Port: Voters have a choice between Trump's chaos or reprisals from angry Democrats

I'd be happy to vote for just about anyone believably promising to Make Things Normal Again, and I think that's kinda-sorta what the Biden campaign is trying to tell us they'd do.

Former Vice President Joe Biden in 2016. Washington Post photo.
Former Vice President Joe Biden in 2016. Washington Post photo.

MINOT, N.D. — With the DNC's virtual convention this week, the Biden campaign gave us their thesis statement for the rest of the campaign season.

It boils down to "our guy is the nice guy."

Joe Biden will play the role of the kindly if doddering old grandpa who will beguile us with colorful stories and casually racist quips between struggles with coherence .

This will be an effective strategy. Because whatever else Joe Biden is, he is undoubtedly a nicer man than President Donald Trump, who has spent his first term demeaning the dignity of the office. And that's saying something, given some of the White House's previous occupants.

Democrats will sell Biden as the salve for four years worth of Trump's chaos, and for many voters weary of the endless Twitter tirades and parade of stupid, and often mean-spirited, comments emanating from the current commander-in-chief, that will be a welcome message.


The audience for the Trump reality show is dwindling.

Is it enough to win? I don't know. I didn't think Trump could win in 2016, and I was wrong. I think he could win again in 2020, but the odds seem long.

Suppose Democrats do win, not just the presidency, but perhaps the Senate too while maintaining a majority in the House.

Do we believe that they will, with Biden marshaling the parade, usher in a 21st-century Era of Good Feelings , setting aside partisan recrimination for the sake of national unity?

That seems unlikely.

Joe Biden is reportedly considering the angry ideologue Elizabeth Warren for treasury secretary , which all but guarantees chaos in the markets. A House that's still under the control of the Democrats likely means another term with dead-eyed partisan Nancy Pelosi as Speaker.

If Democrats take the Senate, too, you can bet they'll see it as an opportunity to jam through a bunch of progressive priorities.

Think the Green New Deal, tax hikes, a national minimum wage hike, new gun control laws, and perhaps some other divisive and controversial proposals we haven't even thought of yet.


Meanwhile, some on the left are calling for a "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" to put America on trial for the supposed crime of ever electing Trump in the first place.

It's hard to blame our liberal friends for wanting to push their agenda — if you win elections, you get to govern, that's how it has to work — but is it what America needs right now? Is Biden really going to spend his first term in office vetoing policies from Democratic majorities in Congress while throwing cold water on those who want retribution against Trump supporters?

Our country is about as divided now as it's ever been.

We don't need renewed political warfare along re-drawn ideological fault lines. We need time to heal. We need to restore order in the federal government. Congress needs to budget again, to name just one potential starting point.

At National Review, Jim Geraghty argues for a president who will promise to "get the executive branch of the U.S. government to run efficiently, effectively, and smoothly, making sure that every federal agency that I oversee is proficient at its stated mission, with particular emphasis in government roles that protect American lives, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, to the Food and Drug Administration, to the Department of Justice and federal law enforcement, to our armed services and intelligence community."

I'd be happy to vote for just about anyone believably promising to Make Things Normal Again, and I think that's kinda-sorta what the Biden campaign is trying to tell us they'd do.

I'm just not sure Biden would deliver. Or that he's even capable of delivering, given how often his palpably diminished capacity makes him seem like a geriatric avatar. A disarmingly nonoffensive sock puppet trotted out before American voters as the not-Trump alternative.

If Democrats win big on Election Day, they could help America heal, and while that may be a part of their messaging until November, it's unlikely to be what motivates them after.


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Rob Port, founder of, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at .

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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