by Ravi Batra
The ever-likeable Joseph R. Biden Jr. is our Noah, starting at Noon January 20, 2021, as we Americans have only One President at a time. 2021 is a year pregnant with Hope itself, and why I call it: the Year of Hope. Meanwhile, the world is buffeted with existential tsunamis: man-made, as in SARS-CoV2, climate crisis and micro-plastic ingestion; and Mother nature’s response to wipeout the human-threat to all other animals, by rising sea levels, fires and earth’s axis-shift to move North and South Poles elsewhere.
President Trump’s main promise – above all else – was to shake things up; for he ran as a rebel to the status quo, and rebellious he was to the very last moment, harnessing even presidential pardon power. Yet, to his historic credit, he caused peace agreements in the Middle East with Israel, and lately, between Qatar and four Arab nations, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain thanks to Jared Kushner – let alone stand up taller to CCP’s China than any president before him. His disruption of friend and foe alike was unique, and made friends un-easy and foes un-certain. He did this to secure a better deal for us. He won some; he lost some. But his failure to walk quietly into the night, after the election, is no surprise; but, rather, a poignant reminder that “disruption” does not come with a “shut-off” switch. Indeed, his 88.5 million global Twitter followers (while 75 million voted for his re-election) help him to remain a durable force in domestic politics, as well as geo-politically, as no foreign leader or nation can rule out his running and winning in 2024. Indeed, the GOP, and hence, DNC, suffer that same anxiety.
Much is always expected of any POTUS, but of POTUS Joe Biden, much more is expected. He is expected to return us all to our nostalgic “normal,” which we then-wanted improved, but now longingly yearn for. Joe’s most difficult challenge is that he must be a satisfying President for Trumpers, and anti-Trumpers alike; maybe, even more for the former, if he is to earn any “space” from POTUS45 for his Biden-Agenda. Already, two well-worn and honored principles of American Presidency lay feebly on the ground: the “First 100 days of a new POTUS’ Honeymoon” with Congress, and “One POTUS at a time.” The former, taken away from Trump, and the latter, a gift from Trump. Yin and Yang. Perfect balance. Cosmic equilibrium.
But luckily, Joe has qualities unique to Jesuits and Irish Catholics: Always compassionate and always forgiving, as Faith demands of the humble Faithful; but as any Irishman worth his salt, never to serve on bent-knee. And Joe is both a proud American, as he is a proud Irishman. Indeed, just as all of us are Irish on St. Patty’s Day, and I, O’Batra, this 46th Term of POTUS is going to require all of us to be good Americans, worthy of our Founders, and as Thomas Jefferson penned: “We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” Imagine the joy of 1776 society, when Honor exceeded the value of life and fortunes. Sadly, today, there is such a dearth of personal Honor, let alone one that can be pledged. So long as HONOR is MIA in America, Reagan’s Shining City on the Hill remains dimmed.
JFK in his inaugural speech started Camelot, because he challenged us with: “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Joe Biden in his inaugural remarks must confirm that he knows that on January 20, 2021 – we ought be at July 4, 1776, even with many a Benedict Arnold in our midst – and he must ask us all to: mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor, so that we may yet again nourish the ideal of America, and turn the useless Noun of “United” into a loving, compassionate and forgiving Verb of “united.”
It is all of the above unique qualities of love-able Joe, that Joe will need in spades, to govern well, let alone heal our divide, assist our fellow Americans in need with necessary support to stand up and reject the false seduction of Socialism, the anti-Christ of Meritocracy, aka the American Dream, and restore Law & Order at home. Joe’s new NSA-Designee 44-year old Jake S. Sullivan, like 45 year old Bob McNamara during JFK times, is the new Boy Wonder, along with Mayor Pete Buttigieg, as Transportation Secretary, to render unto us, that which our tax dollars deserve, and ignore lobbyists that serve special masters and disunity. Jake and Pete must do better than Bob did.
If Joe can stay true to his founding roots as the world’s Number 1 Fiduciary, ignore all the politics he mastered, as he is now no longer #2 – but POTUS himself – and be one with God, do the right thing by every American, the American Dream, our cherished Constitution-based American Exceptionalism, and stand tall, especially to those who wish to dominate us, after first Pearl Harboring us with biowarfare, he will have embraced his glorious destiny – which first required him to survive doses of mortal pain, on a repeat personal basis – as every would-be Knight had to endure – so that he may be worthy of being an American Knight in shining armor. May God continue to Bless these United States of America.
Ravi Batra is an eminent attorney and Chair of National Advisory Council on South Asian Affairs.