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Thursday, April 15, 2021
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Operation Grandpa-in-Chief

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By SUZANNE DOWNING / MUST READ AMERICA

On a ferry ride to Seattle from the liberal island enclave of Bainbridge Island, Washington, I eavesdropped on a group of retired gentlemen chatting about their admittedly diminished lives in the year of Covid. 

To be clear, I wasn’t purposefully eavesdropping on my way to catch a flight home, but the men were shouting through their masks as they socially distanced from each other. It was impossible to ignore.

None of them had traveled on a plane for over a year, as as I have done repeatedly. One recalled he’d returned from a trip to Cairo in March of 2020, and had not dared to travel since. 

Covid hit, and hit hard in the Seattle area. Not one of the posse of Patagonia-wearing patricians had been inside a restaurant for a year; Gov. Jay Inslee had closed the restaurants for most of 2020. The ferry ride together seemed to be a rare reunion for these privileged, stay-homers from the suburbs, who talked about missing their grandchildren in states far away.

“Did you hear President Biden’s 25-minute speech?” one man asked the group. “What really struck me is how empathetic he was, just so empathetic, something that’s been missing the past four years.” The men murmured their support.

It’s the kind of question you’d only ask if you already knew your audience would affirm your conclusion. You might not phrase that question the same way in a place like Wasilla, District 8, where Donald Trump won 75 percent of the vote in November.

Readers, it’s good to get out of our routines and listen to the world beyond our political tribe, and outside the fences of our normal pastures. We need to hear how others interpret the events of the day. For as much as conservatives heard President Joe Biden read slop on a teleprompter on Thursday, there were some Americans who found his words comforting.

Here we had a group of obviously educated, well-heeled, retired white men, with all the privilege in the world, nodding together at how empathetic Biden is, and how that pleased them very much. 

Conservatives heard a darker, less truthful message in Biden’s speech:

“A year ago we were hit with a virus that was met with silence and spread unchecked. Denials for days, weeks, then months. That led to more deaths, more infections, more stress, and more loneliness,” Biden began reading, plodding through what his speechwriters had message-tested. His predecessor did nothing to control Covid-19 and Donald Trump is to be blamed for the death of hundreds of thousands of Americans. 

Biden took credit for the vaccination program made possible and put in place by President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed.

Then the man who rarely emerged from his basement during his campaign, set Americans’ expectations low: 

If we keep our muzzles on, if we refrain from spending time with our friends and families, we might be able to have a small family gathering for the Fourth of July, by the grace and goodness of the federal government. A small one, mind you.

The affable group of gentlemen on the boat, as with others who don’t like Trump’s style or personality, seemed blissfully unconcerned that this is a president who had forgotten the name of his own Secretary of Defense earlier in the week.

“And I want to thank the sec — the, the ah former general. I keep calling him general, but my, my — the guy who runs the outfit over there,” Biden said of Lloyd Austin on Monday, because he did not have a teleprompter to lean on.

That may seem like a small gaffe, but it’s a well-known adaptive technique used by those who are starting to experience memory loss. Biden is, if nothing else, a case study in brain neurotransmitter malfunction, and his presidency is a demonstration of elder abuse.

And yet, here we are: Americans, many of whom are in our own families, were worn out by the coronavirus and wanted a pastoral figure who exudes compassion. They wanted a kindly grandpa-in-chief, someone with bedside manners. 

Trump was no grandpa. He was a businessman’s Sun-Tzu, a strategist warrior archetype who took on both the Washington bureaucracy and the entire world order. It took an alpha like Trump to execute Operation Warp Speed, which was already rolled out by the time Biden was sworn in. 

Although Trump has an army of 74 million Americans who voted for him and are still loyal, Operation Grandpa appealed to the other Americans, the ones who had tired of Trump’s leadership style and odd character. They are hearing what they want to hear from a president who is the polar opposite of Trump.

Leadership has several archetypal forms. Some leaders are change-agents, while others are strategists, deal-makers, or innovators. Trump is all of those combined. But what he is not is a nursemaid.

Americans — enough of them, at least — chose the “sage patriarch” archetype. No more America First. No more Make America Great Again. They wanted Make America Normal Again.

Operation Grandpa spoke on Thursday to hypnotize a nation: All will be normal soon, and that in the near future, if we behave, we may gather in small groups to celebrate Independence Day. 

You know, normal.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Pathetic

  • Biden didn’t win.
    .
    Epstein didn’t kill himself.

    • Agree!

  • Biden is simply a mouthpiece. He doesn’t really have any authority, perceived authority yes but not in any kind of authoritarian way. Think of a marionette puppet. That’s Biden. The poor bastard better hope you don’t get a cold or something, because the powers will use that as a opportunity to off him and insert the next puppet in Harris. I believe she’s dumber than a box of rocks. She’s been brought up and promoted in an anointed sort of way just like nobama was. It’s ironic how these guys are taking credit for Trump’s hard work in the same way that Obama blamed bush for a lot of things that was his fault. It’s what they do. It’s not the first day in radical socialist 101 class.

  • Speaking of Grandpas, how long before we achieve the benefits like Bernie’s favorite example of Progressive Utopia, Venezuela?

  • The world was never Normal, it’ll never a harmonious place as long as Adam and Eve’s sin exists, this world remains off balance, broken, and abnormal. Its growing more and more Abnormal the closer it reaches the coming of Christ, the real one not the fake one. If I was a grandma I hope I’d have replaced my youthful opinions for a treasure bag of Grace. I don’t want to be remembered by my grandkids as the grandma who criticized them for not wearing their mask nor criticize them improperly wearing it and shoving them back telling them social distance 6ft apart. Even worse they blaming themselves if Grandma came down with Covid. I’d tell them its not their fault. Their company means more to Grandma than the peace coming from their absence. I never want to feel their absence because of they are afraid coming around me. To Hell without safety, I’d move in with my children and grandchildren this way we’d all be together.

  • You get the government you deserve

  • I challenge the notion that Biden got more actual votes on November 3, 2020. I reject Biden as being a legitimate President.

  • Well, I agree with the kumbaya stuff, but the Adoration of Trump part is sickening. There are many other Conservatives who could lead far better than Trump. He’s a rude, bigoted, dishonest, cruel man, who’s unfit to be President. It feels so good to see him gone.

    A “strategist warrior archetype”? Lost the House. Lost the Senate, Lost the Presidency. Yes, a real conquerer.

    Give me a Romney, or a Kasich, or a Cheney. But not Trump. Never again. KJU had it correct when he called him a defective human product. Best description ever.

    How anyone, especially Evangelical Christians, can support him when there are other decent Republicans is beyond me. To the Country’s eternal shame, he was elected President. He will forever sit alone when other Presidents gather, no one will eulogize him, and no one is sad that he’s gone. He’s now slowly drifting into irrelevance, and towards the nearest low-security NY State prison.

    Thank you Joe Biden for restoring dignity, compassion, and, yes, even just good old-fashioned manners to the Office of the Presidency.

    • You wish. You are wrong. Truth will stand while lies fall to the floor and true patriots march on. Demons are obvious and you need a mirror.

      • Trump is irrelevant and headed for prison. The sooner you stop deluding yourself, the better off you will be.

    • “He will forever sit alone when other Presidents gather, no one will eulogize him, and no one is sad that he’s gone.”
      Boy, you got that right.

    • Yes, he not only lost the Senate but he literally GAVE it up! Who in their right mind calls election officials in Georgia – two days before a special election that determines the balance of power in the Senate – and pushes them to help him find a way to win. He knows the conversation will be leaked.
      *
      Trump cares about Trump. He’s a quintessential narcissist. He uses people to get ahead. He used conservatives, evangelicals, and others to promote himself and get what he wants. Forty years ago, he used liberals.
      *
      While his policy positions have been all over the map one thing remains constant, Trump promotes Trump and will destroy anyone who is in the way of getting what he wants. He’s good to those who are good to him but woe to those – like Mike Pence – who take a principled stand against a raging narcissist. Trump had no trouble throwing the entire Republican party under the bus because he didn’t get what he wanted. Trump is exactly the kind of successful, cruel, selfish person a reasonable parent hopes their child never marries or turns out to be.
      *
      Had Trump shown an ounce of humility and class in the lead up to the election he would have been reelected by a landslide. Eventually he couldn’t even hold a COVID press conference – which started off good – without turning the event into a promotion of Donald Trump. His post-election antics – evidenced by the mass exodus of even his most loyal aides in the end – illustrate why the American people in the end rejected him.
      *
      What ever happened to conservative leaders who promoted things like integrity, humility, duty, honor, and country? It’s sad to say but unlike George Washington, Donald Trump would have had no trouble accepting the royal mantle of emperor.

      • Thank you EL. We’re few and far between here on MRAK.

      • Yes and unless you missed it, that phone call report was just in the paper as just another retracted story . They can’t win with the truth, because they didn’t win.

        • You obviously haven’t listened to the actual call E. The retracted story was only due to a couple of misquotes and the gist of the call was not changed.
          It was plainly a strong-arm attempt to get votes thrown out. After you listen to the actual call, then tell us about your “truth.” Heheh!

  • Their speech should have sounded like this: ““Did you hear the fake president’s 25-minute speech?” What really struck me is how utterly pathetic he was, just sooooo pathetic, something that’s been missing the past four years.”

  • Yep them commies can sure soothe some people as they plunge the Fork into them.
    It could be that these gentlemen prefer socialism, or it could also be a “Don’t rock the proverbial rickety boat” mind set. Just leave things as they’ve been through all these years, there’s no need to fix anything right now, don’t try to reel in our huge government, take back our freedoms, or plain upset anyone. Shoooo, just keep sleeping little one, as the government keeps growing, and slips into socialism, all in the name of not to cause a stir or to present yourself unlike any other past presidents who surely kept pushing us into this direction.

    Interesting though, number fourth, in Obidens speech says we will come out with what you can and cannot do once you’ve been vaccinated, which will in return encourage others to get vaccinated. “Show me your papers”

    • Exactly what Freedoms are you being deprived of, Mr. Zip, that need to be taken back? Please be specific.

      • My job at Willow. Employer: what is your motivation for wanting this job? Me: I’ve always been passionate about being able to feed my family.

      • Whidbey……..First I am not a Mr, but how would you know this.
        There’s a very long list of them that with your mind set, you would consider them not freedoms, or at least freedoms that only need to be granted after paying our over bloated government for them by means of fees, and over taxations. My most loathed taxes are property taxes. One should never have to pay the government yearly rent to be able to keep their own home that they own. Whether it’s a ranch or some little house in town, you should Never be taxed on your main homestead. Some little lady who’s owned her home almost all her life ends up taxed out of her home because people came in and raised the value of her taxes on her home, a rancher who has had their land in the family for generations who can no longer afford the taxes, or a new family with their first home scraping by to make those mortgage payments, and then the property taxes. It’s time to protect ours, and abolish homestead property taxes.

        • Hear, Hear

        • Uh huh. Well, in case you’ve missed it, you live in the most lightly taxed place in the Country. No State income tax, many places have no sales tax. Property taxes are about in the middle for the Country. And, oh yes, you still receive annual PFDs that probably cover most of the property tax bill that you get anyway.

          Have you ever called the Police, or Fire Department? Do your kids go to school? Have you driven on public roads,? Have you had your snow plowed? Well, then, I’d say that you’re getting your money’s worth from the property taxes that you so ardently despise. You get things for your taxes that you don’t even realize.

          Sorry, but you’ll get exactly zero sympathy from me. Responsible citizens pay their taxes, hold their government to account to ensure that they are not wasted, and live happily ever after.

          And if one can’t afford their property as they age, well, then, I’d say that perhaps they haven’t done very well at their financial planning along the way.

          Stop your complaining and pay up.

          Geez.

          • Whidbey, you must be a government worker with your job security, retirement and healthcare all tied up in a nice little box for you! You certainly don’t have an empathetic bone in your body and appear to be a real a**hole.

      • And, that’s just for starters….

  • Trump won the election. The article reads as if he did not.

    • The Trump campaign and GOP should have focused the campaign on Kamela Harris than basement biden or sleepy joe. She is more widely criticized and less loved than Biden by Democrats. Then, maybe it’ll had convinced more covid fearful voters into supporting Trump cause they dont want to just survive covid to move into another Oakland tent city and tiny house slum.

  • Very well said Suzanne. Its shocking how our citizens just roll with the propaganda. I see many of those are reading your posts. Im happy they are reading your material and posting. Great to have different opinions and reasonable discussions.

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