Why Biden Went Far Left
If [destruction should] ever reach us … we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a Nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.
--Abraham Lincoln, “The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions” (The Lyceum Address)
Bill O’Reilly has reached a conclusion that has probably occurred to many people recently, namely that although Joe Biden always represented himself as a moderate regular guy with blue-collar sensibilities from Scranton, he “fooled a lot of folks, including me.” For, O’Reilly observes, Biden has recently been full of praise for extremists, saying that he agrees with everything Rep. Maxine Waters says, which includes, after the George Floyd killing, justifying violence and praising “one of the biggest haters on television,” Joy Behar.
Although I certainly understand O’Reilly’s reasoning, I must disagree. My view is that the situation is far worse than he envisages. O’Reilly’s mistake is that he is attempting to understand Joe Biden as if he is a normal person pretty much like the rest of us. The reasoning goes like this: If an ordinary person like the rest of us were to do a sudden political about-face like Biden has done, it would probably be because he had been fooling people all along and is finally showing his true face.
This is, however, a mistake. One must never forget that most politicians are not like ordinary people. Most of us are such that if we told a big public lie, for example, that we had finished in the top half our law school class when we had actually finished in bottom 11% of the class, or that we had been arrested protesting for civil rights with Nelson Mandela when we had not, or that Mitt Romney had not paid any taxes for the past decade when we knew he paid taxes, or that one’s political opponent had colluded with Russia in order to steal the 2016 presidential election when we knew that is false, or say under oath that the southern border is secure when everybody knows it is not, we would, once we had been exposed, be ashamed and have difficulty showing our faces in public for a long time. Similarly, most of us would feel deeply ashamed if we enacted policies that led to 800+ deaths at the southern border ... and so on.
In fact, many politicians feel no shame whatsoever when they are exposed for telling big lies or perpetrating destructive hoaxes or enacting deadly policies. The immediate reaction of most politicians when their enormous lies, hoaxes, and body-counts are exposed is to start plotting how to get away with it. That is, most politicians are concerned with securing their own wealth and power, in Joe’s case, being “the Big Guy,” truth never even being in the mix.
My diagnosis of Joe Biden’s sudden lurch to the far left is that Joe pretty much never believed in much at all. He said what he said and did what he did to secure his grip on power. For most of his career, that meant representing himself as a moderate, good old likeable “lunch pail” Joe. Thus, when President Obama needed an alleged moderate grinning white male vice president to reassure the voters about himself, Biden was more than willing to be the useful prop. However, when, as a consequence of the Democrat determination to get rid of their mortal threat, Donald Trump, “by any means necessary,” power brokers in the Democrat party offered Biden a deal -- that they would grant his lifelong dream and install him in the presidency by representing him as good old moderate Joe but only on condition that he agree to implement their entire far-left agenda if elected. Biden did not hesitate to agree. He did not think about the country. He thought about his favourite subject matter: Himself. Similarly, when he thought about choosing a running mate, he did not think about the country. He thought about himself and picked a VP candidate based, not on actual ability but upon his agreements with the far-left power-brokers of his Party.
That is, it is not that Biden was actually far-left all along but that he was, like very many politicians, hollow all along. He was whatever kept him in wealth and power, a professional “shape-shifter.” When, therefore, he was offered the opportunity to be installed in the presidency, he immediately agreed to let the Party powerbrokers pour their irresponsible far-left positions into his lucrative practiced nihilism.
I do believe there are politicians on both sides of the aisle who are not completely hollow. My own view, which does not necessarily imply agreement with all their views, but only appreciation for their authenticity, is that Ronald Reagan, Joe Lieberman and Dennis Kucinich were all pretty real. They actually tell one what they really think. Others might pick different examples, but that is not important here.
It is also important to point out that this does not mean that some politicians do not start out as ordinary people who would be ashamed to tell such transparent lies but, after living in D.C, for many years surrounded by sycophants, being told how great they are, learning that unlike the average decent guy down the street they can pretty much get away with anything, get as many women, or men, as they want, grab as many millions of dollars as they want, etc., many people cave to the constant temptations. Indeed, many actual honorable ordinary Americans might well, if they were thrust into the D.C. swamp for long enough, succumb as well.
It cannot be overemphasized how dangerous such hollow people are when they get into positions of power. For example, if O’Reilly’s hypothetical disguised far-leftist gets into power they are, at least, still constrained by their far-left principles. That may not be much but it is something. However, when these hollow people manage to get into the highest positions in the country, positions that, in ordinary circumstances they would never, because of their transparent insipidness, be able to secure, the danger is incalculable. For, since they actually believe in nothing except their personal power, they are ready instruments for unscrupulous forces that will manipulate them into selling out America. Indeed, if the United States is ever to end, this will likely be the way it happens, in what could be called a kind of suicide.
The situation is much worse than O’Reilly envisages. Never make the mistake of thinking that politicians are like yourself or that good-old moderate blue-collar guy down the street who carries a lunch pail. Very few of them are. Many of them are extreme narcissists. Some literally have psychopathic characteristics. Some are completely hollow people easily molded by deluded or malevolent forces. Such hollow people can, therefore, do tremendous damage to the country in a very short time. For example, if, looking at the polls leading up to 2024, Joe concludes that he needs to do a 180-degree U-turn again and vehemently oppose abortion in order to get re-elected, as he used to do before he sold out to his far-left base, he may even rediscover his deeply felt Catholic faith again for a short time.
Image: puffin11k, via Wikimedia Commons // CC0 public domain