Punishing Ourselves by Punishing Biden

Ian Mitroff
3 min readMar 1, 2024

I’m publishing this series of articles to share and discuss my ruminations on coping with a troubled and messy world. You can “follow” me to never miss an article.

By means of the multiple interviews he conducted with Muslim Americans in Michigan, Charles M. Blow makes abundantly clear that their need to punish President Biden for in their view of his being complicit in the death of so many Palestinians is thus so great that even though they don’t like him they’re prepared to live with a second Trump term[i].

In Blow’s words:

“Wald (the executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations or CAIR) said that in a lesser-of-two-evils debate, Trump was, in some ways, the lesser. As he put it, ‘As bad as Mr. Trump’s rhetoric was, and him putting a travel ban on five Muslin countries, he wasn’t overseeing and actively arming a genocide.’ It’s a view that echoes the sentiment expressed in the headline of an October essay for Al Jazeera by Haidar Eid, an associate professor at Al Aqsa University in Gaza. ‘In dehumanizing the Palestinians, Biden has surpassed Trump.”

In short, they want nothing less than making Biden a one-term President. That they will change their minds and come home to Biden in the general election is more and more a remote possibility.

In no way is Trump the lesser of two evils. A recent book by Professor Emeritus Roddney Reid analyzes the constant and repeated Political Bullying and Intimation by Trump[ii]. Indeed, he openly uses the Threat of Violence against his opponents. With his unpredictable tirades, he makes the subjects of his attacks virtually unable to defend themselves without being drawn further into his devious machinations. Thus, one is damned if one doesn’t respond to his attacks and damned if one does. This is not only one of the principal tactics of Trump, but Historically of the Republican Party.

As critical as Reid is of Trump, he’s also highly critical of Democrats in general. While Republicans have nothing but disdain for Facts and Reason, and thus play to Fears which they constantly stir up and exaggerate, Democrats make the unwarranted assumption that Reasoned Argument and Facts will win the day. It’s not that they should abandon Facts and Reason, but they need to be embedded in straight-shooting narratives that those without College degrees can not only understand, but take to heart.

Except for the likes of Bernie Sanders, the Democratic Party is lacking seriously in this regard. While Sanders got on my nerves with his constant repetition of the same things over and over again, this was precisely what endured him to his fans.

[i] Charles M. Blow, “Arab American Fury Toward Biden,” The New York Times, Thursday, February 29, 2024, P A23.

[ii] Roddney Reid, Confronting Political Intimidation and Public Bullying, 2017.

Ian I. Mitroff is credited as being one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management. He has a BS, MS, and a PhD in Engineering and the Philosophy of Social Systems Science from UC Berkeley. He Is Professor Emeritus from the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Currently, he is a Senior Research Affiliate in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Management. He has published 41 books. His latest is: The Socially Responsible Organization: Lessons from Covid, Springer, New York, 2022.

Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash