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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.

Image result for images tired biden wearing mask

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. 

Image result for images jfk on sailboat

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.

Image result for images charlemagne defeating the saracens

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.

Image result for Images Buddha. Size: 135 x 204. Source: back2godhead.com

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.

Image result for Images Smiling Donald Trump With Beauty Queens. Size: 194 x 106. Source: beautypageants.indiatimes.com

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”.

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