The Right to be Wrong | JIM FURLONG

Joe Smallwood said once after the provincial Liberals had lost a by-election that the people had exercised their “God-given right to be wrong”. It was well said. We must remember that and such concepts like ‘the will of the people’. It is for left leaning people like me a difficult notion. We find it hard to give legitimacy to conservative points of view or admit a conservative wind might be blowing.

To put it another way someone like Donald Trump has a complete RIGHT to be President of the United States if that is what the people want. It might not be what I want but it is the great flaw and the great strength in democracy that anyone can win. It isn’t the person with the strongest moral fiber or the greatest intellect that wins. It isn’t the person with the view closest to our own that wins the day. It is the person with the most votes. Whether or not they are the best person for the job is another matter altogether.

Consider, if you will, the rise to power of Adolph Hitler. Hitler did not seize power in Germany in a coup. Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power through legitimate political processes. He was appointed chancellor in 1933 because the Nazi party had become popular. They had won 37 percent of the popular vote in parliamentary elections. They weren’t the choice of most people in Germany, but they were the party with the most votes. The rest is history.

In the United States the recent presidential debate was a train wreck for President Joe Biden and raised grave concern about his ability to be president. Donald Trump was no treat in the debate, but he dominated the stage and Joe Biden demonstrated a frailty and weakness that was truly frightening. It happens. Barack Obama’s first presidential debate was a poor performance, but he survived. It is early days, but it seems unlikely Biden can recover. There is a real sense that he was exposed. All of those who said he was intellectually sharp were lying to us. That leads to a terrible truth, and it is that if Joe Biden wasn’t up to a ninety-minute debate with a convicted felon how could he run a country like the United States for four years.

That is where we are at this point in time. There is a choice on the presidential ballot between a crook like Trump and somebody like Biden who no longer has a full deck and whose best days are so obviously behind him.

Now that is all I had to say initially. It was written on the Friday morning after the debate. Who knows what has happened in the hours since then. Perhaps Joe Biden has already decided or was convinced to “sling his hook” and go away. Perhaps something else has emerged from the already checkered past of Donald Trump.

The lasting thought for me will forever be who is running the Democratic Party. Who told us that it was okay for Joe Biden to go onstage? Who said he was the right man to defeat Donald Trump? Beyond the sadness of seeing a decent man like Joe Biden being allowed to humiliate himself is the nagging question on how this was allowed to happen. Books will be written about how a very old man was allowed to present himself as being capable of running the most powerful country on earth. The result of it all is that someone like Donald Trump can end up at the helm.

You can contact Jim Furlong at [email protected]