of all, that he lacks the character to be President of the United States? Who could look him in the eye and say, for everybody’s well-being, he should drop out?
The few Republicans with the guts to tell Donald Trump he’s not fit for office — Chris Christie, Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney immediately come to mind — couldn’t get past the front gate at Mar-a-Lago.
A June Economist/YouGov poll found that only 33 percent of voters want Donald Trump to run again and only 26 percent want Joe Biden to run. An NBC poll in April found 70 percent of Americans believe Biden “should not run for president” and 60 percent don’t want Trump to run. And yet, there’s not the slightest indication that either man cares what the American people are saying -- such is their ego and some might say their selfishness.
Not only don’t we have an elder statesman like Barry Goldwater around who has the courage to tell hard truths to the President of the United States — we don’t even have a president, or a man who wants to be president again, who would do what Richard Nixon did: Step aside for his own good, for the good of his party, and most of all, for the good of the country.
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