It’s becoming increasingly probable that former Vice President Joe Biden will be the Democratic Party nominee for president. At the same time, among Republicans anyway, speculation continues that, as for about 10 percent of Americans within his age range, Biden is impaired with dementia.
Now, I don’t claim the expertise to assess to what degree Biden’s “gaffes” are a concern. What did raise concerns for me, however, was an incident back last summer: On June 5, 2019, NBC News reported that Biden continued to oppose federal funding for abortion. A day later, the word was out that, no, he did not believe this any longer.
Later that month, Vox provided the campaign’s explanation: With the proposed wide expansion of government provision of medical care, so many more women would be affected by the funding restriction that it was no longer acceptable (Vox wasn’t buying it). But The New York Times reported that Biden’s shift was due to pressure from allies and campaign staff, raising the question of the degree to which Biden is actually making his own decisions.
To take a step back, Trump did indeed “ace” the Montreal Cognitive Assessment screening test back in 2018. At the time, this produced triumphant reactions from some. Others declared this test would not pick up on nuances of mental decline or the bigger picture of whether Trump is fit to serve as president. The Montreal screening is hardly the sort of test that identifies how clever one is or how much wisdom one has, of the sort that might be handy in managing just about anything a president has to manage.