Joe: Well, according to Real Clear Politics, gambling odds now predict a win for Joe Biden in the U.S. presidential race. His chance of winning the election is more than 59 percent to 36 percent for Donald Trump. We may as well start discussing what policies will change in a Biden administration. Republicans say not much will change, since the challenge will be keeping Sleepy Joe awake. You are a doctor. Even though Sleepy Joe doesn’t have much of a pulse, will he still be able to get things done?

Ken: It’s a long time between now and a Tuesday in November. Joe’s only qualification is he isn’t Donald Trump. If you recall Hillary Clinton in ’16 was polling way ahead of Trump. She was not an attractive candidate but she was way better then than Biden is now. If Joe and his campaigners want to win the election, even with the help of all the big media, he better stay out of sight and return to his basement, For sure, shunning debates is his best strategy. Joe’s mental agility is impaired to the point that if elected he will have to have a master puppeteer to pull his strings. One way or another it will be Pelosi and AOC running the show. We know that their agenda includes a major remodeling of this country, including redoing the Constitution and scrapping our economic system.

Joe: The mental agility of both candidates for president this November is impaired. Trump mentioned that Andrew Jackson had strong thoughts about the Civil War, even though Jackson died 16 years before the conflict arose. On another occasion, he implied that Frederick Douglass, the abolitionist who died in 1895, was still alive. I think what many unhappy Republicans are suggesting is that Sleepy Joe asleep will do less damage than Trump does awake. Daily tweets and insults will end. Finally with Biden we may get an honest discussion about federal finances. The current economic policies have led to a dramatic increase in the deficit and are unsustainable. The Republican Study Committee is proposing major reforms to Medicare and Social Security. They have had four years to debate this, but nothing to show for it.

Ken: Trump successfully pushed his economic package of legislation through in ’17 and saw the economic metrics soar like never before. Trump has made more effort to fulfill his campaign policy promises, including economic and immigration and foreign policy issues, than any previous POTUS in my lifetime. Then, as often happens in midterm elections, the Democrats took back the House. Since then he has been trying to sail upwind against a gale, followed by (no fault of Trump’s) the COVID-19 hurricane. And then came the protesters. The violent rioting Marxist mob, transparently the radical militant arm of the Democratic Party, occupying urban streets. Now they are tacitly threatening to extort the populous into submission with perpetual violence unless an impaired Biden or other Democrat replaces Trump in the White House. I anticipate an election decided by a backlash from Americans not ready to transform America into Cuba. Much like the surprising ’16 election that buried “landslide” Hillary whose platform was simply more Obamaness.

Joe: The polls and odds makers make Trump an underdog by a large margin for good reasons. COVID-19 has been a global shock. The pandemic has been a transformative event. Thus, odds makers have factored in Trump’s mismanagement of not only the worst public health crisis in a hundred years but the biggest economic crisis since the depression. Pew Research has examined the economic impact of the pandemic and the shutdown. The unemployment figures from COVID-19 have hit certain vulnerable groups the hardest. These are the young under age 34 and those who have an education that consists of a high school diploma or less. Biden is looked at as offering greater hope for these groups to thrive, particularly when illness or some other misfortune arises. It is ironic that since Bernie Sanders has dropped out, big government has come back in demand. Even some Congressional Republicans have been considering universal basic income, more educational support for young people and a decent minimum wage. It looks like they now recognize that each person acting on his own is not going to solve it.

Ken: The odds displayed on the tote board at Arlington will change right up until post time. The fat lady ain’t sung yet so don’t be too smug. Liberals promising to yank the country sharply left, McGovern, Mondale, have been losers. As for COVID-19, are you trying to say that Trump in some way bears responsibility? It should be obvious by now that this virus is highly contagious and will be infecting the population causing misery and death until a certain percentage develops antibodies after recovering from infection or until an effective safe vaccine is available. I would say that the shutdown was effective in not overwhelming medical resources. But by flattening the curve, the time the bug is active is prolonged and the ultimate statistics will not change. For the media to blame Trump for deaths is just more fake news. From what I have been reading, it looks like the most vulnerable and at risk are the aged and infirmed. A disproportionately large number of nursing home residents have succumbed. Few infected in the under 34 age group require hospitalization and many have no symptoms at all although they test positive. Back in February however, nobody in the country had any idea of what was about to unfold. The last few months have been a learning experience. Now, it looks like we will continue to see COVID-19 infections but relatively fewer deaths because the elderly have learned to minimize social contact, and we have learned that we need to protect nursing home residents. Finally, Trump is all about the economy. And the economy is all about consumer confidence. Because the stock market index is a good measure of consumer confidence, today’s (Monday, July 6, 2020) market surge looks favorable for the sitting president. Do we really want Biden, the candidate with the moniker Sleepy Joe, to be president? He is the candidate who will snooze through it all? China ascendant, Iran with nukes, Russia clawing its way back to superpower status, and COVID-19 infesting the whole world?

Dr. Ken Johnston has been an ENT surgeon in Kankakee since 1976. He has been on several community boards and has been involved with clubs and organizations. He has lived in Bourbonnais since 1981. He can be contacted through the Daily Journal at editors@daily-journal.com or directly at Ken_Johnston@comcast.net.

Joe Yurgine is a practicing attorney, “Of Counsel” with Corboy & Demetrio, Chicago. He can be contacted through the Daily Journal at editors@daily-journal.com or directly at joeyurgine@yahoo.com.

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