At last the big day, the day the Trump-haters have longed for since the 2016 election, has arrived. Trump is out, and Biden is in. The anti-Trump coalition – the Dems (and a few GOPers), the “elites,” the media, the tech moguls, Big Pharma, the DC establishment, the Hollywood liberals, the swamp dwellers, et al – can all exhale. Things are back to normal. The world has returned to spinning on its axis. Order has been restored. Right? Uh, not so fast as I will explain below.
First, a brief commentary on the inauguration, itself. Once again, America has demonstrated that despite our differences we have effected a peaceful, orderly transfer of power. I agree with those who say that Trump should have attended. Even though Biden said he didn’t want him there, and his presence would likely have overshadowed the proceedings, it is customary for a former president to attend. Despite the biased manner in which he has been treated for the past four years and the obvious antipathy between Biden and Trump, it would have been the right thing to do.
That said, I thought Biden’s acceptance speech was okay, not great, not inspiring, but okay. Fox anchor Chris Wallace gushed that it was the best inauguration speech he has ever seen. He is entitled to his opinion, but I don’t agree. I think he was a little carried away by the moment. He and I are about the same age. I’m sure he remembers JFK’s inauguration speech. Now, that was inspiring. Biden’s, by comparison, was desultory, almost boring.
The central theme of Biden’s speech was a desire to unite the country, “bring America together.” Biden vowed to be the president of all the people, not just the ones who voted for him. If only! Biden didn’t explain how he will accomplish it. In summary, he offered platitudes, not policy. Talk is cheap; it’s actions that count. In the interest of fairness, I will reserve judgment until I can assess his actions. However, as I have outlined below, I don’t think he is off to a good start.
The inflammatory rhetoric on the left has been accelerating in the last few weeks. It is clear that the far left wing of the Dem Party has no interest in uniting the country. The “cancel culture” is in full swing. For example:
1. The House Dems pushed through a rush impeachment of Trump in one day. One day! The constitution contemplates that impeachment should be a deliberate, carefully thought-out process with witnesses, debate, and counsel for the accused. It should not be marred by emotion. This impeachment violated all of the above guidelines. Moreover, President Trump’s term in office was virtually over anyway, and many constitutional legal scholars have opined that Congress cannot impeach a private citizen. It is ludicrous on its face. The purpose of impeachment is to remove someone from office. How can you do that when the person is no longer in office?
2. Biden has issued a slew of provocative Executive Orders. Of course, it is his right, but some of them, such as inviting migrants to enter the country, halting construction of the southern border wall in the midst of a pandemic, no less, ending the “travel ban,” rejoining the Paris accords and WHO, broadening protections against “discrimination in the workplace,” and closing the Keystone X L Pipeline, make no sense except to enhance divisions in the country.
3. Leftist radicals, such as the “squad” and certain news commentators, have been advocating extreme programs such as banning “unacceptable and “inflammatory” comments (from conservatives) from social media, blacklisting Trump supporters in the job market, banning books with a conservative viewpoint, voiding college degrees, and sending Trump voters’ children to “re-education” camps. I kid you not.
4. Many of them, including Biden, believe and have stated that the country is infested with “white supremacists,” and “domestic terrorists” that must be “rooted out” and “defeated.” That, my friends, is code for Trump supporters, all 75 million of them, indeed, anyone who doesn’t share their political opinions. No dissenting opinions will be allowed. How are comments like that supposed to unite us all? I don’t know any white supremacists nor, to my knowledge have I ever met one. Have you? I doubt it. There are very few in the US.
5. In previous blogs I have discussed the Dems’ radical programs, such as the Green New Deal, statehood for Puerto Rico and DC, ending the filibuster in the Senate, and packing the Supreme Court. These “hot-button issues, which the Dems have vowed to pursue, will be very damaging to the country and certainly will not unify it.
If Biden is serious about unifying the country, he will have to start by reining in the radicals in his Party. I fear he doesn’t have the “stomach” to do it, but, I am willing to “wait and see.” As I said, actions speak louder than words.
By the way, it is an “open secret” that Biden is not well, physically and mentally. His supporters know it; the opposition knows it; the media knows it; anyone that has been paying attention the last few years knows it. However, no one has wanted to say it publicly. It is like the children’s story “The Emperor Has No Clothes.” Now that Biden has won, how long will it be until it leaks out? My guess is not long.
I fear the country is in a bad place, very bad. As a student of history, I see some scary parallels with Soviet Russia of the early 20th century and 1930’s Nazi Germany. Then, as now, the signs of autocracy are being advanced by a small, vocal, well-organized group, but they are being ignored. Our Bill of Rights is under attack, and few people seem willing and able to do anything about it. I hope we can survive until 2022.