The Race for President

by Will Espero

Silver power! Elderly power!

The Democrats and Republicans have decided, and President Biden and Donald Trump will meet in a rematch for the most powerful position in the world, president of the United States of America.

Both men had no problems getting their party’s nomination even though Trump had to defeat a line-up of younger candidates who wanted the job.

With Biden being 81 years old and Trump being 77 years old, this is the oldest coupling of candidates in the history of our nation.

Many voters are unhappy with the two choices because of their ages, and there is talk of a legitimate third-party candidate becoming a spoiler.

Voters have expressed their desire for younger dynamic candidates, and some have even spoken of not voting at all.

I wouldn’t recommend this as every vote counts, and is a symbol of the freedoms we cherish.

The issue of age is an important one, and I, as a Democrat, had concerns about President Biden. His speech at the State of the Union did change my mind, and I feel Biden is ready and capable for the ensuing campaign this year.

There is no doubt that the president shows his age and even sounds old at times. However, that’s the nature of aging, and we’re all going to be in that boat one day.

In Biden’s case, I see him as a sage elderly man with a long history of politics and governing beginning with his time in Congress.

Age brings wisdom, and the president’s background and experience are towering compared to Trump who served one term in the executive branch.

Trump’s slow handling of the COVID-19 crisis was weak and ultimately led to hundreds of thousands of deaths in my opinion.

His apparent coziness with North Korea’s Kim, Russia’s Putin, and Hungary’s Orban shows a willingness to befriend dictators and leaders who are not friends of Democracy.

His role in the January 6 insurgency, his handling of top secret classified U.S. documents, his attacks on NATO countries, his denials of his last presidential election defeat, and his efforts to stop the transition of power between himself and Biden show me a man who should not be president a second time.

Trump also lost two significant court cases in our legal system, and fines resulting from the two cases exceeded over $500 million. One jury in New York did find Trump guilty of sexually abusing and defaming E. Jean Carroll in 1996.

In his New York civil fraud case, Trump was also found guilty of fraudulently overstating his assets and lying about his assets, thus, duping banks and lenders to his benefit.

As punishment, Trump has been banned from being an officer or director for three years in any NY corporation or entity along with the $354 million fine or sanction.

With several court cases still open, why would voters want to elect a person who already has been found guilty in our justice system and could possibly be found guilty again in federal court?

I’m appalled that the support for Trump is so strong and pervasive in the Republican party, but since he was a former president, I can see how his vindictiveness and talk of revenge bring fear to some politicians and power brokers.

Others may just like his independent style and audacious personality.

Age, the Israeli/Hamas war, funding Ukraine’s war, inflation, and the economy have been areas of criticism by President Biden s opponents. Mortgage rates are hovering over 6%, and the real estate market has cooled considerably under Biden.

In his State of the Union speech, the president did mention a plan that would provide $400 a month for two years for new homebuyers. For middle-class families, this could mean the difference between buying or renting. Inflation was at 9.1% in 2022, but the latest figure was 3.2% in February of 2024.

Unemployment is at a low 3.9%, and 275,000 new jobs were created in February of this year. 

In Hawaii, our cost of living is high, but I wouldn’t blame the president for the outcomes. Housing is one of the biggest cost drivers in our state, and both county and state governments can improve to make affordable housing more available.

I don’t ever expect housing costs to go down in Hawaii as we are now in an era where developable land is scarce, the workforce is limited, permitting is still slow, and opinions on what to do are varied.

More rentals and assistance from the federal government would be nice as government subsidies and tax credits can be helpful for states, counties, developers, and nonprofits trying to build affordable rentals.

Stay tuned as more pocketbook issues are addressed by the candidates in the coming months.

The race for president is on, and we must carefully pay attention to what is happening in our neighborhoods and towns before the November general election.

Two older Americans will battle, and the winner will dictate the future of our country and the world. One candidate is a businessman and former president with an unfortunate criminal background and history. The other is a career politician currently in office.

The respective political parties have chosen these seasoned citizens to lead our nation, and we must choose who we feel is the best choice for our children, the economy, and the world.

Biden and Trump are the last of their generation to be president of the United States, and the voters of  November need to remember past actions, deeds, outcomes, and words when marking their ballots.

Age can sometimes be a blessing. God bless America!

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WILL ESPERO retired from the Hawaii legislature after serving 19 years in the state House of Representatives and state Senate. He is currently a novelist, poet, and supporter of the arts. Lingering Thoughts provides a glimpse of his perspective on current events and issues. 

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