(May 11) Joe Biden should withdraw from the presidential race — for multiple reasons.

He should do so for reasons related to a sexual assault allegation, China, and his own age and health.

Let’s take those in reverse order, saving the most controversial, sexual assault, for last.

On age and health, Biden appears to be in a gray area, although some facts are undeniable. The day Biden takes office (if he wins), he would be the oldest man ever to serve as president. An astonishing 32 years ago, he barely survived a horrid double aneurysm in his brain. Most people experience small manifestations of cognitive decline as they age.

What is “gray” is a subjective judgment of where Biden fits on this spectrum. A lot of experienced journalists who should know better have recklessly thrown around the word “dementia” to describe what appears to be a growing number of verbal miscues by Biden. That’s not fair without a medical diagnosis. But even for a stutterer, Biden in recent months seems to be making increasing numbers of misstatements that seem completely unrelated to any speech defect.

Biden owes it to the country to acknowledge that non-dementia-related cognitive decline is common at his age and that physical stamina also tends to diminish — and that if he or those close to him see or sense any of those signs from him, he should opt out of the race. One need not suffer from dementia, nor need one be embarrassed, to admit that one may not be fully up to the rigors of the presidency.

Second, even if Biden is not physically or mentally compromised, he is ethically compromised when it comes to China. This is crucial. China is a nation with evil leaders committed to world domination. Its current crackdown on Hong Kong, its attempts to dominate Pacific shipping lanes militarily, and of course its morally repugnant handling of the coronavirus outbreak are all evidence that the next U.S. president should be fully committed to containing its hegemonic aims.

On this front, Biden is entirely undependable. Amid all the hubbub about his dealings with Ukraine, much of it overblown, what most people missed is that his behavior toward China was far more egregious….

[The rest of this column is here.]


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