The WØRD – “Memories”

Click here for the full video President Biden’s State of the Union Address

From the chair

“Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”
                                  — Ronald Reagan (10-28-1980)

One thing some politicians rely on during their campaigns: how time weakens our memory. It’s a tactic that Donald Trump’s campaign is using: hoping Americans don’t remember just how bad things were four years ago. 

Do Americans Have a ‘Collective Amnesia’ About Donald Trump? – The New York Times

For the first half of his term, Trump rode the wave of the 8-year Obama economic recovery. But by the end of Trump’s turn, that wave quickly disappeared thanks to his bungled non-response to the COVID pandemic. Let’s go back four years and revisit the reality Donald Trump would have us forget:

March, 2020
Unemployment was at 4.4 percent. But a month later, it was a staggering 14.8 percent. By the time Trump left office, his four-year record was the loss of 3-million jobs: the worst jobs number for a President since Herbert Hoover. This week, the monthly jobs report showed another 275,000 Americans were employed. Unemployment has been under 4 percent for a record 39 months … dating back to the beginning of the Biden administration.

March, 2020
A total of 80 U.S. cases of COVID had been reported. At the White House, Trump told Bob Woodward in private that he knew COVID was extremely deadly and highly contagious. 

But he told the nation that his administration had it under control, and that the virus would disappear in a matter of weeks. His administration offered nothing but happy-talk.

Nearly 1,200,000 Americans have died from COVID. And our economy began to shut down from the pandemic. Hospitals in many cities, including Detroit and Lansing, were jammed to capacity by COVID cases.  We had nationwide shortages of personal protective equipment: N95 masks, respirators, protective clothing and even exam gloves. Worldwide supply chains were disrupted, setting the stage for a logjam in the supply chain that would disrupt our economy for three years.

To his credit, Trump pushed the development of the first COVID vaccines…but he didn’t put in place a plan for getting the vaccine to the people.

Joe Biden came into office with the goal of getting 100-million Americans vaccinated within 100 days. They did it in 58 days. Nearly half the U.S. population was vaccinated within the first 6 months. It was the beginning of the end of the pandemic. COVID no longer threatened to shut down America.

March 2020
In world affairs, Trump had already seriously damaged our standing in the world. U.N. delegates literally laughed at him during his 2018 speech to the General Assembly. NATO was on the verge of falling apart due to Trump’s open hostility to the alliance that had kept the peace in Europe for 60 years. And Trump’s open admiration for autocrats – Putin, China’s Xi, Hungary’s Victor Orban (a guest at Mar-A-Lago just this week), Turkey’s Racip Ergogan and North Korea’s Kim Jung Un – was a slap in the face to democracies across the world.

Today, the NATO alliance has been strengthened by the addition of Sweden and Finland: two nations sharing a border with Putin’s Russia. NATO is united in its support for Ukraine, with every nation contributing to the war against Putin’s aggression. World leaders once again respect our nation and its leader.

So: in answer to Reagan’s question, the answer is
Yes! Under the leadership of Joe Biden, this nation is far better off now than it was 4 years ago.

Trump will do his best to make us think otherwise, but he has no choice. He was a disaster as President, and his return to office would be devastating.

The State of the Union

President Biden’s State of the Union address. It was superb, putting to rest the baseless Republican assault on the President’s capability to continue as one of the most effective Presidents in U.S. history. Ironically it came in the same week that featured some Donald Trump speeches where his sentences evolved into incoherent babbling, raising serious questions about his mental state.

It wasn’t just President Biden’s strong presentation. It was also his vision for America: virtually limitless possibilities for the nation. That was a stark contract to his predecessor’s continuing tearing down of our nation, calling it weak, unrespected and even “failing.” President Biden laid out a strong agenda for improving the lives of all Americans, building on the tremendous successes of his first 3 years.

In the after-speech commentary, I was struck by one analyst who said on Bill Maher’s “Real Time” show that President Biden focused on the long term: a commitment to leave a better country and better world for our children and grandchildren, rather than focusing on short-term politically driven policies. Signature Biden successes including support for U.S. manufacturing of computer chips, infrastructure investments and attacking climate change aren’t proposals designed as instant-gratification laws. They are laws that set the stage for world leadership for the next 50 years or more.
I was also deeply disappointed — but not surprised– by the aura of Republican incivility and downright rudeness during the speech that seems to get worse every year. We remember our shock when Congressman Joe Wilson shouted out “you lie” at Barack Obama during the State of the Union. Now, outbursts like that are seemingly a regular feature of Republican congressional behavior. The heckling from the likes of Marjorie Taylor Green are an embarrassment.
And it’s gotten so bad the Speaker of the House couldn’t even find it in himself to applaud when President Biden said there was no role for violence in politics, or that United States would not bow down to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. When did those become partisan issues?

Unfortunately, Donald Trump’s crude and rude behavior seems to have become the norm for many elected Republicans.

Joining the podcast this week is the chair of the state House Education Committee, Representative Matt Koleszar who is leading a deep-dive into ways to make our schools safer.

Representative Koleszar is serving his third term representing Michigan’s 22nd House District, which includes the cities of Northville and Plymouth, most of Northville and Plymouth Townships, and a portion of Livonia.

Prior to his election, Koleszar worked as a teacher and coach in the Airport Community School District and president of the Airport Education Association in Carleton. He received an undergraduate degree from Saginaw Valley State University before attending Eastern Michigan University, where he received a master’s degree in english studies.

Koleszar is committed to securing adequate funding for Michigan’s schools, finding effective solutions to fix the roads, and increasing access to and quality of healthcare in the state.

“For You” – Biden/Harris Campaign

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