What was that? You’re still thinking of voting for Trump? He just suggested that ultraviolet light and the ingestion of disinfectant could kill the coronavirus in people. You did hear that, right? Everyone did, unfortunately. People were calling emergency hotlines on Friday to ask about it, and companies that produce disinfectants had to put out statements telling people not to ingest it in any way. You saw that, right?

“Yes, that was bad. But I’m worried about Biden.”

Why?

“He’s old. I think he has dementia.”

There’s no evidence Biden has dementia and so far he hasn’t suggested that people drink Lysol. He’s a gaffe machine, and always was. He’s 77 years old and he has a stutter. He’s released his medical records showing him to be “healthy and vigorous.” Until we hear otherwise from doctors, I don’t see how you can say he has dementia. . . . But you honestly think he would be worse than the dangerous fool in the White House now?

“We’ll have to see . . .”

What’s more to see?

I get into such conversations from time to time with people who voted for Trump and apparently stick with him, and I’m close to speechless. If it’s a friend or acquaintance, conversation is almost impossible.

If you didn’t think Trump was unfit in 2016 and voted for him, OK. Whatever. But the evidence by now, particularly in the coronavirus crisis, should be clear to anyone who claims to be informed and have an objective mind. If the disinfectant comments didn’t move you to Anyone-But-Trump, then you’re probably unreachable.

It’s reasonable people in the middle — independents, Democrats who do not vote a strict party line, Republicans disturbed by what they’re seeing and hearing this spring — who need to let go of Trump.

When I hear someone bad-mouth Biden, I assume they are just looking for a way to rationalize a vote for Trump in 2020. It makes sense: If you still like Trump because of his hard-line on immigrants or because he claims to oppose abortion, you need to look past his lies and his mishandling of the current crisis to find some reason to reject the Democratic candidate for president. So you listen to talk radio and read right-wing crap on Facebook about how Biden has dementia or some other mental disorder, and you use that as a rationale.

And, of course, that means you have to ignore Trump’s juvenile rhetoric and, in the current crisis, his self-aggrandizing COVID-19 press conferences and his claims of medically savviness, telling people to consider taking a malaria drug unproven as a COVID-19 remedy, and topped off by his suggestion that scientists look into the possibility of disinfectant ingestion as a remedy.

That is nuts. Even in his worst babbly moments, I can’t imagine Joe Biden saying such things.

One thing I tell people who may be reachable, with considerable confidence: Biden will make a wise pick for his Vice President, and, if elected, he will surround himself with good people — smart, rational, progressive people, not evil, not corrupt — and we might again have a White House we can count on for leadership and sane, humane policies. We might even see the next pandemic coming and be prepared for it.

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