Demented Thinking About Joe Biden, by Ted Rall

Joe Biden is clearly manifesting the early symptoms of dementia. From Ted Rall at

The president has dementia.

I’m a cartoonist and a writer, and I am most assuredly not a gerontologist. I did not go to medical school. If I am not an expert in aging and cognitive decline, how do I know President Biden has dementia? The same way you and I and everyone else know things to be true despite our lack of credentials: experience and pattern recognition.

I don’t need to be an ornithologist in order to identify a blue jay.

I’m not a doctor, yet I was right and my doctor was wrong when I told her I had a hernia and she said I didn’t; I’d had one on my left side in 1999, and this felt like that but on my right. Knowing your own body sometimes counts for more than formal education.

I didn’t go to New York University film school. Despite my lack of official accreditation in cinema, I know, as do you, that Meryl Streep is a better actor than Brendan Fraser. We know this to be true because we have seen a lot of movies.

When my car’s wheel well issues a rubbing sound that gets faster when I accelerate, I know it’s probably an issue involving brake pads, ball bearings (if the car has significant mileage) or wheel alignment. I’m not a mechanic. But I’m 57; I’ve driven since I was 15 and had enough rubbing sounds to have learned what it probably means.

When I watched Biden’s first presidential press conference last week, I didn’t have to be an M.D. or a Ph.D appended to my name to recognize the clear, painfully obvious signs of dementia. My mother died of Alzheimer’s a little over a year ago. The president looked and acted like my mom about two years before she died: valiantly struggling to hold it together, moments of lucidity and occasional brilliance alternating with terrifying brain freezes, random rambling in search of connection and reaction, and cringy rhetorical crashes when the fremdschamen-o-meter shot to 11.

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