National Commentary

Our Moral Presidency, Part 1

The experts say that there is so much “pent up demand” in the economy right now, that as we move toward “clear” during this epic pandemic, by Labor Day hopefully, the savings rates that have accounts bursting at the seams will pour open like a randy deluge and there will be jobs and goodies galore.

It’s true these economic hard times cannot be compared to anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes, because the cause was due entirely to non-economic factors. But while that is no guarantee we won’t slip into a steep recession in the coming months, it is not at all likely. Still, moreover, the reason that is unlikely to be the outcome has more to do with the sane and visionary economic moves being made by the new Biden administration than anything else.

For now these moves center on the $1.9 trillion Covid relief package that needs to pass next week in the Congress and implemented as soon as possible. They do something that is very central to our future prospects for prosperity, they put significant financial resources directly into the hands of the public, buoying the buying power of the very people who’ve provided the engine for national economic growth in the period leading up to the latest interruption.

Biden is going to be a very good president.

Two developments of the past year that have not been appreciated enough but are decisive for our nation’s future are 1. The moral and political arousal of the American public that surged against the Trump insanity in the last four years and is now on a proverbial roll, and, 2. This movement’s successful “coup” against Trump as the incumbent president.

This has been a political and moral reawakening in America since January 2017. The election of Trump so incensed what had by then already emerged as a new American majority that it was in the streets with millions of anti-Trump protesters from Day One.

This new majority, nurtured through eight years of President Obama’s steady, noble and courageous leadership, could not react to Trump with passivity, not after all that had been revealed about his deep personal lack of character, much less criminal proclivities.

It was Obama who set the stage for this not solely by the historical nature of his very role in America’s history as a Black American in the White House, but by the stellar and demonstrable character and dignity he and his family exhibited the whole time he was in charge. By that factor alone, he won re-election and could have won a third term if it were allowed.

This was not expected, either. It was a surprising gift that has endured far beyond his White House years. It was expected that he would champion key civil rights causes, including for women and all minorities, but we did not know the extent of decorum and dignity that he would be bringing to his work.

Unlike what America had seen in its White House since Eisenhower, Obama as its commander-in-chief was its true moral leader, as well. Carter could have been but was simply too far ahead of his time for his brand of progressive, inclusive religious reverence to catch on with the American people. It is now, though.

Regrettably, with Nixon came a popular notion that even our top leaders are crooks, and that generally held until Obama and what we’d come to expect.

So, with Trump the American people suddenly found themselves burdened with one of the most personally corrupt and depraved persons imaginable. This case went far beyond ordinary personal greed and corruption. This was a poster child of the most licentious, amoral degenerate ever seen in such corridors.

Those with keener eyes to his lack of character could see from the very beginning that he’d do anything to advance the causes of his friends, such as Putin, and his own aspirations to dictatorial power in no way limited by any constraints that the rule of law or democratic values might impose.
Fundamentally, whatever words or diagnoses notwithstanding, he was a very bad person, and shame on anyone claiming any moral authority to deny it.

(To be continued).

Nicholas Benton may be emailed at