About Joe Biden

Posted from the capital city of Little Rock, Arkansas by Linda Lou Burton — Joseph Robinette Biden Jr is the 46th president of the United States. Besides what you’ve heard from media blasts, what do you know about the man? Probably what the latest media focus tells you, and which media you choose to listen to. To start with a basic fact, let’s take Joe’s birthdate. It is November 20, 1942, so yes, he’s the oldest elected president ever. Is that a bad thing? Maybe that depends on your age. Do you have respect for your elders? Or do you lean towards the theory that people “lose it” as they age? I was three years old when Joe was born, so in my mind, Joe hasn’t lost it, he “gets it.” He, and I, have lived through the scares and fears and patriotism of WWII and its aftermath; the conformity of the 50s when folks settled back into traditional roles, though civil rights issues began to grip our thinking. The 60s, 70s, 80s brought us Barbie, Vietnam, Moonwalks; women’s rights, gay rights, Watergate; hippies, me-first, greed, AIDS. We morphed into the 90s learning to depend on the internet, chatting with total strangers once the whine and click of “signing on” connected us to the world beyond. We got mail! We eased into a new century despite doomsday forecasts of our worldly systems shutting down. We got hooked on technology and upping our range; our phones became cameras; Bluetooth, Facebook, YouTube became our crutch; Twitter and Going Viral became the norm.

Then came 2020, “the worst year ever” is its label now; it slapped us hard. A virus? As the year wore on, our disbelief turned into shrieks of blame; or avoidance of the issue. We quarantined at home, or we did not. We masked our faces, or we did not. We were angry, disillusioned, unemployed, sad. We canceled plans, and dreams. Buried feelings festered as we sat at home, losing sight of what had been our normal life. Small irritations grew large. We missed the human touch. When you can’t be in the world yourself, you reach for promises, hoping somebody knows what to do.

That is the world as Joe Biden steps into the role of leadership in 2021. What a plate of hoo-ha we’ve handed him to deal with! Can we trust him to do it? Joe is not perfect. But he has lived through vastly changing times, as humans have behaved badly, and then regretted it; as thinking has changed with lessons learned. Joe has done some really good things in his lifetime; and apologized for a lot of things he regrets. Joe has experienced great loss; he was sworn into his first role as a Senator in 1973 in the hospital, just after his wife and infant daughter died in a tragic accident that injured his young sons. He has been a single parent, but moved on into a second marriage with Jill Jacobs, now in its 44th year. He has fathered four children – Beau, Hunter, Naomi, Ashley – and has seven grandchildren today. He has a sister and two brothers, Valerie, Jim, and Frank. His parents – Joseph Sr and Catherine Eugenia Finnegan Biden – lived long, into their 80s and 90s; they died in 2002 and 2010; his oldest son Beau had too short a life; he died in 2015 at the age of 46. Various members of his family have made him proud, and at times given reason for concern, but he’s always been a family man, and a man of faith. Records show that Joe lived a basically middle-class life; his parents dealt with both good times and hard times. Joe had to overcome a speech impediment; his college years were not extraordinary. But Joe persevered. Joe gets it.

A lot of people like Joe Biden. Let’s look at his electoral record, since 1970, when he was 28 years old, just starting out there in Delaware:

  • 1970 County Councilor, 10,573 votes or 55% of total
  • 1972 US Senator, 116,006 votes or 50% of total
  • 1978 US Senator, 93,930 votes or 58% of total
  • 1984 US Senator, 147,831 votes or 60% of total
  • 1990 US Senator, 112,918 votes or 63% of total
  • 1996 US Senator, 165,465 votes or 60% of total
  • 2002 US Senator, 135,235 votes or 58% of total
  • 2008 US Senator, 257,484 votes or 53% of total
  • 2008 US Vice President, 69,498,516 votes or 53% of total
  • 2012 US Vice President, 69,915,795 votes or 51% of total
  • 2020 US President, 81,268,757 votes or 51% of total

That adds up to 217,722,528 times people “voted for Joe” in the last 50 years. And 81,268,757 people who want Joe to be our President for the next four years. If you are one of them, or if you are not, you need to read what he said in his Inaugural Address on January 20, as he accepted the job we elected him to do; all 2,514 words of it. It’s a declaration of intent, filled with purpose, and closing with a sacred oath. It’s a request to each of us to do our part; a leader is there to lead, to enable us to be the best that we can be. A great America is a cooperative effort. Wear your mask. Get your vaccination. Help your neighbor. Listen before you leap. See the possibilities.   https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2021/01/20/inaugural-address-by-president-joseph-r-biden-jr/

I share with you a few lines of that Inaugural Address that were most meaningful to me.

From President Joe Biden

Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies. Lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders – leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation — to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.

I understand that many Americans view the future with some fear and trepidation. I understand they worry about their jobs, about taking care of their families, about what comes next. I get it. But the answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions, distrusting those who don’t look like you do, or worship the way you do, or don’t get their news from the same sources you do.

We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal.

We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. If we show a little tolerance and humility. If we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes just for a moment. Because here is the thing about life: There is no accounting for what fate will deal you.

There are some days when we need a hand. There are other days when we’re called on to lend one. That is how we must be with one another. And, if we are this way, our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future….in the work ahead of us, we will need each other.

My fellow Americans, I close today where I began, with a sacred oath. Before God and all of you I give you my word.

  • I will always level with you.
  • I will defend the Constitution.
  • I will defend our democracy.
  • I will defend America.
  • I will give my all in your service thinking not of power, but of possibilities.

Tomorrow: About Kamala Harris