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

Friday, April 30, 2021

The Man In The Mask –Biden And The Icon Of Righteousness

When Joe Biden walked down a long, empty marble floored, flag festooned corridor to the podium, masked and squinty, the image was undeniable.  To his supporters, it was the very image of right behavior, probity, and leadership.  Wearing a mask when not at all necessary – a fully vaccinated man in an open, empty, ventilated place – makes a statement.  Masks are the right thing to do – an icon of the solidarity, communality, and moral behavior which is necessary to defy and deny the virus and protect all Americans.

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To others, it was silly posturing, unbecoming of the President, sending exactly the wrong message to the nation – vaccinations do not work.  Worse was the message to the world’s leaders with whom he engaged in a Zoom conference.  Biden, masked and sitting as upright like a little girl in frills and bonnet waiting for First Communion faced the camera and the six unmasked members of the G7 on the screen.  When asked by a reporter what to make of it, Press Secretary Psaki said that he was making a statement to the world that vigilance, care, and consideration were at the foundation of his COVID leadership.

What Vladimir Putin thought of this can only be surmised –  Macho Man meets Little Nell – and the snickers by the staff of the presidents and premiers on the screen stood in for those stifled by the leaders.  Not only has Biden given away the store, but he has shown his caring, vulnerable side to adversaries who are Machiavellian at heart, willful, determined, and implacable.  By initiating social, fiscal, economic, and infrastructure programs which will cost trillions, he has given China a generous Christmas gift.    It will be the Chinese from whom America will borrow these trillions, to whom it will become even more deeply indebted, and relinquish any negotiating power in trade, finance, or geopolitics. Railing on about the Uighurs, Tibet, or Taiwan is seen by China as irrelevant, unimportant, meaningless hot air.  Linked with Biden’s schoolmarm prissiness, a flimsy cover for resurgent American exceptionalism, this give-away-the-store treasure bonanza, Xi can only chuckle.

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Putin has been as delighted as can be with Biden’s decision to stymie the production, refining, and delivery of domestic energy.  No XL pipeline, no fracking, no oil shale and, on the cusp of energy independence, America returns to foreign oil.  And, as in the case of Xi, Putin sees the mask-wearing, storybook Biden with amusement.  Not only has he turned the energy keys over to Russia, but he has admitted that he will push no longer on Ukraine, Crimea, Syria, Iraq, or Azerbaijan.  “Let us reason together” LBJ said disingenuously.  The man knew only confrontation, intimidation, threat, and political manipulation, so no one paid this statement any mind.

Nixon was the diametric opposite to Biden.  He and his Machiavellian Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, knew that realpolitik was the only policy in the competitive world of geopolitics.  Forget what’s good for others.  It’s what’s good for American that counts.  Donald Trump echoed the same sentiment and was expectedly reviled for it by progressive flacks.  Those men on the Zoom screen were of one mind – national interest, national influence, and national superiority.

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Biden’s followers have swallowed the goodness narrative hook, line, and sinker.  There is no give in the progressive political vision. Environmental action is ipso facto right and good, regardless of minimal risk, economic damage, and international compromise.  The radical redistribution of wealth is an absolute requirement of a just society, regardless of the economic and financial disruption it will cause. However, no major corporation will sit still for punitive taxes and restrictive regulations.  The top corporate and individual earners in the country already pay far more than their share of taxes. In 2017, the top 50 percent of all taxpayers paid 97 percent of all individual income taxes, the top 1 percent paid a greater share of individual income taxes (38.5 percent) than the bottom 90 percent combined. The top 1 percent of taxpayers paid a 26.8 percent average individual income tax rate, which is more than six times higher than taxpayers in the bottom 50 percent (4.0 percent).

The race-gender-ethnicity juggernaut, while applauded by the progressive Left, will, as it picks up steam under Biden’s tutelage, will encounter more and more resentment and opposition.  There is no way that the loud and aggressive transgender agenda, encouraged and supported by Biden, will not soon meet loud and aggressive opposition,  The transgender population is but a fraction of one percent of all homosexuals who account for barely three percent of the population, and most of America will soon cry ‘basta’ and be done with it.

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Despite progressive existential angst there will be no Climate Armageddon.  Human society has always been adaptable, innovative, creative, and willful, and there is no reason to doubt that if there is a human-engineered change in the climate that human beings will not prosper within it.  The doubts about climate change in much of America are not because of denial but because of reaction.  Biden’s trillions to be spent willy-nilly on climate change, resulting in higher taxes, foreign financial dependency, and local corruption will not be the applauded, heroic investment he claims, but a giveaway.

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Which is where the mask comes in.  Why is it that lone walkers in leafy, wealthy neighborhoods of Washington wear masks? Why do they dun those who don’t?  Why do they wear masks in cars, in breezy, open, clear meadowland and on mountain trails? It has nothing to do with COVID protection and everything to do with righteous image.  We, the mask wearers, are letting you know that we hated Trump, that we abhor capitalist ventures, that we abjure whiteness as a privilege, that the black man is primus inter pares if not the highest link of the evolutionary chain, that women can do no wrong, that there is no such thing as biological sex, and that the world can move, under the right leadership, to a better, more civilized and loving world.  Biden is the leader of this idealistic movement and he will never forego the mask, the very symbol of his righteousness.

If there had not been such sanctimony regarding the mask, so much investment in it as a progressive icon, compliance would have been far simpler, quicker and more universal.  Many of those refuse to wear a mask because to do so would be to don the symbol of the very political movement they hate.

Do masks work? Of course they do, otherwise they would not be standard issue in hospitals; but giving them this suspect political meaning and importance takes away from their fundamental purpose, use, and requirement.

Recent images of Biden fumbling for his mask, patting his pockets (“It must be here somewhere”), finding it, waving it like a flag, make him look ridiculous, transparent, and weak. 

Maskism has become one of the great dividers of America - not that we, living in an already horrifically divisive, contentious society need any more division – and as we have seen, even as the virus wanes and the economy opens, Biden, Fauci, an their claques refuse to give in.  Masks will be counselled long after they are necessary.  It is a point of political philosophy, of principle, not unlike the white and red roses of the houses of Plantagenet and Lancaster in 1455.

Not a few Biden voters, now after his first 100 days, are wondering what on earth they voted for?  The election of 2020 was less about Biden than it was about removing Trump; so now that the euphoria of his defeat has faded and voters are faced with the reality of the radical progressivism Biden promised, they are rethinking their 2022 and 2024 votes.  Those who knew exactly what a Biden victory would mean and who are not surprised but energized by the scope of his policies and programs are hardening their resolve and opposition.  This is good for America.  No democracy can survive a one-party White House, Senate, and House of Representatives.  Excess, intellectual corruption, and moral and economic bankruptcy have always been the result.

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