On Memorial Day, the Democrats’ de facto candidate, Joe Biden, finally emerged from his basement hideaway to place a wreath at a Veterans’ Memorial in New Castle, Delaware (population 5,285). If we contrast Biden’s appearance with Donald Trump’s look on Memorial Day, we can see that one man is a vital leader, and the other is a listless follower.
Biden wore a dark gray suit with a white shirt and a white and gray tie. He hid the lower part of his face with an oversized black mask, and he wore dark sunglasses that blended almost seamlessly into the mask. Jill wore an unflattering black and white peplum dress along with her own oversized mask. The two of them together looked like Mr. and Mrs. Death.
Contrast the Bidens’ appearance with the way President Trump and the first lady looked as they stepped off Marine One. Trump is in his standard dark suit, with its bright red tie, which is effectively his uniform. It is, therefore, simultaneously respectful and powerful. Melania is dressed all in white, another respectful color but one that, in America, is associated with purity and light. Neither wears a mask.
The media were excited about Biden’s mask, which they saw as virtuous when compared to Trump’s mask-free face. In the headline for its article about Biden’s appearance, the New York Times made sure to mention the mask:
Joe Biden, Wearing Mask, Appears in Public at a Veterans Memorial.
The sub-headline continued the theme by contrasting Biden with Trump:
The presumptive Democratic nominee made a public appearance for the first time since mid-March, cutting a contrast with President Trump, who did not wear a mask at two Memorial Day events.
Lest anyone miss the mask point, the article managed to raise it again in its second and fourth paragraphs:
He and his wife, Jill Biden, wearing black masks, laid a wreath of white flowers in a Memorial Day commemoration that had not been publicly announced before the trip. Mr. Biden, a practicing Catholic, made the sign of the cross.
Mr. Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee and former vice president, cut a sharp visual contrast with President Trump, who has generally declined to wear a mask in public despite federal health recommendations, a posture he maintained again on Monday.
The AP article didn’t headline the mask but mentioned it in the second paragraph of its report:
When Biden emerged on Monday, he wore a face mask, in contrast to President Donald Trump, who has refused to cover his face in public as health officials suggest.
The message the media are sending is not subtle: Biden is good, Trump is bad.
There’s a different message, though, and Trump knows it. Trump is a dynamic, unafraid leader. People don’t tell him what to do; he tells them what to do.
Trump will not appear before the people he represents hiding behind a mask, especially because he and they know he’s regularly tested, as the people around him are, and that he’s not hanging out on the subway or at Walmart. If he were to put a mask on, it would be solely because he was virtue signaling or fearful. Trump is neither.
At his side is a strikingly beautiful woman who honors the solemnity of the occasion in her attire but dresses in the color of life, purity, and hope. Trump and Melania are not Mr. and Mrs. Death. They are leadership, power, and a fundamental vitality.
And then there’s Joe Biden, swathed in virtue-signaling attire that makes him look sick and invisible. Because he and we know he’s in a situation in which the China virus’s transmission rate is close to zero, the mask radiates both weakness and fear. Biden is a follower, not a leader. He’s old, frail, and afraid, and he does what people tell him to do.
The media may be excited about Biden’s mask, but, at least at a subliminal level, the American people are getting a different message. When it comes time to vote in November, one has to wonder what independents, those who are not already locked into a candidate, will do. In a world wracked by pandemic illness and economic instability, will they choose the fearful follower or the fearless leader? Pray the latter.
By Andrea Widburg