Will the Real Joe Biden Please Stand Up?
Is he FDR, LBJ, Truman or Carter?
Back in February, I wrote about the possibility of Biden hitting bumps in the road if events became too big for the media to gloss over. I compared him to Jimmy Carter not for any policy reasons. I was thinking about how the pendulum swings and whether Biden was the right man for the moment. Or not. I wrote that the media would cover for Biden if things went south, but that real life events might start to test his presidency.
Nixon wasn’t the right man for 1960, a time in the country that was ready to move from the Eisenhower conservatism left over from World War II. There was a new awakening happening in the culture that was going to leave behind the 1950s and launch headlong into the 1960s. Television was part of that and JFK looked good on TV. But it was more than that. Kennedy breathed new life into politics and into America. His presidency would be short-lived, needless to say, but his echo would last for years, even decades after as Democrats would wander the planet looking once again for their one true love. They would not find him until 2008, when Obama, too, became the right person for the moment and shifted America culturally and politically.
The pendulum, however, is preparing to swing right. This has been obvious to me for a while now. I just didn’t know when it would happen. For the pendulum to swing right it first has to swing too far to the left. A year or so ago I thought this swing would be more politically, with programs that cost too much and were dangerously similar to “socialism.” But a year later, after 2020’s massive uprisings on the left and the right - it seems clear that the left’s pull is not political but cultural and that is where it will hit the wall.
The same kind of pendulum shift happened in 1968, which you could see as 2016. Divided parties, divided loyalties and complete chaos. Trump’s campaign outsmarted the over-confident Clinton campaign and used Facebook to target specific groups to keep them home on Election Day in three or four key swing states. In 2020, the Democrats outsmarted the Trump campaign by using the pandemic to justify early male-in voting so that the election was over long before Election Day. Trump’s big mistake was in casting doubt on mail-in voting. Had he not done that, he’d probably have won again. Trump won Florida, Ohio and Iowa which is a clear sign that had there not been early mail-in voting, Trump would have won. Why, because by the time the election rolled around the left was showing blatant signs of having gone too far and scared the American public.
Biden was meant to be a steady ball down center plate, not a disrupter. He has shown himself to be anything but. Considering how many moves Democrats went through to toss the “big structural change” candidates aside to put in “the moderate,” it is a little shocking to see Biden advocating for that same change. Biden appears to believe he just won the second Civil War against “white supremacy” and now the “systemically racist” America must be torn down to the studs and “re-imagined.”
That is what you call pulling much too far in the extreme such that it will guarantee a pendulum shift. Granted, the right is in the throws of its own massive upheaval. But in the end, Trump is resonating not because he’s Trump but because he is among the few still brave enough, with balls big enough, to stand up to the Left.
In 1968, as the Democrats began fighting over what position to take on the Vietnam war, as protests and feminism and black power marches shook the country to its core, as the counter culture revolution and the sexual revolution exploded - Americans started to regress, to wish for something more stable to cling to in the face of chaos. Richard Nixon was that something. Or at least he wanted to be. But Nixon barely won and would not have had there not been division on the Left.
Nixon wanted a decisive victory and by 1972, with a lot of ratf*cking, he got just that. But that desire to pull America back from the brink was there in Nixon’s landslide win. Although the culture was still very resistant to returning America to its Eisenhower days under Nixon, there was not much they could do, considering how the silent majority rose up to take back government, even if they could not touch the culture.
Thanks to Woodward and Bernstein, Nixon was brought down and tossed. Jimmy Carter was then brought in not because he was responding to a cultural shift politically or culturally but because he was the last gasp of the Left, to return America to “decency.” This is exactly what Biden also is. Biden never campaigned for anything. He didn’t win or any reason except to return to the America under Obama. He didn’t win a mandate for “big structural change,” in fact, he won for exactly the opposite reason. Yet, he’s decided to go for it anyway because ultimately that is what he wants his legacy to be. Many on the Left are very happy with how he’s decided to govern.
But the problem is that Biden didn’t win because Americans voted for his leadership. He won because they voted out Trump. Now we’re at a stand-still, with a Left in power that is, quite simply, revealing itself to be more Marxist-leaning than Democratic. Americans are starting to wake up to it as they watch the big news that the journalists can’t spin, like moving the MLB All Star game out of Georgia, like cancelling the Golden Globes, like Critical Race Theory overtaking every major public institution. The public is noticing that it is all starting to look very anti-American.
During the McCarthy era in the 1950s it was Eisenhower who brought down Joe McCarthy, smeared him using his media ties and tossed him out of Washington. Without that, who knows how far McCarthy would have gone. That is what America is craving now. A leader to stand up and say “this is un-American.” When that leader presents him or herself, I would imagine voters will swarm the polls to vote out whatever the Left has done to our culture and our government.
That is what you call a pendulum shift.
The media and social media alpha voices will continue to leverage “racism” as a way to accuse and silence their fellow Americans but that won’t work for the long term, mainly because the people who are policing others for speech and thought are majority-white. It also won’t work because many of the voices rising up to protest what is happening now are black, Asian and Hispanic. Americans want America to be a free country. There is no point to it otherwise. Every other country in the world is essentially not free. But freedom is what we do. It’s who we are.
In 1976, Carter was not the right man for the moment. The country needed rescuing by then. The economy, the chaos, the hippies, inflation, the post-war bummer coming out of Vietnam - they needed to feel good again. They needed to be reminded of who they are at their core. They needed someone who could sell them once again on American exceptionalism. That shining city on the hill that had been forsaken at the hands of the left. That someone was Ronald Reagan.
Watch and learn:
The jury is still out on whether Biden is the right person for right now. The press has been scrambling on the left to call him the new transformational president, like FDR or LBJ. Some have likened him to Truman. The right has leapt to the conclusion that Biden is Carter because of the gas lines, the unrest in the Middle East, inflation. If Biden could stand up to the Left, if he could pull the country back to the middle - it’s possible he can be spared the pendulum shift.
To really understand this moment, though, you have to pull back significantly and see it how history might write the time we’re living through. Think about what is actually happening, versus how the media driven by social media is covering it. Think about how Twitter and Facebook and Youtube have banned Trump from ever appearing on their platforms. A former President of the United States. This isn’t a story you can get on MSNBC or CNN or at The NY Times. They are still living their lives as though Trump is a continuing threat and therefore must be kept off the platforms.
Senator Josh Hawley has been demonized by the left such that his book on the power of Big Tech had to find an independent publisher. Oh, the irony. His book is called The Tyranny of Big Tech and it is very smartly written, comparing today’s Silicon Valley overlords as modern day robber barons of the Gilded Age. Whenever the Left tells me not to listen to someone or read them I always do the work of finding out for myself whether or not this is true. Most of the time it is not true. Most of the time is yet another example of mass hysteria run amok.
The rise and reach and power of Big Tech is starting to become a problem for Americans now that they have abused that power by silencing politicians and citizens when Twitter or the media throw a fit. They are making it very easy for the right to rise up to defend how America defines herself, just as Carter did when Reagan ran in 1980.
Recently, 120 former generals signed a letter warning of impending doom if the Democrats were allowed to continue their agenda, which, to them, is full blown Marxism. The only part of the letter the press paid attention to was that it questioned the results of the 2020 election, which basically discounts everything it says afterwards. But I think it matters because it shows how people are starting to feel as the pendulum prepares to swing.
The polls don’t yet reflect this growing discontent but it’s there. In the age of polarized, partisan media, don’t really reflect how the broader country is feeling - but so far they are good for Biden. They won’t really start to drop unless the media starts covering him in a negative fashion, as they have not yet done. That will only happen if events become too big for them to cover for or ignore.
It isn’t Biden’s policies that are reminiscent of Carter. I don’t even think it’s the gas lines. It might be inflation, the border, the Middle East - all of which feels very 1970s - but to me it is much more about how the country needs a leader who can lift them up - and not by telling them how broken and rotten this country is at her core but by telling them how great this country is and how great they are. Biden does the opposite. He continually sells the message that America isn’t great. Biden is overt in his policy towards reparations and equity after a summer of protests.
He’s even gone so far as only giving out aid to black farmers, and those who are struggling and white will have to suffer with their white privilege. To many on the Left, this is well deserved, a way to make up for America’s shameful past and level the playing field because to the Left right now, as we all know, this has become their fundamental purpose: to right the wrongs of the past. This is how you can tell where the money lies. Those who are poor and white are less likely to go along with it. In fact, one white disabled farmer is suing for discrimination.
America is a country built on myths and it needs its myth makers. The President is really the best cheerleader for all of the slogans Americans believe in deeply - it’s the “land of opportunity,” and that there such a thing as the American Dream and that everyone has a shot at it. This entire country has been built on that myth and whenever we see someone come from nowhere and rise we respond to it, like President Obama for instance. Or President Clinton. If we don’t have the hero’s journey we always have the hero.
For many on the left right now, Biden is that hero. He’s extremely likable, just as Jimmy Carter was. But America is an alpha, not a beta. It’s an apex predator, not the prey it hunts. America wants to be ferocious and feared across the globe and barring that, they’ll settle for a charismatic godlike figure whose mere presence brings people to their knees in worship. America thinks it’s the star of the world. It is its own influencer. It basically rocks with its cock out. That is this country.
The natural pendulum swing would have put Trump in power for four more years. After that, the Democrats would have had a chance to get their ducks in a row, find a new charismatic icon to restart the country in a new direction. As it is, they have kicked the can down the road, reached back into the past to when they last felt safe. But in doing so, they might have misread the moment.
The coming war is not going to be between right and left. It is going to be about who can stop the Left from fundamentally transforming this country into their version of Utopia. The politicians, writers, filmmakers, musicians who show bravery and defiance in the face of it will succeed. Those who pander will falter.