The Progressives Are Laughing at Us
Eighteen months ago, Fed chair Jerome Powell said repeatedly: "there's no inflation — don't worry, it's only transient." At the grocery this morning, I paid twice as much for a bag of coffee as I had before. The same for vegetables, paper towels, and a host of other products. As I write, gas prices are up from a low of $1.77 under President Trump to a current $3.32 — an 87% increase.
The entire Biden administration is laughing at us with its "no inflation" line because inflation doesn't hurt the people therein, especially if you're Hunter Biden selling original paintings for as much as $500,000 apiece. What kind of access does a half-million for this buy?
The well-being of ordinary Americans is not at the top of liberals' list. They think they can do whatever they like to us, let their media cover it up before the next election, and we won't catch on. According to Biden's press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, inflation is not Biden's fault — and Biden is doing everything he can to bring it down. If that's true, he's not doing much of a job.
Remarkably, the very things Joe Biden said in the presidential campaign — that Trump was "one of those guys who think they're better than you" or that "he never really respected us" — apply better to Biden and Harris than to the former president. Biden is the one who thinks he's better and who has never respected us, and his behavior proves it. When he turns his back on conservative reporters — every time — he's turning his back on the representatives of the people.
That same attitude is what's infuriating about John Kerry, Biden's "special presidential envoy for climate," and Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg and Homeland Security secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. And everyone else in the Biden Cabinet. It seems they can lie and lie, and think no one can call them on it, because they're better than we are. They appear to have no comprehension of how ordinary Americans live. And when you point it out, like asking climate envoy Kerry why he flies the world in private jets or asking "border czar" Harris why she hasn't actually visited the border, they just giggle, smirk, and raise their noses in the air. Liberals truly think they are better than we are.
That's why they think they don't have to answer questions. When Biden is asked a real question, he says, "I'll get in trouble if I answer that." In other words, "I don't have to answer questions that would inform ordinary people of what I'm up to. I am above ordinary people and don't take their questions."
President Trump never acted this way. He always made a point of saying it was our movement and our presidency, and he meant it. He said it was our government, and we had a right to it, even on Jan. 6 as a presidential election was being stolen from us.
The great sociologist Elias Canetti analyzed the sort of power that Biden and Harris aspire to, and he identified it with the arrogant "satisfaction in survival" that is symptomatic of the tyrant or dictator. The despotic leader seeks, either literally or figuratively, to "survive all others," and he expresses this "right" to survive in his every action.
In a state of war, this impulse of survival is obvious — Hitler lounging at Bercthesgaden as 12-year-olds die on the front lines — but in peacetime, the despot must disguise his passion for survival, which is the most important element of his nature. As Canetti put it: "Enemies he can use openly; that is why he has enemies. His own people must be used secretly" (Crowds and Power, 241).
Canetti adds: "This hostility to survivors is common to all despotic rulers, all of whom regard survival as their prerogative" (242). Hostility to survivors. Biden's hostility is expressed in his smug silence, his inaccessibility, and his refusal to answer to the public. Ordinary Americans have a right to hear from and question their president, whether on inflation or the imminent debt default. Our elected officials do not have a right to hide out, never debate, and never hold actual press conferences. But progressives think they have a right to anything because they are better than us.
From his comments to contemporaries, we know that Hitler felt a vast contempt for the German people. Even as he addressed huge, adoring crowds at Nuremberg, he saw them as less than human. And as he sent young boys off to their deaths, he felt the pleasure of the ruler who is above it all. The very design of his rallies, with the leader's podium raised a hundred feet above the ranked masses, was an expression of totalitarian rule, and the people welcomed it.
Biden is not Hitler, but Biden looked the other way as 108,000 young men and women died in 2022 of drug overdoses (up 7% from 2021). If he truly cared, he would stop the flow of fentanyl and other drugs crossing the border. If he cared, he would have visited the families of those slain in Nashville. If he cared, he would not hire 87,000 additional IRS agents to interrogate ordinary taxpayers. If he cared about taxpayers, he would not have sent some $75 billion with little oversight to Ukraine. What has that $75 billion bought us?
According the government statistics, a broad basket of drug prices increased by 31.6% from July 2021 to 2022. If Biden cared about how these price increases affect retirees, he would have shown some concern. But, apparently, he thinks he can dodge questions, make few public appearances, and get re-elected.
Biden has many disguises, from working-class Joe to moderate politician to the doddering fool, but beneath it all is the conviction of superiority. Nothing that Biden has done has benefited ordinary Americans, but it has brought wealth to his political supporters. That is the whole point of his Build Back Better bill, a $5-trillion handout to the political elite. Biden donors are lined up like pigs at the trough, ravenous for their share of the loot.
Biden and Harris are masters of the snicker and the sneer, and they are laughing at us as they go about "transforming America," which amounts to transferring huge sums of money from ordinary Americans to the political elite and their friends. Biden is killing millions of high-paying jobs (an oilfield roughneck makes up to $80,000) while refusing to answer questions regarding his actions. It's time for the American people to realize that progressives are not their friends. They snicker and sneer, even as they exhaust the people with mandates, taxes, and inflation.
We need to use every peaceful means to wipe the smiles off their faces, like voting in the 2024 election.
Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).
Image via Picryl.