Near the end of last year, I casually joked on my podcast that watching Joe Biden campaign was like watching a public service announcement about elder abuse. As with all good humor, it was based in truth, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized just how much truth there was in that joke. But there’s more truth in it than I realized because Joe has not only been the butt of the joke, but he’s also been in on it the whole time.
That Biden has lost a step isn’t in dispute. Anyone as old as he is has lost a step. But it’s not just a step Joe has lost; he’s lost a staircase, even several flights. The question is: is it dementia?
The thing about Joe Biden is, he’s never had a firm grip on reality. Perhaps not in the “mental decline” sense, but in a very real sense nonetheless.
Everyone is the hero of their own story, but Joe is the super-hero who saves the planet on a regular basis. All throughout his career, when talking about himself, he embellished and flat-out lied in ways that made himself look “more” than he was.
Sometimes he lied for sympathy, as in the case of the tragic death of his first wife and daughter, which he has claimed involved a drunk driver. But no alcohol was involved. And sometimes he lied to simply make himself seem involved, like when he claimed to have participated in the Civil Rights Movement when he did not.
What kind of a man does such things? He was much younger, so senility wasn’t yet a factor. The only rational answer is that he is a profoundly insecure man. When people were fighting for civil rights, the closest Biden came was almost fighting with “Corn Pop” in a parking lot over allegedly having called him “Esther Williams.” In fact, there’s more evidence that Joe Biden challenged “Corn Pop” to a fight with a chain in the parking lot of a public pool than there is Biden had any involvement or interest in the Civil Rights Movement. And there’s no evidence Joe ever almost had a fight with “Corn Pop.”
But Joe’s history of lies aren’t limited to events meant to elevate his stature within the Democratic Party. He’s also lied about things that could only be viewed as ego-boosts for a wildly insecure man.
“I think I probably have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect,” Joe famously responded to a man asking about his education during his 1987 run for president. “I went to law school on a full academic scholarship, the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship,” he continued.
“The first year in law school I decided I didn’t want to be in law school and ended up in the bottom two-thirds of my class. And then decided I wanted to stay, went back to law school and, in fact, ended up in the top half of my class,” Biden boasted. He then went on to list a bunch of law school accomplishments which, it turns out, were all untrue.
Everything Joe said in that exchange was untrue. He didn’t have an academic scholarship; he hadn’t won a moot court competition; he wasn’t listed as an outstanding student. Even though his claim of being in the “bottom two-thirds” of his class and finishing in the “top half” makes no sense because there’s enormous overlap between the two, he actually finished 76th in a class of 85 students.
Those lies were exposed by none other than the New York Times in 1987, back when they were a newspaper.
The Times also reported on Biden’s problem with plagiarism in law school, something left out of his bragging (and false) rant.
These lies about his own life and his plagiarizing of Neil Kinnock’s biography (seriously, who plagiarizes someone else’s biography?) caused Biden to drop out of the 1988 presidential race before 1988 even started. You’d think the experience would bring with it humility and an understanding of how lying isn’t the smart play, but you’d be wrong.
Throughout the 2020 race, Biden has lied about even more things, like having been “arrested” while trying to visit Nelson Mandela in prison. That story is so patently false that even liberal PolitiFact gave it a “Pants on Fire” rating.
Biden’s inability to string together a coherent sentence while not reading a teleprompter certainly doesn’t bode well for a man of his age, but when he was able to do it, the sentences were mostly filled with lies woven together to inflate the ego of a wildly insecure, yet curiously narcissistic man. Is Joe Biden losing his grip on reality? Yes, obviously. But the truth is he’s never really had a firm grasp on it in the first place.