Make America First

America’s politicians need to place America’s interests first.” – The Lonely Realist

Americans do not want a Biden-Trump ticket. They want Joe Biden and Donald Trump to put their egos aside and step aside. America’s best interests should be their priority. Make America First!

President Biden’s current approval rating is a dismal 39.5%, a weak rating that has been as low as 37.9% and as high as 52%. Donald Trump’s ratings as President were equally poor at 34% and 49% …, and he currently has a 42.7% favorability rating with 53% of Americans viewing him unfavorably. Poll after poll shows that Americans want their next President to be neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump. Neither is listening.

The 2024 manifestations of Joe Biden and Donald Trump are darker shadows of their earlier selves. Both espouse mixes of good and horrible bad not-so-good policies. Their flaws, however, are not simply policy-specific. Each has been appallingly weak at execution. First-rate managerial skills are the hallmark of great Presidents … and a necessity in difficult times. Despite President Biden’s decades of government service, Joe Biden-as-President has not evidenced CEO skills. President Trump’s New York business practices did not recommend him to be America’s CEO …, and his four years as President evidenced that reality. The job of President requires hiring the very best and delegating to them the responsibility to successfully execute clearly-defined policies, with the President retaining empowerment oversight. It is they, rather than their President, who safeguard America’s global interests. Moreover, the job of President requires not only hiring and motivating the best and the brightest, but also firing those who fail to perform at the highest levels. Neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump has shown such aptitudes. It is their failure to be effective CEOs that disqualifies both from re-occupying the Oval Office. Despite Cabinet-level policy and execution failures in Afghanistan, the Middle East and the southern border, not one of President Biden’s Cabinet members or advisers has been fired. As NBC News reported, “The absence of turnover among the Biden appointees – whose jobs include stopping crime, keeping food safe and guarding against attack – is a rarity,” likely unique in modern American history. Donald Trump’s performance as President was flawed in other ways – he believed (and continues to believe) himself the master of all crafts, more capable than any possible appointee. Although he initially selected “A Team” experts to his Administration, he quickly tired of them. As the Brookings Institution noted, his “A Team” turnover was unprecedented: He fired 92% of his senior appointees, and then fired 45% of their replacements. It is impossible to find a similar record in government or among successful entrepreneurs … anywhere, ever. And Donald Trump has promised to no longer hire “A Teamers.”

While it is clear that Joe Biden and Donald Trump should willingly withdraw their candidacies in favor of more qualified aspirants, neither has been willing to do so. Of the two, only President Biden has the power to attempt a dual recusal. TLR accordingly proposes that President Biden, recognizing the urgency of putting aside partisanship in the national interest, present (more or less) the following to a nationally-televised audience:

“My fellow Americans. I come to you tonight with the message you’ve desperately wanted to hear. You’ve expressed concerns about whether someone of my years should serve as your next President. I will be 82 in January 2025 and 86 in January 2029. Former President Trump will be 78 years old in January 2025 and 82 in January 2029. I’ve heard from a majority of Americans that, because of our ages, neither I nor Donald Trump should serve as the next President of the United States. While I most certainly disagree that age should decide the selection of President, I respect the concern that you, my fellow Americans, have expressed. Your calls for generational change have been heard. Donald Trump and I each has served America to the best of our abilities. Each of us believes that we can effectively lead America for the next four years, and yet I am sensitive to the concerns you have expressed.

I’ve also been listening to the apprehensions voiced concerning Donald Trump’s multiple legal challenges. They are a distraction, including to America’s voters, especially because there is little time before Election Day for a definitive resolution. Many Americans have expressed fears about how our Constitution should address the issues. That is divisive and saps America’s strength during a time of global upheaval.

As a consequence, I have given deep thought as to how I, as President, can place the interests of America above my own interests. For the sake of our country, after lengthy discussions with my Cabinet, with former Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, and with Chief Justice Roberts, I have come to you tonight with a proposal. My hope is that, given the stakes for our country, Donald Trump will embrace it. If so, we can begin to heal the partisan divisions currently bedeviling our people. My goal is for our differences to thereafter lead to discussion and resolution. Positive outcomes for America and Americans could once again become realities.

If President Trump is prepared to renounce his candidacy for President, I too will do so. If so, I would, as President Gerald Ford did for Richard Nixon in 1974, pardon Donald Trump from all Federal crimes, misdeeds and misdemeanors. I have discussed comparable processes with the governors of Georgia and New York, Brian Kemp and Kathy Hochul, and both have agreed to pardon Mr. Trump under their States’ laws and discharge him from criminal liabilities. If Mr. Trump is willing to join me in renouncing our candidacies for President, this would, in one stroke, enable him to move forward without legal distractions to pursue his business interests outside the political maelstrom. More importantly, it would enable America to move forward without the distractions of Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

For me, abandoning the campaign would be the most extreme of sacrifices. America is beset by challenges at home and abroad. I have devoted my life to the service of my country. Under my leadership, America has never experienced such a combination of robust economic growth, enhanced equality, and uninterrupted peace. My goal in making this proposal is to maximize our country’s ability to continue growing, prospering, and living in peace. That is my fervent hope and desire.

Thank you for listening. And God bless America.”


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Finally (from a good friend)

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