Duty compelled me to follow last week’s Democratic Party convention. It was a bore. My attention wandered from time to time. I’d hoped to see the nominee hop on the stage with his shoe laces tied together, upset the podium, and introduce himself as Kamala Harris. He turned out to be a disappointment. Read his speech without stumbling, projected oodles of empathy, and radiated all the sincerity we expect to see from a habitual and incurable politician with over 50 years of practice. The convention organizers aimed to recreate the uproar of a regular convention despite the absence of an excited, cheering crowd in silly hats. Never happened. Couldn’t happen. Don’t expect the Republicans to do any better this week.

Never mind the convention. Good Ol’ Joe has plans, lots of plans, and agendas too. He has announced 43 so far. Readers who take their responsibilities as voters seriously can examine these plans by following these steps. First, find your way to the “Joe Biden for President Official Campaign Website: https://bidenpresident.com/ Second, work your way through all the political advertisements until you find a tiny “Menu” icon amidst the clutter. Third, click the icon and proceed, disregarding “Home,” “Joe’s Story,” “Action Center,” etc. until you find “Joe’s Vision.” Four, go to “Bold and you will find boxes which provide details on each of these fabulous plans and agendas.

Don’t feel embarrassed if you fail to do your duty and study each and every one of these boxes. You may console yourself with the thought that not a single editor, nor a single pundit in the whole United States will look through them either. It’s doubtful that Good Ol’ Joe looked at them. Those who had the fortitude to follow all four days of the convention will have learned nothing. With millions of viewers on hand for days the convention organizers made no effort to educate the public. All they will have learned is the slogan that unifies their schemes.

“We aren’t just going to rebuild what has worked in the past. This is our opportunity to build back better than ever.” Don’t look to this columnist to explain what this means. The slogan is not designed to educate you. It’s designed to excite you.

Forty-three plans certainly sounds like a lot for a quasi-octogenarian well down the slippery slope of senility, yet there are startling omissions. Joe has “Agendas” for the the Catholic Community, for Students, for the Black Community, for The Latino Community, for the AAPI Community, for the Indian American Community, for the Jewish Community and for the Muslim-American Community. All very well and good, but what about the Baptist Community? the Anglo Community? the Handicapped Community? the Numismatic Community? the Curmudgeon Community? Why are these communities and many, many others omitted?

Here’s a little help for those who need it. The AAPI Community is aggregation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. If you are wondering how an aggregation can form a “community” you have to figure out how Melanesians, Micronesians, Polynesians, Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese have come to form a community. If you can’t you’re no wiser than I am.

Worse, arbitrarily grouping them in a cluster seems to contradict the sacred dogmas of diversity.

The most startling omission from Joe’s grand design for America is a plan to pay for the forty-three plans. Some of them look pretty pricey. I’m thinking in particular of his plans scaling Up Employment Insurance, for Education Beyond High School, for Older Americans and Retirement, for Health Care, for Climate Change, for K-12 Education, and for Housing. Paraphrasing the late Senator Everett Dirksen, “a trillion here, a trillion there and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”

The only hint about plans for payment comes from plans to make the wicked rich and greedy corporations pay their “fair share.” The middle class will be spared. They are promised tax cuts. That’s a little puzzling. If the government is going to take care of their children, health care, retirement, and housing why do they need to keep all the money they earn? Shouldn’t they be willing to give some to help the government? Gratitude dignifies the giver and the recipient.

Another puzzling omission is national security. Joe appears to have no plan for the nation’s defense.. There are plans for veterans and for military families, but none for combatants. Is this a septuagenarian’s absent-mindedness or does he believe the world is suddenly a safe place?

And what about reparations? The Black Lives Matter movement has brought this question of a generous cash settlement to compensate for slavery and racial oppression to the fore as never before. They have been on the mind of a significant number of the Congressional Black Caucus members for some time, although Mainstream Joe has never said a word about them.

John Frary of Farmington, the GOP candidate for U.S. Congress in 2008, is a retired history professor, an emeritus Board Member of Maine Taxpayers United, a Maine Citizen’s Coalition Board member, and publisher of FraryHomeCompanion.com. He can be reached at [email protected]

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