Joe Biden could learn a lot from Ebenezer Scrooge.
As I watched “A Christmas Carol” recently, it occurred to me that these men have much in common. Both are in positions of power with the ability to affect the lives of others in positive or negative ways. Both are stubborn, convinced that their behavior towards others is justifiable, and therefore they are not required to apologize to anyone or to engage in any introspection.
For Scrooge, this arrogant and inconsiderate treatment of others changes dramatically when he is visited by three spirits one Christmas Eve. The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future show him irrefutable evidence of his lifelong disregard for others and the possible unpleasant consequences awaiting him at the end of his life on earth. Scrooge becomes a different man after awakening to his shameful behavior and vows to atone for his sins. He reconciles with his nephew, gives generously to charities he has ignored for years and makes amends with his much-abused employee Bob Cratchit.
If only Joe Biden had such humility and insight, the world would be a vastly different place right now. While Scrooge was stubborn and self-serving like Biden, his behavior affected only a small group of people. Scrooge may have alienated members of his family and community, but he was in no position to start wars indirectly because of his weakness and his refusal to listen to his advisors. Scrooge may have offended local bankers and business men, but he did not embolden tyrants to invade other countries.
If the Ghost of Biden’s Past were to visit him, what sort of scenes would this spirit show him? Would Biden be reminded of the plagiarism he used as a law student and later as a presidential candidate? Would he see footage of himself spending time with Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, arguably one of the most ardent racists ever to serve in Washington? Would there be video of him schmoozing with some of his son Hunter’s business associates, meetings that Biden has repeatedly insisted never took place?
What kind of scenes would the Ghost of Biden’s Present show the president? If Biden’s present life is defined as the time he has been in the White House, he will be shown shameful, cringe-worthy moments that a principled person would find unbearable to view. Then again, a principled person would not create moments like these in the first place.
Would Biden be shown the video of our disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, which he described as an “extraordinary success”? Would this footage include Biden’s meeting with military families whose loved ones had been killed in the chaos of this hurried exit? Would he see himself looking at his watch several times during this meeting as if he had another engagement that was more important?
Would he see videos of our southern border and the problems his open-border policies have created? Would he see photos of migrants who drowned trying to get into the country or women and girls who had been raped along the way?
Would Biden see Americans struggling to buy groceries or pay their rent? Would he see copies of bank records revealing lots of “income” for his family in what appear to be suspicious business dealings with foreign countries?
Finally, what would the Ghost of Biden’s Future show him? If it is his journey to the next world to account for himself on Judgement Day, that may be the most interesting image of all. Biden, a pathological liar, might try to lie his way into heaven, but I think the gatekeeper may have other ideas.
Perhaps we should replace “Scrooge” with “Biden” when describing someone mean-spirited and selfish. After all, Ebenezer Scrooge saw the error of his ways and became a better man. I don’t believe Biden will do the same.
Mary Zahran lives in Fayetteville.