Source: William Sullivan
Going back to (at least) the technocratic and ambitious FDR, American Democrats have believed that federal government eggheads are best suited to manage most things, including mundane things like ensuring healthcare or housing, for everyone. But as a rule, Democrats have always had a very nuanced way of presenting such policies to the American people. In other words, socialists in America have been most successful when they don’t tell Americans that what’s being offered to them is socialism.
The old guard of the Democrat party, which Joe Biden represents, has long understood that. The radical Bernie Sanders wing of the Party, on the other hand, has abandoned the strategy of creeping authoritarian socialism in favor of open revolution against the Founding, demanding that the government defund the police, institute laws that discriminate against white people who compete for jobs, confiscate Americans’ guns, and spend tens of trillions of dollars to usher in a government takeover of the healthcare and energy industries, which would amount to economic nationalization the likes of which has never been seen in America, and from which our free enterprise system would likely never be restored.
The Democrat party honchos know well that such ideological proclamations, as they have been precisely and ostentatiously made by the avowed socialist Bernie Sanders and his devoted cadre, may play well in San Francisco, but they still wouldn’t draw the big crowds into the needed tents of Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, or Wisconsin. That’s why, for the same reasons that they did so with Hillary in 2016, the Party bosses tapped the experienced and slippery Joe Biden, with his supposedly broad appeal, to head up the Democratic ticket and attract the fence-sitters.
In the days before President Trump’s 2016 campaign, Democrats had enjoyed a successful method of political posturing which involved standing on the metaphorical stump, accusing your opponent of feeding the American people a bunch of hooey, and then dodging any meaningful policy debate by expressing vague abstractions meant to signify that you’ll do more for the everyday American than the other guy.
Americans are wise to these tried-and-true bromides that are employed by seasoned politicians, however. Trump proved this in last Thursday night’s debate in Nashville, when he absolutely clobbered Joe Biden after he sought to use this strategy to escape a political bear trap of Biden’s own design, involving contradicting statements on trade policy with China, his having signaled opposition to subsidies for American farmers, and the general discomfort at the proximity of the topic to his potentially having profited from his son’s alleged foreign business dealings.
“There’s a reason why he’s bringing up all this malarkey,” Biden desperately said, before launching into a litany of non-sequiturs about how some unspecific, and yet ostensibly archetypical, middle-income family is “sitting at a kitchen table” in someplace like, oh, I don’t know, Scranton, and they’re having to make tough decisions about how to spend their money.
Trump masterfully delivered a haymaker that, thankfully, Chris Wallace wasn’t there to deflect:
Just a typical political statement. “Let’s get off this China thing,” and then he looks — the family, around the table, everything. Just a typical politician when I see that. I’m not a typical politician, that’s why I got elected. [Mockingly] “Let’s get off the subject of China, let’s talk around sitting around the table.” Come on, Joe, you can do better.
This was certainly one of Trump’s best moments of the debate, both pointing out the obvious and invoking the most primal of American instincts. A healthy skepticism about government officials is our national and cultural inheritance, and our general disdain for them has only grown as they’ve infringed upon all aspects of American life for generations, and especially during Joe Biden’s long tenure as a politician.
Trump may be unique because he had no prior political experience, but Joe Biden exists on the other side of the spectrum. He’s been in politics for much longer than anyone who has successfully run for the presidency. For most Americans, the terms “politics” and “corruption” could be synonyms, and the relationship between “time in politics” set against “level of corruption” has an almost invariably and positively increasing correlation.
Trump knows this, and what’s more, as a political outsider, he’s in a comfortable position to expose the corruption that we all know exists among the long-time swamp creatures in Washington. As he pointed out, if Joe had the wherewithal to do any of the things he’s now promising, why didn’t he do them for the many decades when he was in office?
Trump may be guilty of paying as little to the IRS as is legally possible, sure. But, then, so are you and I. Even without the looming scandal involving corruption in which Joe Biden and his son are embroiled, one can easily understand that Joe’s decades of wandering around the swamp have left him covered with muck, and that his years as a public servant have somehow, as Trump pointed out during the debate, made “Middle-Class Joe” a very, very rich man who’s lived very well for a long time.
Therefore, it seems an odd that Biden offers the American people this appeal:
You know who I am. You know who he is. You know his character. You know my character. You know our reputations for honor and telling the truth. I am anxious to have this race. I am anxious to have this take place. The character of the country is on the ballot. Our character is on the ballot.
This is a bold appeal from a man who is the most famous plagiarist in all of modern politics, having committed plagiarism in law school, and having infamously left the 1988 presidential race in disgrace due to having plagiarized his campaign speeches.
Indeed, there’s little reason to think that Joe Biden is anything but another lying, corrupt, career politician. Trump has exposed that, just as he did with Hillary Clinton. Here’s hoping Trump can go two-for-two in proving that he is pure kryptonite for the Democratic Party’s most anointed.