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An Aging Puppet
Susan D. Harris

The harm President Biden is doing goes far beyond public policy and geopolitical mistakes. The damage has not only stained the presidency, but has permeated American culture and any other culture that has access to audio and video of him. At this point, we must acknowledge that the Democrat party is responsible for the damage, and the president can no longer be held accountable for his actions. In addition to jeopardizing multiple American interests, the president’s deteriorating health — being allowed to play out as it is on the international stage — reinforces stereotypes and encourages prejudice and discrimination against elderly people everywhere.

A few weeks ago, I had a nightmare about President Biden. I dreamed he was standing behind the presidential podium looking like Jeff Dunham’s puppet Walter, the grumpy old man. Like Walter, Biden had the severely narrowed eyes, angry eyebrows, and downturned mouth. Also like Walter, Biden was angrily barking at people. It wasn’t just annoying, it was horrifying. I woke up only to realize it was all true: This man really was the leader of the free world.

Let me give you a quick background as to what might have caused a nightmare like this. Firstly, I was raised to respect the presidency, even when the office was held by someone I completely disagreed with. My parents taught me that it was my civic duty not only to vote, but to be actively involved in maintaining the culture and preserving our freedoms intact for the next generation.

I grew up watching every State of the Union speech, no matter who occupied the presidency. It was, after all, my country’s status quo that was being addressed, so I was obligated to watch it. In short, it was ingrained in me to take my native-born citizenship very seriously. We called it “patriotism.”

Now consider this: I had cared for my father with Alzheimer’s for eight years, a journey I documented in an emotional article the year he passed. I did it because I didn’t believe that family members should be shipped off to nursing homes. It was a decision I often regret due to the physical and mental stress I endured; but it was a sacrifice I chose to make. It’s been eight years since he passed and I still have disturbing flashbacks. The disease had slowly turned my father from a laid back, fun guy who drew cartoons and whittled toys — to a paranoid militant who stashed knives under his pillow and put banana skins at the top of the stairs. It was gut-wrenching.

Somehow, we survivors — caregivers who endure despite battle scars inside and out — eventually learn to remember the lifetime of happiness we enjoyed with our loved ones, even as we push the bad memories of their waning years to the back of our minds.

But when President Biden totters up to the podium and begins a sometimes-unintelligible angry tirade against his target-of-the-day, it all comes back. Combine the bad memories of my father’s last years with the fact that any semblance of reverence or respect is being stripped from the American presidency, and voila! Welcome to my nightmare.

While not all dementia or Alzheimer’s patients show increased aggression or angry behavior, many of them do. They may curse, hurl insults, or yell at you. Short of losing their sanity, the caregiver becomes a kind of expert diplomat, taking note of triggers that might warn of the coming combative behavior. Sometimes there are no clues, just rage.

Victor Davis Hanson wrote in his article “One Angry Biden Lie After Another:” “A demagogic fuming Biden gave another Phantom of the Opera speech blasting conservatives for all the destruction that he has caused… All too aware that he was confused and incoherent, his handlers felt that the antidote was to come out barking and bellowing at his imaginary enemies.”

We also watched in disbelief as the executive branch attacked the judicial branch, with President Biden “having an invective against the Supreme Court justices” sitting directly in front of him in the chamber. I’ve never seen anything like it; it was like watching someone sucker-punch the Constitution.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media was declaring that the president “delivered perhaps the best speech of his life last night; he may have also changed the race itself.” I agree he changed the race all right, but not the way they’re thinking.

Beyond caring for my own parents, I have volunteered extensively with the elderly. I’ve seen age discrimination (or ageism) manifested in various ways: Someone not being taken seriously despite having full mental acuity; severe or disgusted looks because a person might react slowly, or needs help with standing, eating, or going to the bathroom. All of those are actions that make you want to remind people that if they get that long life they yearn for, this will be their circumstance too.

The American Psychological Association (APA), addressing the issue of ageism, pointed out that “While it is true that the risk of some chronic diseases and dementia increases with age, most older adults maintain quite good health and cognitive functioning,” adding “Aging is a very diverse process, and there are great differences between individuals.”

That’s why Trump denies Biden is “too old” to be president, because you can’t judge a person’s ability based solely on age when they’re exhibiting symptoms of a serious disease like dementia (which I believe President Biden has).

Unfortunately for Trump, the media keep lumping he and Biden together, forcing us to discuss Trump’s age and memory instead of focusing on the elephant in the room.

It's no surprise to learn that a majority of voters now think Biden is too old to be an effective president, as many people are becoming convinced that being 81 looks like the current occupant of the White House. That mistaken belief will eventually manifest itself in people’s behavior toward family members and beyond, contributing to one of the last socially acceptable prejudices – discrimination against the elderly.

Every time President Biden comes out swinging, we don’t hear policy points or intellectual debate, we hear “You kids get off my lawn!” People are laughing not only at President Biden, but at the character of a senile old man he’s become; and that’s just bad for our society on so many levels.








Susan D. Harris is a conservative opinion writer and journalist. Her website is

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