In any normal society, Joe Biden would be taking a well-earned rest after a life of public service, and Donald Trump would be in jail.
But the United States is anything but normal, and the world is looking on aghast as two elderly men fight it out for the right to be president for the next four years.
I have a lot of time for Biden. He has taken a country brought to collapse by his predecessor and begun the process of fixing it. He has managed the post-pandemic transition well, boosted the economy – with record levels of new jobs – and he has restored the United States’ reputation with its allies.
On the debit side, he will be called to account for his role in the Gaza conflict. The US response to Hamas’s assault on Israel, and Israel’s retaliation, needed to be much more nuanced. Innocent men, women and children died and are dying because the US failed to check Benjamin Netanyahu.
Biden will also be challenged on his failure to deliver the single biggest item in his in-tray; healing a nation torn apart by conspiracists whose pledge to Make America Great Again is as fake as their leader’s tan.
Granted, his scope to heal the nation was limited by a Republican Party subdued by Trump and his delusional followers, which was content to subvert the constitution for narrow political gain. But, by this point in the political cycle, Trump should have been history. Instead he is resurgent.
When we look back on it, perhaps the biggest failure of Biden’s presidency will be his inability to nurture the next generation of Democrat leaders and his unwillingness to hand over the reins of power.
I am reluctant to base judgement on tightly-edited video clips which can often be used to distort the truth. But it is clear that confidence Biden is up to the job of president is waning – even among his supporters.
Most Americans could not name the president of France, would mix up former German chancellors, and confuse the All Blacks with the Black and Tans. But the narrative that Biden is struggling – much of it fed by his opponents, it must be said – fits with what voters see and hear on their screens. Two-thirds of voters say they have concerns.
Less than half of the electorate – and this will shock you – are worried about Trump’s mental and physical health. Less than half!
Very few people in power know when to quit. And Biden is no different. His position now is akin to that of Ruth Bader Ginsburg whose refusal to make way on the Supreme Court effectively gifted it to right-wing republicans.
If Biden wants to secure his legacy, he must find a way to step aside for a candidate who can take on Trump and win (surely there must be someone).
If he refuses to do so, the electorate must put their concerns aside and secure his re-election. Better a decent old man whose heart is in the right place, than a deluded narcissist who will reduce a world power to ruin.
In any normal society, Joe Biden would be taking a well-earned rest after a life of public service, and Donald Trump would be in jail
Finally, rap isn’t my thing, but balaclavas off to Kneecap for taking on Kemi Badenoch. Her department’s spiteful decision to refuse them funding because they are Irish nationalists is in total contravention of the Good Friday Agreement and the principle of parity of esteem (you wouldn’t think Badenoch is also equality minister).
But more importantly, it is a signal that this British government still regards nationalists as second-class citizens.
Whatever the outcome of their legal action, Badenoch has gifted Kneecap publicity worth a fortune. They are smart, edgy and entertaining. It is clear they are headed for bigger and better things.
In contrast, Badenoch is destined for the backbenches and, with luck, political oblivion alongside the other culture warriors who have destroyed British conservatism, and their country with it.