Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Joe Biden was touted by his supporters as the anti-Trump, the seasoned politician and “centrist” who had the experience, gravitas, and governing skills that the radical “demagogue” Donald Trump lacked. Supposedly, Biden also possessed the respect for “democratic norms” and the “empathy” lacking in the abrasive tweetster and crude-talking ex-reality show host. Elect Biden, the pitch went, and the “adults” will be back in charge, the sacred “norms” and “decorum” once again respected, and our status in the world restored.
This appeal, of course, depended on hyping Trump’s “mean” tweets and rhetoric, while ignoring his successful first term achievements both at home and abroad. It also required burnishing Biden’s decades of mediocrity and trimming, his gaffes and plagiarism, his unseemly attention to women and girls, and the stench of corruption wafting from his career. Indeed, the odor was so strong that his media and social media courtiers had to discredit, censor, and embargo the blockbuster New York Post story about son Hunter’s laptop and emails, which we now know is authentic and contains strong, corroborated evidence of Biden’s complicity in his son’s influence-peddling grift. And as the campaign progressed, the Dems’ media flaks were compelled to ignore as well the obvious signs of Biden’s cognitive decline.
But last November the Dems and the media pulled Biden across the finish line, leaving another bad odor of electoral anomalies the bipartisan establishment keeps declaring is actually the stink of conspiracy theories that––without a thorough investigation conducted to settle the issue–– they somehow know are in fact MAGA fantasies. Biden took office, and immediately began undoing Trump’s successes, as if to show that his policies, like his confected “presidential” persona, will be the antitheses of Trump’s.
In just eight months, we have now a record with which we can judge that governing principle.
Start with climate change, or more correctly, anthropogenic, catastrophic global warming (ACGW). This dubious hypothesis in recent years has been weakened by its record of failed predictions, preposterous claims about severe weather events, the exposure of false and manipulated data, and the abysmal failure of numerous contradicting computer models substituting for empirical evidence and an incomplete understanding of how global climate functions. Physicists like Steve Koonin in his book Unsettled, have exposed all the other weaknesses in the claims of impending doom if carbon-based fuels aren’t banished.
Those lurid apocalyptic prophesies, moreover, are vastly exaggerated. as Bjorn Lomborg has recently written,
The challenge climate change poses, both to the environment and society, looks rather small compared to those humanity has already met. Noble Prize-winning climate economist William Nordhaus has shown that a 6.3-degree Fahrenheit rise in world temperatures by 2100—which is probable if policy makers do little to stop climate change—would cost only 2.8% of global GDP a year.
Given that the UN projects the average person to be 434% as rich in 2100 as today, Bjorn continues, that reduction would still leave a lot of money for mitigating any adverse effects of ACGW.
Yet the globalist elites continue to push solutions to this ginned-up crisis with multinational agreements that compromise both our national sovereignty and our economy. That’s why Trump withdrew from the Paris Accords, which even if fully implemented would not reduce warming enough to make a difference, given that China and India, the first and third largest emitters of CO2, get a pass. At the UN, China did promise to stop building coal-fired power plants––abroad, while it builds them at home non-stop.
But the anti-Trump Joe Biden, apparently ignorant of all these reservations and qualifications, rejoined the agreement, and in a recent address to the UN promised billions of dollars we don’t have to developing nations for reducing emission and converting to inefficient “green energy,” enriching the international “renewable energy” grifters.
This comes on top of other Biden actions against our energy producers: cancelling the Keystone X pipeline, banning fracking, and “pausing” oil and gas leases on public lands.
Whereas Trump’s policies made the U.S. energy self-sufficient through domestic fossil fuels production, Biden had to plead with OPEC to increase production as U.S. gas prices have surged. As a result, our economy and our geopolitical clout have been damaged.
Then there’s the chaos at the border, where millions of mostly unvetted illegal migrants have surged into our country over the past eight months, including an unknown number of them who are Covid positive, along with cartel foot-soldiers trafficking in human beings and Chinese fentanyl. This crisis is another willful blunder caused by Biden’s anti-Trump reflex.
Under Trump’s watch, such massive disorder and failure had been reduced significantly. Laws were enforced, catch-and-release policies ended, and serious construction on the border barriers started. More significant, he made an agreement with Mexico to keep third-country migrants in Mexico until their asylum claims could be processed. The huge caravans of migrants trekking to our border were reduced. More than 70,000 migrants were relocated, and the numbers congregating at the border significantly diminished.
So of course, Biden ended the program without considering the moral hazard of creating perverse incentives for migrants to swarm the border, where overwhelmed border patrol officers watch them cross the Rio Grande in broad daylight. Many have been escorted into buses and planes and distributed around the country, with only the “parchment barrier” of a “notice to appear” in court. More recently, some 15,000 Haitians have crossed the river at Del Rio, Texas. They have squatted under the International Bridge, while the administration tried to ban news drones from recording the chaos. And don’t forget the fall-out from the Afghan withdrawal fiasco. Tens of thousands of Afghans have come to this country, most unvetted or even certified as active supporters of our military and intelligence forces. No one knows how many ISIS operatives are among their number.
As with all of Biden’s blunders, the media have run interference for the administration. Most outfits have played down the crisis with scant coverage, when they’re not manufacturing dishonest footage as they did during Trump’s tenure. Remember the footage of children in “cages” that was actually from the Obama era? The “cages” are back, though you wouldn’t know it from watching MSNBC. Instead we got video of mounted border patrol agents trying to control an aggressive crowd of 200 migrants, while ignorant or malignant media talking-heads labeled as “whips” the split reins used to control the horses more efficiently and avoid trampling people.
The usual Congressional suspects finally had something to say about the border, accusing the border patrol of “human rights” abuses akin to those of “slave-owners.” And predictably, the White House joined in on the lie about “whips.” Press secretary Jen Psaki condemned the border agents as “brutal and inappropriate.” Biden trotted out the stalest of hyperbolic verbs, “horrified,” and threatened, “Those people [mounted agents, not the lawbreakers] will pay.” Homeland Security honcho Alejandro Mayorkas stopped the use of mounted officers for crowd control, has opened an investigation, and removed the officers from active duty. All to virtue-signal the administration’s antiracist bona fides and moral superiority to the “racist” and “xenophobic” Donald Trump.
These are just two examples of how destructive the anti-Trump delirium has been and continues to be. Trump’s success exposed just how insular and jealous of its status the bipartisan managerial elite are. It wasn’t just Trump’s actions that were offensive, but his mere existence. Trump challenged all the so-called “norms” of governing, the standards reflecting the technocratic assumptions and political guild protocols of postwar politics.
But those standards and “norms” were not reflective of all the U.S.’s diverse mores, interests, and ways of being American. These sacred “norms” are mainly the attributes of the university-educated and credentialed “cognitive elite” that share similar tastes, received wisdom, and zip codes. Trump, who came from the gritty world of construction, casino development, professional wrestling, and reality television, was to the elite a déclassé vulgarian scornful of the bipartisan political manners and “norms” that year after year camouflaged failures like our broken immigration policies and porous border infrastructure, while they ignored the concerns of the middle and working classes, but assiduously tended to the interests of plutocrats and corporations and their billions in campaign contributions.
And worst of all, Trump’s success exposed the political ruling class and their hypocritical bipartisan norms and shared received wisdom. But the hatred and resentment of Trump is so deep that we now have a ruling party whose main principle is to do the opposite of whatever Trump did no matter how much it benefitted the country. Biden’s disastrous anti-Trump policies and failures demonstrate the dangers that such an irrational reflex can create.