The Bible says that everything has its own time. This came to my mind when I was watching U.S. President Joe Biden’s latest videos. It’s adorable, maybe even touching, when a grandpa falls asleep in his rocking chair on the porch. The younger generation then looks at him with an understanding smile and even tucks him in. But when the head of a world power (for now, perhaps) falls asleep in the crossfire of cameras, it is certainly frightening.
We are seeing more frequently that it’s a serious challenge for the nearly 80-year-old president to climb up the stairs of his plane or find his way around the garden of the White House (which can hardly be called a jungle). If he forgets the name of one of his two negotiating partners, then there’s a big problem. He only referred to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, with whom he had just made a strategic alliance, and not to mention just signed a business deal worth $50 billion, as “that fella” with noble simplicity. Democratic leaders and campaign gurus could still build an idealized picture of the youthful, dynamic Biden before the election, but reality has surfaced. One can hardly lead a world power at close to 80 years old because the position practically demands continuous service, readiness and even the ability to make decisions 24 hours a day. This is when the usual reply is that behind every current president stands an enormous apparatus of experts who complete the lion’s share of decision-making development. It’s true, but the final word (such as the deployment of nuclear warheads) must be said by the president.
It is revealing that the America that created the youth culture could only lift a tired old man into the seat of the presidency. If his supporters wanted a temporary, transitional role for him, they are playing a dangerous game. We have seen this before in the not so distant past. When the Soviet Union of the 1980s was led by a gerontocracy under party secretaries Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko, the agony of the system became clear. Even from the closed world at the time, information leaked that let us see how the rulers who once held unlimited power had turned into a parody of themselves. With that, they ensured the fall of a world order and the entire empire. It’s no coincidence that Western intelligence paid close attention to every little piece of information regarding the health of Soviet leaders. Even one illness or death during the Cold War had serious national security implications.
There should be no doubt that information about Biden’s health and mental abilities is being monitored the same way, analyzed by the intelligence agencies of the great powers. Since these have weight and implications today, too. It’s no coincidence that, again and again, footage of President Vladimir Putin, who once again won in the latest Russian election, has appeared that demonstrates his dynamism, perhaps contrasting the weakness of the U.S. president. The president is exuding confidence, strength and a resurgent Russian consciousness as he off-roads in Siberia and sips tea with Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu in the taiga. Similarly, Chinese President Xi Jinping joyfully smiles at the camera because he has time. As does China, which has been thinking and building for decades — or rather, centuries.
Biden is sort of a symbol for the current state of the United States: elderly, sick and indecisive. And this gives us a serious reason to worry about the future and safety of our planet. For decades, America was one of the strongest factors (if not the strongest) in the stability of world politics. Nowadays it can barely fulfill its role. Moreover, it seems sometimes that the nation itself has become a risk factor. We see the tragic consequences of the catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan daily in the news. NATO’s role, meanwhile, is increasingly devalued in the eyes of Americans. China and Asia have become America’s largest economic, political and military undertaking. At the same time, Europe is receiving less and less attention. America put its key partner, France, in an impossible position as well.
We must see that today’s America, with its own interests in mind, is increasingly ignoring Europe. The economic and political centers of power behind Biden are working to save what can still be saved because there will be congressional elections next year and a presidential election in three. The constraints of the four-year cycle undermine everything. That is why the president’s circle must build a digital Potemkin village that can distort reality for the time being. For the president is a product and imprint of this era. If the United States does not want to face the same fate as the Soviet Union, it must find a solution to this internal crisis as soon as possible.
Still today, the U.S. dollar proudly declares “In God We Trust.” But this is less and less true. The Americans would rather believe in unrestricted LGBTQ rights and accept the spread of radical Islam, gender change for young children and the supremacy of the Black Lives Matter movement. Meanwhile, Biden falls asleep in the middle of negotiating with the Israeli prime minister. Of course, we know that America is the land of unlimited opportunities. Maybe some TV channel or social medium could put out an advertisement for a talent or reality show:
Young, dynamic and educated American president wanted!