Keep It In Perspective
It walks like a duck, squawks like a duck and looks like a duck, but it could be a chicken.
Did Joe Biden sexually assault a woman more than 20 years ago? Maybe, maybe not.
I have to wonder about the motivation of those who attack Biden. Those most virulently vocal on the issue just happen to be those who are most virulently vocal about defending a president who has talked about grabbing women’s crotches and more; has more than a dozen sexual assault lawsuits pending; and who paid a prostitute a lot of money to keep quiet about the relationship.
That is not to say that Biden should skate because the examples of sexual advances by Trump were much, much worse.
Biden should face some kind of punishment if he is found to have assaulted the woman. But I do not want to see Biden destroyed so that Trump can continue his reign of terror.
This is not to downplay the seriousness of the allegations. But chances of a fair trial in the court of public opinion are slim if the Brett Kavanaugh debacle of hypocrisy is any sign.
The sexual assault claims against Kavanaugh were more serious and much more documented but were roundly rejected by Republicans in the Senate, leading to Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court.
But let’s move on from the ridiculous to the sublime.
When we lost power for two long, miserable weeks a few years ago, I vowed to get a generator and be ready for the next outage. But laziness, magical thinking and misplaced priorities meant that I didn’t get a generator, leaving me open to another period of no power with no good excuses for my shortsighted decision.
The situation is a metaphor for how we’re dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic as it effects the most fragile among us.
Most of us are coping. We have our Zoom happy hours and on-line courses. We can enjoy walks in the park with our children and long phone conversations with friends. If we have children, they are generally occupied and don’t need a parent with them all the time.
That is not how it is for people who are emotionally, developmentally or psychologically impaired. They are virtual prisoners during the quarantine period and their caregivers are no less imprisoned and no less lonely and in need. The range of disabilities varies with some more able than others to function when the regular routines have been stolen. But it is an impossible stress for many.
Before the pandemic struck, people with disabilities attended day programs where they had responsibilities and socialized with like-minded people. More importantly, they got out of the house to a new environment and stimulation every day. They felt they were needed.
Their parents were still the primary caregivers but the day programs offered a psychological release from the caregiver’s very demanding role. It allowed caregivers to have a life apart from their disabled children. At least caregivers could have time to work, meet with friends and do some of the things that protect us from emotional meltdowns.
And friends and relatives could visit, offering some respite and diversion for both caregivers and the disabled. But that ended abruptly when the pandemic arrived. The impaired and their caregivers are stuck in their own homes, quarantined from others.
It is the government’s responsibility to aid those who cannot help themselves. When the pandemic subsides, the system of programs for the disabled will likely be resumed. But what if there is a second outbreak? What will be the contingency plan so the current dearth of alternatives is not repeated.
I fear the government’s reaction will be the same, with no preparations or systems in place to help disabled and their caregivers. Once again, the most fragile and their caregivers will be the most captive among us, with the least supports.
I’m afraid the government will react much like I did when I did not invest in a generator. The need to plan for helping the impaired and their caregivers will fade and be drowned out by a return to the everyday stresses and a return to the ostrich in the sand syndrome.
It doesn’t have to be that way with the proper leadership and that gets me back to Biden. He has a long history of compassion while Trump has a long history of a total lack of compassion. And that is why Biden’s presidency should not be swept away in a sea of concerns that pale in comparison with the world we are in today.