Americans' Faustian bargain with Joe Biden

In the 2020 presidential election, America was faced with a true dilemma, the horns of which were to re-elect Donald Trump — to millions, incomprehensible and unthinkable — or to settle for Joe Biden — to millions, passive acceptance of his personal and professional politics of corruption, bigotry, and incompetence.  It was a Faustian bargain, where Americans so fearful for America's future and democratic well-being were willing to barter parts of their principles and liberties for a victory where much could be lost to achieve it.  In the end, it cost us dearly. 

In settling for Joe Biden, America has settled for violence, coercion, and lawlessness.  In the blink of a presidential eye, these dark impulses are everywhere — like narcotics desensitizing us, destroying our spirits, eroding our values, and transforming our republic into a people and a political system we no longer recognize.  We now accept crime and disrespect for the rule of law as normal — necessary concessions, we are instructed, to right our history, cleanse our institutions, and restore our justice.

In settling for Joe Biden, America is now at war with itself.  Not since 1863 have we been so divided, so realigned, and so dedicated to the propositions that all men are created as oppressors and oppressed, haves and have-nots, woke and unwoke.  As former Washington Times columnist and editorial writer Sam Francis observed, we have descended into a kind of synthesized anarchy — "anarcho-tyranny" — where government fails to enforce its basic protective laws (anarchy), yet simultaneously allows and enforces laws "for oppressive purposes" (tyranny).  The result is law without order, rights without freedom — a soft totalitarianism where the "law-abiding and innocent" are considered enemies and suppressed and criminalized amid a climate of fear and revolt.  To Francis, it is a dystopian worldview, where "law is replaced by administrative decree, federalism is replaced by executive autocracy, and a limited government replaced by an unlimited state" — all fueled by policies and regulations sanctimoniously enacted without popular support or moral consensus.

In settling for Joe Biden, we find ourselves in a frightened America, where mob outrage and the use of physical force have become national pastimes.  Antifa, BLM, and wannabe anarchists act out like pugnacious thugs — with looters and protesters taunting and dancing amid the mayhem, celebrating the smoke and flames and sirens of rebellion in nihilistic abandon.  There is a new bloodlust and appetite for destruction.  Luring police officers to crime scenes and shooting them without remorse; murdering a young Georgia man out for a jog; pushing innocent subway riders to their deaths; stalking and killing Asians for no apparent reason...the list is long.  More and more, Americans are being forced to surrender to brutality and negotiate with intolerance and bigotry.

In settling for Joe Biden, we are in a politics Voltaire warned us about — "certainly anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices."  We are told that Enlightenment values have failed us and are baggage from a disgraced past that should be discarded in favor of more progressive constructs.  Defunding the police promotes safety; gender is changed by mere thought; old racism is cured by new racism; criminals' rights supersede victims' rights; free speech is violence.  We must mask our children, crush their innocence, and destroy their self-esteem to ensure their proper development.  Massive government spending will lead us to prosperity...

In settling for Joe Biden, we are witness to the re-emergence of the great racial polarization and social engineering begun by Barack Obama — with Biden at his side.  Their divide-and-conquer, win-at-all-costs ethos is alive and well.  The power of the managerial state has come to bear, and there are menacing signs that it's spiraling out of control.  From a disastrous foreign policy to an overrun southern border to runaway inflation, nothing is working.  It is a progressive-led war, where "[i]t is not important if one must go through a few devious valleys and shadows in the struggle for the people's world ... there are no rules of fair play" (Saul Alinsky).

In settling for Joe Biden, we have settled for a mediocrity — a conflicted, petty man with no defining code of values to inform his choices and actions.  To Joseph Epstein, "something central is missing" in Joe Biden and his speeches.  "It's gravitas — that dignity, seriousness and convincing solemnity" whose lack makes him "less a president than a backroom politician."  Kitchen table bromides and homespun tales of youth aside, a president who believes that white supremacy is the greatest domestic terror threat in the United States is someone who could tear us asunder.

Time will tell if America's democracy will withstand its Faustian bargain with Joe Biden.  Until that day, we would do well to heed the wisdom of William Pitt, when England faced its own constitutional crisis in 1770: "Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it; and this I know, my lords, that where law ends, tyranny begins!"

Russell Paul La Valle is a New York–based political commentator whose work has appeared in many major newspapers, magazines, and online opinion websites.  He is also a former contributing editor to the philosophical think-tank the Atlas Society, and his commentaries can be found at


Image via Good Free Photos.

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