President Joe Biden went to Buffalo, New York on May 17th to deliver remarks honoring the lives lost from a mass shooter’s rampage the weekend before. President Biden squandered the opportunity to fulfill his campaign and Inauguration Day pledges to unify the country when he used his Buffalo speech to exploit the horrific tragedy.
Perhaps forgetting that he is currently the President of the United States, Biden declared that “the American experiment in democracy is in a danger like it hasn’t been in my lifetime.” He may well be right, but the reason is not “white supremacy” ideology as he would have us believe. The danger to the American experiment is from the perfect storm caused by the simultaneous failures of President Biden’s own disastrous economic, immigration, crime, and foreign policies.
Payton Gendron, who allegedly killed ten people and seriously wounded three others at a supermarket in a black Buffalo neighborhood, revealed his hatred of blacks and Jews in a 180-page manifesto that he posted online. Gendron identified himself as “an ethno-nationalist eco-fascist national socialist” and espoused white supremacist beliefs.
However, at the same time, this unhinged extremist also classified himself as belonging in what he called the “mild-moderate authoritarian left category” and claimed to be a “populist.” (Emphasis added) Populism is a label that can apply to both left-wing and right-wing ideologies. He denied being a “conservative” because, he said, “conservatism is corporatism in disguise.”
Of course, there is nothing “mild” or “moderate” about this suspected mass shooter. If convicted, Gendron will deserve to spend the rest of his miserable life in jail without the possibility of parole or, better yet, the death penalty.
That said, Gendron is a case study of the authoritarian traits and willingness to use violence in the service of a radical ideological cause that are exhibited on both the extreme far left as well as on the extreme far right. You wouldn’t know it from what President Biden said during his appearance in Buffalo but neither extremist fringe has a monopoly on resorting to violent means to obtain their perverted version of the “perfect” society.
In a major research study published in 2022, entitled “Clarifying the Structure and Nature of Left-wing Authoritarianism,” the authors found strong parallels between right-wing authoritarianism and left-wing authoritarianism. They concluded that both “reflect a shared constellation of personality traits, cognitive features, beliefs, and motivational values that might be considered the ‘heart’ of authoritarianism.”
Regarding left-wing authoritarianism in particular, the authors wrote that it “powerfully predicts behavioral aggression and is strongly correlated with participation in political violence.”
Gendron himself, by his own admission, is a blend of left-wing and right-wing authoritarianism.
President Biden understandably focused in Buffalo on the racially motivated massacre of blacks that had just occurred there days before. But he went beyond seeking to comfort the victims’ loved ones and calling for healing and racial harmony. The president exploited the tragedy for partisan purposes by grossly exaggerating white supremacy as the single most pervasive threat to domestic security. Biden chose, as he often does, to denounce only one end of the violent extremist spectrum while completely ignoring the other end of the violent extremist spectrum inhabited by left-wing authoritarians.
President Biden referred to “white supremacy” five times in his Buffalo remarks. He also referred to what happened on January 6th. Among other things, he said that white supremacy is a “poison” that is “running through our body politic.”
President Biden’s reference in his Buffalo remarks to the “body politic,” as well as to “January 6th,“ were unsubtle digs at the Republican Party, which he claims is now run by those supposedly bad “Ultra-MAGAs.” In President Biden’s mind, only they are capable of harboring any extremist, racist, violence-prone ideologies – surely not the Democrats and their leftist progressive base to whom Biden is subservient.
Without dismissing white supremacists as one potentially serious source of domestic violence, they surely are not the only source. Other sources include Antifa, black nationalists, and eco-terrorists to name a few groups on the Left who have demonstrated their propensity for violence.
Just consider these examples of left-wing violence during the last several years alone:
1. A Bernie Sanders supporter and campaign volunteer used a rifle to shoot at members of the House GOP who had gathered to practice at a softball field in June 2017 for an upcoming charity game. The shooter nearly killed then-House Majority Whip, Rep. Steven Scalise (R-LA). The shooter hated Republicans. His favorite cable television program was the left-wing MSNBC program, “The Rachel Maddow Show.”
Should Bernie Sanders and Rachel Maddow bear some responsibility for inspiring their fan’s shooting spree? Of course not, unless we apply the same absurd “logic” of the leftists blaming Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson for inspiring Payton Gendron’s racist shooting spree in Buffalo.
2. During 2020, when rioters took to the streets in protest against George Floyd’s death while he was in police custody, an Antifa radical who supported Black Lives Matter murdered a Trump supporter in Portland, Oregon. Leftist protesters celebrated the killing.
3. On Oct. 14, 2021, climate extremists stormed the entrance of the Interior Department building and disrupted normal business there. Some committed vandalism on public property, battled with police, and caused havoc resulting in multiple injuries to security personnel.
To date, no October 14th House of Representatives Commission has been set up to investigate this insurrection. And not a peep from President Biden.
4. Darrell Brooks Jr., who posted about committing violence against white people and praised Hitler for killing Jews, allegedly drove his car deliberately into the Waukesha, Wisconsin Christmas parade last November, killing six people. About sixty others were injured.
Brooks and Gendron are mirror images of each other in their display of racial hatred and resulting acts of violence. The only difference is that Brooks is black and Gendron is white. Yet President Biden chose not to go to Waukesha, Wisconsin following the Christmas parade carnage caused by a racist, anti-Semitic black man but found time to go to Buffalo following the carnage caused by a racist, anti-Semitic white man.
This is a perfect example of President Biden’s double standard at work.
5. Earlier this year, a shooter describing himself as a black nationalist fired at terrified New York City subway passengers, injuring dozens of people. The suspect, Frank R. James, had posted racially charged rhetoric on social media including this one: “O black Jesus, please kill all the whiteys.”
James linked his own racist material on social media to the sites of black extremist groups such as the Nation of Islam, Black Panthers, Black Liberation Army, and Black Lives Matter.
President Biden did not bother to pay his respects in person to the injured victims, nor denounce the poisonous ideology of black supremacist nationalism posted on social media that may well have sparked James’ shooting spree.
Now, according to an internal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo, threats of violence from extremists on both sides of the abortion debate have escalated since the leak of the draft Supreme Court majority opinion that would overrule Roe v. Wade.
“Some of these threats discussed burning down or storming the U.S. Supreme Court and murdering Justices and their clerks, members of Congress, and lawful demonstrators,” the DHS memo reported. The DHS warned that grievances related to restricting abortion access could fuel violence by pro-choice abortion-related violent extremists and other [domestic violent extremists.]
It would not be the first time that left-wing extremists have tried to storm and burn down a federal courthouse. As recently as March 2021 (after several attacks in 2020), left-wing rioters attempted to burn down a federal courthouse in Portland Oregon, while several federal employees and police officers were still inside the building.
The rioters shouted, “death to America” and “f-ck the United States” while attempting to break into the building. Unlike the January 6th Capitol riots, however, this insurrection did not appear to faze President Biden one bit.
At least, the DHS now is taking the threat of arson at the Supreme Court and bodily harm to the justices seriously.
For its part, the Senate has passed a bipartisan bill entitled the “Supreme Court Policy Parity Act of 2022,” which would grant the Supreme Court security-related authority equivalent to the legislative and executive branches.
The Senate bill simply adds some language to existing legislation protecting Supreme Court justices, officers, and employees. It extends protection by the Marshal of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court Police for “any member of the immediate family of the Chief Justice, any Associate Justice, or any officer of the Supreme Court if the Marshal determines such protection is necessary.”
But the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has refused to take up the Senate safety bill, where it remains stalled.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi herself has helped fan the flames of potential riots by smearing the Supreme Court as “dangerous to families, to freedoms in our country” during her May 15th CNN interview. After recklessly attacking the legitimacy of the third branch of the federal government, an independent judiciary, Pelosi added, “And that is why people have to mobilize.”
Whether wittingly or not, Pelosi’s inflammatory rhetoric is helping to stoke the flames for far-left pro-abortion activist actions beyond their raucous protests outside of justices’ homes, which may lead to violence.
To make matters worse, Pelosi’s Democrat-controlled House recessed before taking any action on the Senate safety bill. They are knowingly denying the members of the justices’ immediate families the same level of federal security protection as the House member’s own immediate families have.
It’s not enough in these highly polarized and fractious times for President Biden to make general appeals to protesters to remain peaceful and eschew violence. For once, the president must get ahead of a potential crisis before it is too late, even if precipitated in this case by violence from left-wing pro-abortion extremists.
It is time for President Biden to deliver a do-over of his Buffalo speech as soon as possible that is truly unifying for the country as a whole.
The president can start by first acknowledging that the vast majority of Americans of all political persuasions are law-abiding, non-violent, and non-racist. Then President Biden must balance the scales in his denunciation of domestic violent extremists beyond the far-right end of the spectrum that he is accustomed to attacking.
In short, President Biden needs to publicly condemn the leftist authoritarian extremists as among the sources of the poison jeopardizing the great American experiment and warn them of felony prosecutions if they engage in any unlawful activities. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Biden to do so.