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Family members call me Old Gloom’n’Doom, especially in recent years, for expressing what I see as evidence of the steady deterioration of the nation I love at the hands of the radical left. This process was obvious and incessant in the (interminable) time of “Russia! Russia! Russia!” and has intensified daily in the time of the single worst President in American history.
I have tried various antidotes to (try to) combat this dark time we are living through, for example, my new series searching for that rare commodity, good news — “The Pollyanna Reports” — but they have been unavailing in the face of such insults to the national psyche as Biden’s declaration of war on 74 million of his fellow countrymen, including me, a proud MAGA Republican. I worry that I am fast becoming obsessed with the all-encompassing tragedy of what is happening to our beloved nation.
And just when I think I really am suffering from some kind of mental disorder (no wisecracks, please) that inhibits my ability to see anything positive about this wretched, corrupt administration, along comes corroboration from the two intellectuals My Lady and I regard most highly. We share their view, in the words of one, that, “America has come perilously close to the edge of the point of no return.
These two giants of conservative commentary are Roger Kimball and Victor Davis Hanson; their columns are both well worth reading, and pondering, in their entirety. They can be accessed here and here. They are, to put it mildly, eerily unsettling, especially the Kimball piece.
In that article, entitled “Biden Puts the ‘Total’ in Totalitarianism,” Mr. Kimball brings his usual acerbic wit, not to mention his vast classical background and seemingly limitless vocabulary, to the task of examining three aspects of the President’s exercise in Hitlerian theatrics last week in Philadelphia. Two of these aspects have been discussed widely; the third is chilling in its own way, especially to those of us who watched Tucker Carlson’s phenomenal interview with Dr. Mattias Desmet, author of The Psychology of Totalitarianism and proponent of the theory of Mass Formation (to be addressed more extensively in a later post).
While I urge all to read the entire column — My Lady and I think it might well be his best yet, a remarkably high bar — his first two points can be summed up by these highlights:
The first has to do with the theater of the piece, its optics or stagecraft. As many commentators (myself included) noted, the feel of the event was distinctly, and distinctively, bombastic. The melodramatic red lighting, the presence of armed Marines flanking the president, and Biden’s hectoring, gesticulating delivery made the event seem eerily reminiscent of a speech by Stalin, Mao, or—the closest parallel—that diminutive former house painter who, for a few short years, mesmerized the world with his elaborately staged rallies before pushing ahead with more kinetic activities.
So much for the theatrics of the speech. What about its substance? It was a tooth-and-claw attack on Donald Trump and the MAGA agenda. How sharp were those teeth and claws? Trump and his supporters, said Biden, shaking his fists, represent “an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.” “The very foundations of our republic,” forsooth! A week earlier, he noted that the problem was “not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the . . . semi-fascism” of the MAGA agenda.
However, the discussion of the third aspect of Biden’s latest lunacy — it’s hard to keep up, isn’t it? — about the “long strategic game,” which is most dreadful in its Orwellian implications. The full impact of his reasoning is encapsulated in the title to this portion of the column: The Goal is Control. As I would not presume to even try to paraphrase the brilliant writing of a classic scholar like Mr. Kimball; I will set out here his discussion of the Marxists’ goal:
In “Joe Biden and the Sovietization of America,” a column that will be published in the October edition of Spectator World (available online mid-September), I mention in passing the practice of Gleichschaltung, the attempt to bring all aspects of life into alignment with the governing philosophy of the state. The term was popularized in Germany in the late 1930s, but it describes a process that is common to all totalitarian societies (indeed, it describes the effort that puts the “total” in “totalitarian”). Among other things, it involves the politicization of all aspects of life, the surrender of individuality to ideology. George Orwell sketched the process in Nineteen Eighty-Four. Lenin and Stalin brought that fiction to real life in their iron-fisted control of life in the Soviet Union. Xi Jinping continues that legacy today in China. What we call “political correctness” hints at the program, for really to be politically correct is to suffuse every element of one’s life with the dogmas that the ruling consensus has defined as the correct orthodoxy. The fascistic formula “the personal is the political” gives one expression to this idea, since, taken seriously, it denies the legitimacy of the personal altogether.
The Biden regime is making great strides in this direction. As Josh Hammer observes in a penetrating column, Biden apparatchiks are moving on multiple fronts to abolish the distinction between the public sector and the private sector. Late last month, the world was treated to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg confessing on Joe Rogan’s podcast that, yes, the FBI did in fact put pressure on the social media giant to bury news about Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell”—news that very likely would have changed the results of the 2020 election had it been allowed to circulate. Entities like Facebook and Twitter, Hammer points out, “no longer qualify as meaningfully ‘private’ and have instead simply become appendages of the state.” They are simply part of the propaganda machine of the ruling party. Citing Missouri Attorney General (and U.S. Senate candidate) Eric Schmitt, Hammer describes the “vast censorship enterprise” promulgated by the state. Former U.S. Representative Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) described aspects of this enterprise in his book Countdown to Socialism.
But the goal of total control involves more than censorship. It also involves the insinuation of the state into the most intimate areas of our private lives. One example is the Biden regime’s new weaponization of Title IX legislation. This brief statute, which, in just a couple of lines, says that institutions that receive federal funds may not discriminate on the basis of sex, has been enlisted in the campaign to abolish natural sexual identity and replace it with a polymorphous, “gender fluid” model. Among other things, this radical new interpretation of Title IX gives teachers priority over parents on matters of sex and gender, requiring, for example, that “K-12 schools support socially transitioning children to a different gender without requiring notice to parents, the involvement of medical professionals, or legal documentation.”
Dr. Hanson’s piece, titled “How Old Ideas Become Wonderful,” explores aspects of that totalitarian control that brings old and formerly disfavored phenomena back into currency and accepted practice:
Bad and bankrupt ideas, protocols, and ideologies—like McCarthyism, communism, various cults, or fascism—resurface not because of their intrinsic or lasting value or record of success, but because civilizations become less vigilant and allow human vanities, ignorance, arrogance, and evil to reassert themselves.
Joe McCarthy Is Back
Our Tail Gunner Joe (of semi-truck driving expertise and brilliant legal training fame) in a single week smeared roughly half the country as un-American “semi-fascists.” Then in one of the creepiest speeches and background sets in American political history, Joe Biden railed that “Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans are a threat to the very soul of this country.” Franklin Roosevelt declared war on Japan in careful, sober, and exacting presidential tones; Joe Biden all but declared war against half his own people like a raving lunatic.
All that was missing from the rant was Biden waving to the crowd a purported list of names of prominent MAGA threats to our collective soul and screaming, “I have here in my hand a list of 205 members of the MAGA Party!”
Yet Biden never quite told us what was subversive about the “MAGA Scare” or wanting to “Make America Great Again.” It was merely a sort of conservative version of George McGovern’s call to “Come home, America.” Both slogans, like Obama’s “hope and change” banality, suggest things were either better before the present or will be better afterwards.
Biden barked out all sorts of fantasy enemies of the state, as he lumped 75 million people together as a collective existential threat to the soul of America. Left unsaid but understood is what Biden and the “good” other half are supposed to do with such an existential danger posed by millions of their fellow Americans.
He then sketches out possible “punishments” for all of these alleged traitors in a most witty manner, bringing in such “stars” of the left as Brennan, Clapper, Clinesmith, Kah-Mah-Lah, Austin, Schumer and the animal who tried to assassinate Justice Kavanaugh and his entire family.
Discussions followed of the return of some of the most pernicious “isms” and madness in our history — racism, Marxism, loyalty oaths, “Every Man a King” (the credo of Louisiana’s most famous Governor, Huey Long), and indoctrination of the young-even with the use of drag shows. Sick!
Here are a couple of highlights of those which seemed to me to be the most shocking, involving racism and the various forms of cruelty being meted out to our children and grandchildren:
The Good Ol’ Racism
If we are back in McCarthy’s 1950s, how about a similar return to Jim Crow separatism, racial exceptionalism, and chauvinism? American history from 1776 to 1860 was the story of postponing but not preventing a civil war over race-based slavery. What followed was a century-long attempt to ensure that race did not thwart the newly won constitutional protections of the enfranchised black citizen.
Then the next half-century saw an effort to provide “affirmative action” by offering advantages in hiring and admissions for groups felt to have historically suffered racial discrimination.
In the recent decade, however, we have entered new territory—or regress to old familiar landscapes—in which racial preferences and discrimination are considered reparatory and thus good.
Get Them While They’re Young
Indoctrination, especially of the young, was always considered a tip-off of the totalitarian nature of a regime. The obvious message is that adults would never willingly accept contrary-to-nature communism or socialism—unless they had been brain-washed by it for years.
Critical race theory never polls anywhere close to majority support. Most object to the use of race to discriminate against any group. Consequently, the Left now is using the primary schools to push it based on the idea of exposing and rooting out implied racism as a way of contextualizing asymmetries of student achievement, disciplinary action, attendance, and college trajectories.
Drag queen shows and transgender advocacy are now permissible in schools and welcomed as “pride” days. If, in the old Left calculus, the “children” must be protected from adults who were too eager to strut their sexuality among the presexual, thus imprinting them with imagery and behavior beyond their ability to fathom, now the opposite is true.
On top of all these cheery messages, “The Biden Regime Collapses the ‘Public’-‘Private’ Distinction,” by Josh Hammer, here, illustrated how the FBI, by Zuckerberg’s own open admission recently on the Joe Rogan podcast, colluded with social media (a ‘private’ company—doing the Government’s bidding, it seems). They “gently” nudged Facebook to be on the lookout for “Russian disinformation” just about the time the New York Post was trying to break the Hunter Biden laptop story. Based on Zuckerberg’s own words, it seems his group, like Twitter, got the message, loud and clear!
On August 25, Zuckerberg himself confided to Rogan on-air that America’s Stasi—sorry, FBI—warned Facebook in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election about the threat of “Russian misinformation,” thus effectively commandeering Facebook to algorithmically penalize, and generally conceal, the New York Post‘s bombshell October 2020 story pertaining to prodigal son Hunter Biden’s infamous “laptop from hell.” Some polls have indicated that as many as one in six Biden voters would have changed their vote, in 2020, if they had known the full extent of the Post‘s reporting on Hunter’s cursed laptop. Given how narrow Biden’s winning statewide margins of victory were in the states that gave him his Electoral College majority, Big Tech’s censorship was all but assuredly dispositive.
Big Tech, then, is responsible for Biden’s presidency. And it is demonstrably also responsible for the continuing suppression and subjugation of all those “misinformation”-peddling “wrongthink”-ers who refuse to bend the knee to the Biden regime. Big Tech gave Biden the election, and Big Tech now does Biden’s dirty work for him.
These technology platforms, in short, have proven themselves to not be “private” actors in any meaningful sense of the term. They are now direct appendages of the state, and they must be constitutionally treated and regulated as such.
So with all of this uplifting information in mind, I would, with the utmost respect, pose this question to those who might be “turned off” by those of us who seem “unduly gloomy”— how could you not be at least wondering whether the lunatics of the far-left are demonically spreading their tentacles into every available space on the American body politic?
Or, as Mr. Kimball so darkly concludes:
There is, I know, a point of no return, a point beyond which a society beset by totalitarian impulses must either rebel or succumb utterly. Are we there yet? I do not know. I do sense, however, that we have come perilously close to the edge. I pray that it is not too late.
I echo Mr. Kimball’s prayer. I hope we reverse this descent into madness. But we should all recognize that the socialists of the far left are determined to destroy our country as we know it. We should respond accordingly with every fiber of strength we have.
And yet, “through the perilous fight,” as in the words of our National Anthem, we should repeat every day this war rains its destruction and vile poison down upon us:
God Bless America!Published in