Should we vote based on a definition of decency or delivery?

Saturday Night Live comedian Colin Jost delivered remarks Saturday during the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and while he took the expected jabs at both Donald Trump and Joe Biden, there was a moment where he explained one of the biggest problems with how people vote.

It was surprising to hear jokes about Biden, something that most places simply don’t allow.

For one, after making a reference to Staten Island being a place that supports Republicans but also supported the British in the Revolutionary War, he quipped to Biden, “You remember,” a shot at the president’s age.

Accidentally, when taking a more serious note about the role of journalists and political opponents, Jost said, “This is a place where we can have differences and the other side doesn’t go to jail for it.”

I’m not so sure about that. For the first time in history a former president is facing criminal charges and every one of the cases is based on political expediency. As evidence is presented it seems that each case is suffering more and more setbacks, but the biggest concern is they were brought in the first place.

This will undoubtedly open the door to future prosecutions of political adversaries, a trend that is not good for America. 

No matter what, there will have to be political retribution for what is happening to Trump. Politics, after all, follows Newton’s Third Law of Motion — “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”

Simply put, a Democrat will face trials of a political nature at some point in the future, unless the Supreme Court issues strong language now that will discourage such actions currently taking place or that will take place down the road.

We have to be able to debate publicly, and presidents need the freedom to carry out their duties without fear of retribution we now know as lawfare. We have risen above such temptations for hundreds of years until Democratic activists decided to make political use of the law acceptable.

Jost’s accidental disclosure of living in a country where this doesn’t happen may have been directed at journalists, but most who heard it would easily apply it to a former president facing charges on flimsy grounds.

That may be why CNN’s most recent poll, taken during the current New York City trial, has Trump leading by six points, well beyond the margin of error.

Trump has also regained the lead in Pennsylvania giving him a current sweep of all battleground states.

Despite the barrage of attacks from the media, the American people aren’t buying it, if you believe the polls.

But the remark Jost made that raises an eyebrow is how Jost’s grandfather, a retired firefighter from Staten Island voted in the last presidential election, and why.

Staten Island is actually pro Trump. In 2020, they voted 57 percent for Trump and 42 percent for Biden.

But Jost’s grandfather voted for Biden because, according to Jost, “you’re a decent man, Mr. President.”

A decent man.

What exactly does that mean, and who agrees with it?

Tara Reade, a former aide to then Senator Joe Biden claims she was sexually assaulted by Biden in 1993.

Where is the press and the “Believe Her” movement with Reade?

Trump is currently on trial for marking down a payment to his lawyer as a legal expense when the lawyer created a nondisclosure agreement with women who claimed they were sexually involved with Trump. Clearly, the allegations were disclosed even though payments were made. Is that decent?

What is decent to one may not be to another, but the biggest fault in the statement is casting a vote based on perceived decency.

People are not always as they seem. We have seen recently those show business exposed for being absolutely mean to their staffs. There are those who claim to represent the church and have done severe damage to others.

Claiming someone you’ve never met or only know through the public is decent can be very far off base, for one, and even if true, doesn’t qualify someone to be president.

My grandfather was the most decent person I ever knew. He avoided conflict like the plague and sought to keep peace in a turbulent house. And while I respect him greatly, that does not qualify him to be president.

Proven leadership with a track record of success, risk management and the ability to accomplish something for the greater good are characteristics that should be considered.

The concept that any one side is “decent” also contains the hidden assumption that the alternative is not.

In the choice between Biden and Trump, both have skeletons in the closet. What it comes down to is who can get the results needed to return our economy back to pre-pandemic levels, who can increase the opportunities for all Americans to advance, who can secure the border, who can bring peace to a planet in turmoil, and who can we trust to deliver on promises made.

When it comes to decency, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush were two of the most decent to serve as president, and yet they both only served one term.

Decency or delivery? Accolades or accomplishments?

Voters have to rise above the superficial and biased view of decency and vote for a person who can heal and restore a wounded nation.

Editor |

Earl Watt is the owner and publisher of the Leader & Times in Liberal, Kansas. Watt started his career in journalism in 1991 at the Southwest Daily Times. During his career, the newspaper has won a total of 17 Sweepstakes awards from the Kansas Press Association for editorial content and 18 Sweepstakes awards for advertising. Watt has been recognized with more than 70 first place awards for writing in categories from sports and column to best front pages, best sports pages and best opinion pages. Watt is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and is the descendant of several patriots who fought for America's freedom and independence.

Get content delivered to your inbox. It's never been easier to stay INFORMED!