Everybody knows, and some people will even admit, that the next president of the United States will not be Joe Biden.
This is true no matter who wins the election in November.
As of Aug. 2, 2020, my money is on the reelection of Donald Trump. But I understand that that is not a certainty.
For many reasons, some having to do with his astonishingly successful record these past three and a half years (just think of what he has done with his judicial appointments, taxes, the regulatory environment, immigration, the fitness of our military, the economy), some having to do with the behavior of the Democrats, I think that Trump will win reelection.
But a week, as Prime Minister Harold Wilson once observed, is a long time in politics. Many balls are in the air. We do not know where they will land. Where will the stock market be Nov. 3, 2020? What will be the unemployment rate and how will it have been trending? Those are critical numbers, but no one’s crystal ball is sufficiently clairvoyant to give us the answers three months out.
Moreover, given the stunning effervescence of our politics in 2020—given, that is to say, the implacable hatred of Donald Trump by the entitled class combined with the volatility wrought by such (un)natural disasters as the CCP Virus and the scourge of Antifa and Black-Lives-Matter rioting—anything is possible.
All of that is by way of a disclaimer.
But why do I say that no matter who wins in November, Joe Biden will not be President?
Perhaps the best way of explaining that is to recall the fate of Achon, son of Amurath, in Evelyn Waugh’s novel “Black Mischief.” The aged Achon, Chief of the Chiefs of Sakuyu, Lord of Wanda and Tyrant of the Seas, was in fact the legitimate Emperor of the fictional kingdom of Azania.
But he had been safely confined to a cave these past fifty years. After various vicissitudes—appalling to contemplate but amusing to read about in a novel—Achon is set free. Alas, his long captivity has left him bent and senile. He dies upon coronation.
Eight months sequestered in your basement is not quite the same thing as fifty years shackled to a rock in a sunless cave, but you take my point. Even if Joe Biden were to win, it will not be he who governs as the next president of the United States.
I would not expect Biden, like Achon, to check out upon swearing in. No, the process would likely be a little more prolonged and circuitous. Victor Davis Hanson outlined some likely scenarios in his sobering essay “Will 2021 Be 1984?”
The narrative that catapulted Biden to his present subterranean eminence centered on his supposed political moderateness compared to some of the more outlandish bijoux on offer, from the Soviet-loving Bernie Sanders to those queens of nastiness, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, all of them economic redistributionists with an imperfect appreciation of the distinction between “meum” and “tuum.”
But what has made Joe Biden palatable to the actual power brokers in the Democratic party—far-left, woke commissars who combine a breathtaking arrogance with a deep hatred of America—was not his supposed “moderateness.” On the contrary, it was his empty vesselhood.
Biden, in short, is the toxic suppository, the smooth and unguent capsule, through which the enemies of democratic capitalism and traditional American values hope to insinuate their gospel of radical transformation into the tissues of American society.
His bland non-entity, which given proper lighting can be packaged as “moderateness,” makes him the ideal super-spreader of the virus of collectivist sentiment.
In order to appreciate what the installation of that radical agenda would mean “on the ground,” I invite you to contemplate the draft Democratic party platform that was leaked a few days ago.
As Joseph Simonson notes in his summary of the eighty-page document, “the party intends to circumvent Congress,” turning instead to unelected bureaucrats of the administrative state to push through its woke, politically correct goals. The fine print is disquieting to say the least.
“Racial equity” is a phrase that is repeated over and over again in this document. But what it means is the opposite of “equity” as traditionally understood, i.e., treating people the same regardless of their race. That, of course, was the ideal enunciated by Martin Luther King Jr. when he adjured us to judge people not by the color of their skin but on the “content of their character.”
The new racism preached by sultans of “social justice” (what, you might wonder, does the adjective “social” add to the substantive “justice”?), that new racism, I say, inverts King’s ideal. Now we are encouraged to judge people solely by the color of their skin. And in case you didn’t know, the code is: Black = good, white = bad. Accordingly, the draft platform insists that “race-neutral policies are not sufficient to rectify race-based disparities.”
Ponder the force of the word “comprehensive” in the explanation of their alternative to “race neutral” policies: “We will take a comprehensive approach to embed racial justice in every element of our governing agenda, including in jobs and job creation, workforce and economic development, small business and entrepreneurship, eliminating poverty and closing the racial wealth gap, promoting asset building and homeownership, education, health care, criminal justice reform, environmental justice, and voting rights. [My emphasis]”
“Comprehensive,” eh? Another writer might have said “totalitarian.”
On every contentious issue—immigration, defense spending, regulation, education, healthcare, taxes, housing policy, student debt—the Democratic platform calls for a huge increase in government intrusiveness and consequent loss of individual freedom.
Naturally, the truly radical nature of this platform is somewhat concealed by bureaucratese and a clever deployment of uplifting abstractions.
As Simonson notes, “Much of the language in the document is a series of bait-and-switches . . . with declarations beginning with promising language, only to be concluded by intersectional jargon and handouts for supposed victims of systemic racism.”
For most Americans, I believe, the draft Democratic platform is a terrifying document. Despite its sometimes anodyne language, it promises to remake America according to a thoroughgoing socialist agenda in which racialism, radical environmentalism, sexual exoticism, and globalist internationalism compete with anti-capitalist animus to destroy the country bequeathed to us by previous generations.
Elie Wiesel was once asked what his experience of the Holocaust taught him. “When people say they want to kill you,” he said, “believe them.” Good advice.
Roger Kimball is the editor and publisher of The New Criterion and publisher of Encounter Books. His most recent book is “The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia.”
The views expressed herein are solely those of the author. As a nonpartisan public charity, The Epoch Times does not endorse these statements and takes no position on political candidates.