"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Monday, March 29, 2021

The Ogre Has Left The Oval Office And The Candy Man Is Sitting In His Chair–Joe Biden And The Great Giveaway

Anyone who has been paying the least attention to politics knows that the Biden electoral victory will usher in another era of public spending, high taxes, and radical structural change altering the way society is organized and governed.  As of this writing (3.29.21) Congress is considering a multi-trillion dollar taxpayer-funded program to, in the words of Democratic apologists, redress the wrongs of the Trump Administration, to return power to the people, to remember the forgotten and the disenfranchised and….the rest of the cant and hyperbole is familiar. 

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What conservatives hear, however, is flimsy posturing about ill-advised programs to revive failed special educational programs which have rarely shown any impact on long-term social or economic performance; to give out walking-around money too little to effect accelerated business growth and employment; and to take a hallelujah approach to climate change. 

They are told to forget economic, and geo-political costs, to willingly become more beholden to foreign energy interests and to become more indebted and beholden to the Chinese.  They listen to panegyrics about the opening of American borders to illegitimacy and faux claims of horror; the reshaping of American society into a gender-twisted, sex-inverted system and one without due process; and to lionize dysfunctional and disruptive minorities in the name of ‘diversity'. They read about propositions to spend billions of dollars of public money on infrastructure projects ignoring private sector options on the grounds of public interest. 

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The Washington Post, an anti-Trump, pro-Biden supporter has today heralded an even more dramatic change - the return of big government.  Gone is the niggardly, elitist, predatory laissez-faire robber baron capitalism of the Trump and Republican years; and a welcome return to a compassionate, considerate, equitable government which takes its role of national shepherd seriously has arrived. 

The private sector, always vilified and demonized by the Left, will be marginalized, taxed, ,and dependent.  It will no longer rule the roost, defy government legislation and regulation, and run things according to profit, shares, and growth.  Every enterprise will be – must be – subsumed within government, be subject to its ethos and edicts, and do the right thing.  

America will finally address the socio-economic imbalances in the country – the racism, misogyny, homophobia, and disproportionate accumulation of wealth that have eroded confidence in country, government, and Republic.

Conservatives are not at all surprised at all this – they saw it coming as clearly as a freight train across the Midwestern Plains.  Democrats are the ones waking up to what their four year long Trump hatred has produced.  Their only goal was to remove the ogre from the White House, come what May. Anything, anybody would be better than Donald Trump, so few Democratic partisans felt the need to look ahead to the practical implications of their hysterical propositions.

Opening America’s borders to all comers because of compassion, family unity, and righteousness has resulted in chaos.  Rather than face the crisis directly and change policy to a more reasonable and practicable one, the Administration has called for volunteers to man the river banks – not to keep illegals out but to hold their hands as they wade across. 

The cancellation of the XL pipeline on ‘environmental’ grounds has enraged Canadians and given Russia and other foreign energy producers a Christmas gift.  Measures to raise the minimum wage to unheard levels is a guarantee to depress job growth. Small businesses across the country will, in response, hire only employees who are worth the high guaranteed wage, automate, and do away with low end jobs – exactly what progressives legislated against. 

Moves to make transgenderism as valid, acceptable, and respectable as heterosexuality and to promote it among young children as a reasonable if not advisable sexual ‘choice’ is angering both conservatives and moderates.  Even the most woke on the Coasts are a little leery of what a transgender teacher under no administrative restrictions or supervision might teach their children.

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Politics are cyclical – conservative and liberal administrations and legislatures come and go with the times.  The more exaggerated their plans, policies and programs, the greater the blowback, the resistance, and the electoral response.   There is no way that the 75 million Americans who voted for Trump – almost half the electorate – will go quietly.  

Many held off their criticisms during Biden’s first month in office – they owed him at least that, a honeymoon, and a chance to explain himself; but now that he has been in office for two months and the handwriting on the wall is now unmistakable, they are restive, increasingly angry, and committed to slowing if not halting the progressive juggernaut.  

This complete transformation of American society from an entrepreneurial, socially and economically mobile, religiously conservative one to a Blade Runner dystopian, gender-queer, neo-socialist, authoritarian one is heinous and will be dealt with in the elections of 2022 if not before.

Candy Man giveaways are always popular.  Mayor-for-Life Marion Barry of the District of Columbia ran his administration on patronage, giveaway grants, politically-based hiring, and demagoguery.  He took from the wealthiest, most productive, most responsible residents of Washington and gave to the least productive, least responsible, and least accountable.  

While no one denied the importance of dealing with the city’s social and economic problems, few except those on the receiving end felt that pouring good money after bad into the hands of corrupt local politicians and their shills was a good idea.

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Biden’s giveaways are no different.  Those who will receive a check in the mail, and can finally buy that divan convertible they have always wanted, are delighted with Biden.  Those small entrepreneurs who see little in the way of legitimate, productive public investment and are just as likely to go under as before the public largesse, see things very differently.  

However businesses don’t vote, customers do, and the candy tastes very sweet indeed.

The diatribe first, hate-Trump media are floundering, looking to regain the viewers they lost after his exit.  Hate sells more deodorant than love, so until MSNBC finds another ogre, the nation will not be subjected to the pounding hysteria of the old days.  However, it won’t be long before the conservative media pick up the tune and start coruscating Biden like CNN did Trump.  

Already Biden’s stumbling, rambling, catatonic, masked persona is the stuff of parody; and his press secretary’s disingenuous attempts to add tinsel and Christmas lights to the border crisis are equally laughable.  Soon, as more and more transgender activists show up in classrooms, as college campuses continue to cancel everything except the 'minority exceptional', and as religious services continue to be ridiculed as racist attempts to impose white Christianity on the gullible masses, the opposition will be in full-throated voice.

Biden’s progressive fantasies will soon be exposed for what they are – idealistic, politically-driven, impractical, anti-democratic initiatives – and the Democrats will be scrambling for Congressional seats.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Case Of Joe Biden And The Fallibility Of Perception–This Is Not Caesar Augustus

Having defeated the worst President in American history – a hateful ignoramus, misogynist, and racist who ruled by lie, deception, and vicious innuendo – the Left is now well happy; but having neither an arch-fiend to fight nor a Caesar to support, it is foundering.  Donald Trump, for all his outsized ego, braggadocio, and hot air, did espouse sound conservative values – strong borders, lower taxes and fewer regulations, due process, religious freedom, social rectitude, and free enterprise – and now that liberal Democrats are in charge, they must confect a practical, reasonable plan to redress what they see as the errors of the past administration and to move on to a brighter future.  They, prisoners of cant, idealism, and political fantasy will fail.

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If the truth be known, however, progressives are not very happy with what their electoral success produced – a man of tired, shopworn politics, a history of minor achievement, a penchant for garrulousness and the prolix, a happy warrior in the tradition of Hubert Humphrey, a dutiful soldier and complaisant lieutenant to generals.  Biden is a man who has paid his dues and is now collecting; but his time has long passed.  He is now everyone’s Uncle Joe, happy to have nieces and nephews fill in for him when a familiar name escapes him or lend him a hand out of the car or up the stairs.  Would that he had a little of Trump’s piss-and-vinegar – not that he should ever criticize the disabled, the unfortunate, and the emotionally lame, but that he might step it up a notch, lose the Jimmy Carter channel, and put some pizazz into his politics.

Knowing that a leopard cannot change his spots, and that Biden is and will always be what you see– a temperate, even spokesmen for moderate values (‘science’, ‘unity’, ‘compassion’, and ‘responsibility’) – the Left wonders if they have done the right thing.  Where are JFK and LBJ when we need them? True, Kennedy botched the Bay of Pigs, began two decades of adventurism in Vietnam, and was far more conservative than liberal on financial and fiscal issues, but people loved him.  Camelot and Errol Flynn were not just postures, but real.  Johnson, the President who pissed off the South Lawn balcony, whose Secret Service pimped for him, and who was morally and intellectually flawed in foreign policy, was the man’s man, a bullying, intimidating master of political deals who engineered the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, who was a champion of the underserved and forgotten. While progressives have heralded the age of a multi-gendered, multi-racial, and economically redistributive society, they see that they have no one at the helm. 

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Not only ‘Where are JFK, LBJ, and MLK when we need them?’ but where are Churchill, Roosevelt, and De Gaulle? We have made a Swan Song man as Head of State, one who has avoided the press, has relied on mouthpieces and media shills for expression, and who is as far as a Winston as one can get.

The spin has begun.  Of course he is no Churchill, monarchist, colonialist, racist ruler of Empire.  He is even less a De Gaulle, a man of the archaic French aristocracy.  ‘Je suis la France’ , De Gaulle  said, embodiment of the glory and grandeur of France, la soeur ainee de l’Eglise, Roland, Charlemagne, and the French heroes who kept the Saracen infidels out of Europe.

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No, Biden is content to be ‘inclusive. He is, however, far from Jefferson who insisted, despite the objections of Hamilton, on popular rule, that the people knew best.   There were conditions and codicils of course, insisted Jefferson.  The freedoms of the Bill of Rights did not imply raw individualism but individual enterprise within community and consideration of it.  Biden and his progressive inclusivists have confected a very different ethos –  race, your gender, and your ethnicity give you a free entry pass and a free get out of jail card. Gone are Jefferson’s insistence on individual responsibility, the rights and obligations of the group, and considerations  of the commonwealth.  Anything goes.

So here we have a man of failing capacities, a history of compromise and parochial interests, and a wobbly and emotional set of geopolitical principles in the White House.  Oops!

This is not to say that Joe Biden is not a decent man; but decency is a devalued currency.  The United States is up against Putin, Xi, the Ayatollahs, Hamas, and the Houthis, all of whom play by Machiavellian rules, have no truck with decency or ‘doing the right thing’; and President Biden, for all his compassion, commiseration, and rectitude, is sorely overmatched.

The supportive Left knows it and so does the oppositional Right. 

Politics, however, is a matter of perception.  If, say his handlers, Biden repeats the mantra of unity enough times in enough venues, and with enough earnest good will, people will begin to believe that he actually endorses bi-partisanship, respect for conservative policies and values, and a place for both socialism and capitalism within the big, American tent.

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There is a reason why Biden has avoided press conferences and the hostile questioning of the opposition.  He cannot weave his happy nostrums within a context of doubt and uncertainty.  His image – that of a considerate, compassionate, peaceful, and welcoming man – cannot be dinged and dented by bad questions.

However, the happy spin has run into rough sledding. The crisis at our southern border – masses of illegal immigrants, most of whom are unaccompanied minors, ready to cash in on Biden’s promise of a good life chez nous, are showing exactly how illogical and counterproductive the President’s come one-come all policy is.  If the borders were truly open, then every African man, woman, and child would want to come here – let alone those in Latin America counting on a free pass.  Energy polices that have the consequence of increasing American dependence on foreign gas and oil are being exposed as idealistic and detrimental to American long term interests.  Publicity concerning the promotion of exaggerated theories of gender and gender alteration is having an expected backlash; the Administration’s retraction of all legal defenses of men accused of sexual impropriety and let feminist accusations stand is being already challenged in the courts; and its willy-nilly disregard for religious rights in favor of secular genderism is being attacked for the politically motivated, science-free posture that it is.

So the spin is on – Joe Biden is a great man, a man for our times, a man of the people, a man to right all previous wrongs, and a man to lead us to our rightful American Utopian future. It isn’t what it is, but what it seems.  The American Left for so long harping on Donald Trump’s errancy and deception, are now forced to create some fantasy of their own.  Biden is an aging, uncertain, stumbling, parrot of progressive nostrums and a man ill-equipped to handle the strong men of the world or America’s corporate interests.  He sounds good – nostrums, Pablum, and platitudes sound great to the convinced; but sound tinny and childish to anyone paying attention.

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The more that the hesitant, empathetic, soulful Biden is propped up at the podium, kept from the press and the people and is relegated to ribbon-cutting and ceremony, the less the Left will be reassured that they got what they voted for and the more the Right will be emboldened.

America and cognitive psychology being what they are, there is a good chance that if the feel-good mantra of unity, compassion, and diversity is repeated enough, it will be believed.  People will experience a willing suspension of disbelief.  Despite what their inner logic is telling them, they choose to believe happy talk.

This will last for a year at the most, and then the cracks in the grouting and the bats in the belfry will be discovered.  The mid-term elections of 2022 will return the House and the Senate to the Republicans. 

“But he’s a good man”, say on-the-fence Biden supporters.  He may well be, but as Vince Lombardi famously said, “Nice guys finish last”.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Ugly Houses In Nice Neighborhoods–Diversity Has Its Limits

Rosewood Park is a leafy, upscale neighborhood of Washington, DC – professional, woke, and wealthy.  Rosewood Park is not the top of line, not a Spring Valley or Cleveland Park, but nothing to shake a stick at.  The average selling price for houses in the neighborhood is well over a million dollars, and even the 1920s bungalows, modest, often prefab houses built for simplicity and airiness, do not bring down average property values since bungalows have acquired a certain retro cachet, and new owners make significant additions, often doubling their size.  Rosewood Park, although only 500 feet above sea level is noticeably cooler than the swampy bottom of the city.  In fact many of the bungalows were built as summer houses, and the raised porches were perfect for catching the errant breezes from the Potomac.

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Most of the houses are traditional brick colonial built before World War II with the solid construction made to last rarely found in new homes today.  These houses when modernized – enlarged kitchen with oversized refrigerators, 6-burner, restaurant quality Viking stoves, butcher-block center islands, and track lighting; open living rooms, high ceilings, and spacious combined bedrooms – are new homes within old shells, the best of both the solidity of the 30s and the polished, bright, stainless steel of the 2000s. 

Roseland Park has always been the home for young professional two-income families able to afford the $1 million asking price. While housing prices have increased well over 10 times in the past few decades, professional incomes have kept pace.  There are fewer middle class families in the neighborhood – police, fire, teachers, and emergency workers have moved out to the Maryland suburbs – but this outmigration is not restricted to Rosewood Park.  Gentrification has occurred throughout the city and even areas which were stone bad slums have seen an influx of wealthy whites who have, in their turn, expanded, renovated, and remodeled.

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Recently however Rosewood Park has seen its share of what residents have called ‘monstrosities’ – three and four-story houses wide and deep enough to fill the entire lot, dominating the houses to either side and setting a new tone for sub-sections of the neighborhood.  The gossip on neighborhood chat sites and over back fences has been consistent – who could possibly have built such bourgeois, tasteless, grotesqueries? Have they no respect for community values, tradition, and good taste?

Of course the owners of these new, non-traditional houses, feel that they indeed have good taste; that they respect District zoning regulations, and have built their dream house on still-affordable land.  There is one house which has been the subject of the most catty remarks.  “Arabs”, the gossip goes because in the mind of upper middle class professional Americans who have been schooled in the Ivy League, summer on the Vineyard and winter in Gstaad, ‘Arab’ means the most meretricious taste ever.  Thoughts run to harems, Kasbahs, and the garish opulence of Turkish pashas – heavy drapes, ornate detailing, everything gilded, inlaid, polished, and glossed – when neighbors discuss ‘the house’.  

They snicker at the Mercedes, BMWs, and Bentleys parked in the driveways of three-car garages, turn their noses up at the faintly Middle Eastern smells coming from the kitchen, and laugh at veiled women who get into chauffeur-driven limousines.

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The neighbors aver that even the overstretched size of the house would be tolerated if it weren’t for all the frieze-work, arches, ornate birdbaths, and Moroccan doorways. 

De gustibus non disputandum est – in matters of taste there can be no disagreement – has been the meme for tolerance and respectful distance for millennia.   Since everyone is different, especially in an era which encourages diversity and multiculturalism, then there should be no raised eyebrows over a sconce or Italian marble, gold peacocks, and triple-level porphyry fountains.  Or Persian thick pile carpets, cut glass colored windows, carved potpourri, or embossed silver cutlery.   

Yet there is no snobbery, no impatient dismissal of the ugly, outlandish, and inappropriate like the disputing of taste.  To most people, despite the old adage, there indeed is something called good taste, and they have it.

Residents of Roseland Park who have for years lived quite happily in their old, traditional, well-built, conservative, but small homes, shake their heads at the size of the ‘Arab’, oversized ‘monstrosities’ going up in the neighborhood.  Why the very idea of game rooms, gyms, entertainment centers, indoor lap pools, and three floors of canopied beds, guest rooms, and servants quarters is unconscionable.  Who could possibly need all of that space? they rhetorically ask.  Only the filthy rich, tasteless, unsophisticated. 

The  cattiness does not end with the oversized, ‘Arab’ houses. It extends to ‘ambience’.  For those who grew up in New England or the Tidewater, garish Christmas displays were considered bad taste.  A simple holly wreath on the front door, a simple tree with two strands of lights and a star, and a sprig of mistletoe in the hall was quite enough.  

Who lives there? neighbors asked when they walked past a traditional colonial house whose front yard was festooned with inflatable reindeer, Easter bunnies, Leprechauns, Uncle Sams, plaster Virgins, blue grottos, and plastic palm trees.  The owners of the house were doing nothing wrong.  There was no zoning ordinance which prevented exuberant lawn displays, and they were well within their rights; but yet they offended each and every conservative traditionalist who walked by.

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It is important to note that Roseland Park is one of the most woke neighborhoods in Washington.  It voted over 95 percent for Joe Biden, is passionately behind anything Black, environmentally sound, and economically equitable.   So it is perhaps surprising that such a tolerant crowd could be so dismissive, nasty, and ill-natured when it came to other people’s houses. 

However, tolerance for the woke is confined to very narrow interests of race, gender, and ethnicity.  They would – or at least they say they would – love to have a Black family as a neighbor as long as they were professional, conservative, well-bred, and –educated. 

The Washington DC city council, now with more members espousing the radical left racial and economic agenda, has proposed building a low-income housing complex in Rosewood Park.  Diversity, inclusivity, and tolerance cannot be in name only, the Council stated.  It must be real, physical, and visible.  but for Rosewood Park residents the idea of having garish, multi-story, meretricious ‘Arab’ houses and a ten-story vertical slum was simply beyond comprehension.  

As soon as the idea was aired by the council, the Rosewood Park Neighborhood Association stormed their Councilmember’s office and let her know in no uncertain terms that this would not stand.  Not only would the infusion of lower class minorities distort the carefully balanced, carefully planned diversity of the neighborhood, a housing project would simply be ugly. 

Scratch the surface of Roseland Park, and you find a community like every other – concerned with property values, schools, and social integrity.  Neighbors want to live in a community whose residents look like them, act like them, and live in houses like theirs.  Nothing racist or exclusionary about it.  The Leonard Bernstein song from West Side Story rings as true as ever – stick to your own kind.

Martha’s Vineyard is perhaps the best expression of American WASP culture.  It is uniformly old school, patrician, English, and tasteful in a particular 18th century way. As an island favored by the intelligentsia and literati of the East Coast who want it kept pristine and unchanged, it has the clout to resist the inroads of ‘New York’ money.  The residents of the island, as woke as any, see no problem with this insularity and exclusionism.  The market must be stopped if it means ‘New York’ distortion of our values, our traditions, and our good taste.  All kinds of anti-democratic chicanery is going on to be sure that this happens.

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The few conservatives in Roseland Park see nothing wrong with ‘Arab’ houses, lawn furniture, or outsized houses.  If the laws of the municipality permit, then anything goes; and in fact the higher the property value of homes, the more tax revenue accrues to the state.  

Let Rosewood Park liberals complain.  It is the market at work and whinging about it is just silly; and yet the brouhaha continues.  Photographs are taken of every oversized, non-traditional, alternately designed home and circulated on the Internet.  This cannot stand Roseland Park advocates insist.  We must do something!

Of course their intentions are hopeless.  The market, the tax base, the demand of young, non-Ivy Leaguers, and changing taste will, as always rule.  As has been the case of housing markets everywhere, ‘If you don’t like it, leave’. 

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Genghis Khan, The Tsars, Shahs, And Joe Biden, A Man In Touch With His Feminine Side

Finally we have a man of compassion, consideration, and kind qualities in the White House.  Joe Biden is the man for the times – gender-fluid, sensitive, and one-world committed. Times have changed, and America no longer wants aggressive males in the Oval Office.  Those who voted for Biden are happy to see a sexually complaisant, tolerant, forgiving man in the seat of power. 

America was through with the braggadocio, cock-of-the-walk strutting of Donald Trump; and one and done with the likes of LBJ; JFK, the seducer; and sexual wanderers Coolidge, Tyler, and Jackson.  America wanted and got a uxorious, faithful president who had eyes only for his duty, his country, and his wife.

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Even Jimmy Carter, a man of avowed faith and moral principle, admitted that he had had impure thoughts for women other than his wife; and as much as he tried to beat these sexually idolatrous thoughts down, they persisted. As far as anyone can know, he succeeded and was faithful in thought, word, and deed.

Progressives respected Carter for his moral fiber.  His temperance, moderation, and sexual circumspection were the stuff of sexual liberation and feminism.  He heralded a new age of male deference.  His equal partnership with his wife, Roslyn was more than just a traditional, Protestant vocation, but a political statement.  I am a moral man, Carter implied by his dutiful and respectful love for his wife, and as President, he said, the same moral code will apply.

The world chortled.  Any world leader who conflated such personal beliefs with a geopolitical world view would be a pushover.  Soviet, North Korean and Revolutionary Iranian leaders were delighted to see Carter in the White House.

The same world was perplexed with Bill Clinton, a man of familiar lust and sexual adventure, but of adolescent fulfillment.  Under the table and cigars with Monica?  This alone disqualified him from any serious male consideration let alone from the ranks of the Caesars, Borgias, various Henrys of England, Mauryan kings and Persian emperors.  He was a guilt-ridden, hen-pecked, put-upon, American husband who as president could have bedded anyone, but because of his niggling, hectoring wife, sought satisfaction under the table instead of in the Lincoln bedroom.

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JFK’s nationalism, muscular defiance of Cuba and the Soviet Union – and his bedding of Marilyn Monroe – lent credence to his geopolitical stance.  He, in the eyes of world leaders, meant business.  A sexually na├»ve boy like Richard Nixon could never have the clout of JFK, a man who had – in the best, most elemental, and primal arenas of sexual dominance – showed his mastery.  No one in France was disturbed that Francois Mitterrand had a longtime mistress or that he had children by her; or that this extended family showed up at is funeral. His behavior was de rigeur for a man of power.

Kissinger stated it best when he said, “Power is the greatest aphrodisiac”.  Powerful men with the importance of office have their sexual choice.  All feminist presumptions are put aside when it comes to power and pursuit whether with women or in the war room. To the rest of the world there has always been a conflation of male dominant sexuality and world influence. One might pay attention to Nixon the Madman, but his complaisant, respectful relationship with his wife and doting daughters, suggested otherwise.

The Russians would never roll over to Jimmy Carter but did to JFK.

Enter Joe Biden, the least qualified to match up against the world’s leaders.  He who ran on a platform of inclusivity, diversity, collaboration, and compromise in a world of macho geopolitical games and Machiavellian cunning, is behind the eight ball; in fact laughed at – a man trapped in a gulag of progressive cant and sexual hyperbole at the beck-and-call of progressive handlers – Rapunzel in the tower.

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It is not surprising that Biden has embraced multi-sexuality and has filled his Cabinet with every variety of sexual preference; but it is surprising and disconcerting that he has made gender the key to governing.  While such an all-inclusive, diverse, sexual panoply might be good as a post-modernist American algorithm, it cuts no ice with the Ayatollahs where a Koranic, Old Testament God rules with vengeance.  

Putin invokes Russia’s Imperial past, one of might and uncompromising rule, and Kim is no different from his Mongol-Turkic ancestors.  “Democracy?”, Putin’s way of recalling Stalin’s “How many divisions does the Pope have?”, was lost on no one.  American moral exceptionalism was laughable.  Now that its most fairytale teacher was in the White House, there was no time to lose.

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This is not to say that women cannot have balls.  Margaret Thatcher was one of the toughest cookies of any head-of-state; and Golda Meir and Indira Gandhi took no prisoners during their rule.  Strong leadership has always been characterized by male virtues of forcefulness, might, and determination.  It is when the likes of Biden and Jimmy Carter do a gender volte face and become the caricature of women – conciliatory, compassionate, and considerate – that our adversaries take note.

A study in 2003 found that up to 16 million men, half a percent of the world’s male population, are genetic descendants of Genghis Khan.  Not only did he conquer almost ninety percent of the known world, but he and his Turkic-Mongolian comrades had sex with most of their women.  A beast? A primitive unregenerate Neanderthal?  Hardly.  Rape, pillage, terror, and destruction were simply more consistent, universal practices of war than ever before; and his modern day 20th century descendants have not fallen very far from the tree

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Joe Biden intends to change all that – to rid America of the macho military interventionism of George Bush, the saber-rattling braggadocio of Donald Trump, and the entire ethos of American world domination.  His Cabinet appointments have been chosen to show the world America’s new exceptionalism of diversity and inclusivity, but only display a fragmentation of national resolve.  

Instead of selecting an America-first team – one which will strengthen the country’s geopolitical pre-eminence in international affairs, finance, economics, trade, and military presence – he has told the world that America is no longer about pre-eminence.  Gone is the aggressive, intimidating posture of past administrations.  What George Bush I called ‘a kinder, gentler nation’ is in, but this time even softer, more gentle, and more pliable. 

Of course most of the women on the Fortune 500 would take exception.  Get them in the White House and no prisoners would be taken.  They are the day’s feminist heroes – women who have seen how maleness has always been and should be the model for the playground, the boardroom, and the international arena.  No shrinking violets among them.  

Yet, despite this growing cadre of tough women, America has chosen an old-fashioned nanny for President.  Most telling of all is that during Biden’ presidency, the American, ur-male hero, Andrew Jackson, will be removed from the twenty-dollar bill.  Regardless of the character or history of the woman to replace him, Jackson's cancellation is central to the ‘inclusive, participatory, diverse’ ethos of the new America, one in which the essence of maleness – whether expressed by men or a few strong women – is to be expunged.

The geopolitical test for Joe Biden will soon come.  The ayatollahs, Putin, Kim, Xi or a resurgent ISIS, Boko Haram, Hamas, or the Houthis will not be quiescent for long; and it will be time for Biden to pull on his overalls and get down to business.  Whether he is even able to closet his soft, feminine side is another question.   In any case, most of America in these troubled times will wish for a tough, macho man with big cojones.