In Mid-December 2020, I wrote that the incoming administration would face a legitimacy crisis if it did not take steps to address the plurality of Americans of all stripes who did not believe that the elections were free and fair. Whether Republican or Democrat, Trumpist, Never-Trumper, or the Moderate Middle, all Americans have a vested interest in the integrity of our election process. I wrote that, “If these questions remain unanswered, and upwards of 40% of Americans believe that there was systemic fraud in the election process, the new administration risks a lack of legitimacy from day one. This will seriously undermine any efforts, no matter how vigorous and sincere, to ‘build back better.’”
Transparency on this issue, whether thought hearings or otherwise, would have provided opportunity to debunk conspiracy theories and regain the support, and perhaps even trust, of a deeply divided country. To no one’s great surprise, nothing meaningful was done to address these concerns and to shine light on questions raised. As a result, February 2021 polls show that one-third of all Americans still do not believe that Biden was legitimately elected. The controversy of the 2020 election will continue to haunt the Biden presidency.
During his inauguration speech, President Biden suitably focused on a message of unity. Aware of the deep division in our country, he put forward a peace offering, saying, “I will be a president for all Americans. I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.” He spoke directly to Trump supporters confirming that they had a seat at the table and a right to differ: “And if you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably, within the guardrails of our republic, is perhaps our nation’s greatest strength.” But he warned, “disagreement must not lead to disunion.”
Less than a month later, it appears that President Biden and the Democratic Party have abandoned any pretense of seeking reconciliation and unity, or of keeping the country together. Rather, the administration and Democrat-controlled congress seem hell-bent on a scorched earth policy towards their political adversaries, the policy legacy of the Trump administration, and even worse, the tens of millions of ordinary Americans who dared to differ. A witch-hunt has begun that is being spurred on by many voices in the media. Far from seeking unity, the Democratic Party seems determined to drive the wedge deeper between us as Americans by amplifying our differences and making half of the country out to be the enemy.
One has to wonder why the pretense of reconciliation and unity has been abandoned so quickly. Could it be that the administration feels deeply insecure in its own position? Let’s explore some examples of why this may be the case.
Even if one accepts the outcome of the election without contention, races were won in swing-states by razor thin margins, i.e. by thousands of votes, not in a landslide. It is fair to say that the administration may feel the unstable and tottering nature of its position from this lack of national mandate. How did we get here? Biden was not Obama’s pick. He was a dark horse candidate in the primaries, formerly centrist, bland, and without any particularly clever or innovative ideas. Many of his proposed policy initiatives were borrowed from the successes of the Trump administration and redressed in blue apparel. It wasn’t – and still isn’t – clear he wants the job and its responsibilities.
However, he was just malleable enough to be recognized as someone the Democratic Party, and in particular its progressive wing, would be able to mold for its own purpose. By teaming up with someone as radical as Kamala Harris, the extreme left would have their Trojan horse. Any now the progressives are extracting the toll required for their support. But this means that they are already alienating not just the Republicans, but the moderates from their own party. Nonetheless, this insecurity seems to be driving Democrats to go on the attack against any perceived enemy, real or imagined.
Many of the more than 74 million Americans who voted for Trump now have the horrifying feeling that their opponents are terribly sore winners who will not be satisfied with a political victory. There is revenge and retribution in the air, already being played out in multi-faceted ways. The most vocal of the left are baying for blood, and their spine-tingling cries can be heard across our country. It is not clear how a Western democracy can survive if it labels half of its citizens enemies of the State, yet that is exactly what is happening. Whatever hope existed on inauguration day for a unifying middle-ground policy framework that reflected the views of the majority of Americans has evaporated like the morning mist.
The most startling example of this outrageous attack is the attempt to completely silence dissenting voices with the more than willing assistance of Big Tech and media. The censorship and cancelling we are now witnessing – the de-platforming from social media of hundreds of conservative voices, from the former President on down to the lowliest blogger, the coordinated and anti-competitive sabotage of Parler (Twitter’s biggest rival and free speech advocate), aggressive doxing of anyone daring to challenge the left, calls to shut down popular media outlets such as Fox Networks and ‘re-program’ its listeners, boycotts of businesses, threats and actions by employers to fire Trump supporters, the list goes on and on – is unprecedented in American history.
But these tactics are well-known in the communist countries around the world, and that’s what is scaring everyone. It should be patently obvious that further alienating half of America by labeling them domestic terrorists, then ram-rodding though a raft of policy reversals by semi-legal executive power, is no path towards national unity, and is only going to make our situation worse. In September 2020, I wrote in my book Stormwall: Observations on America in Peril that
“Religion and politics have always been very difficult and divisive topics in our culture. Something is very different now, however, in that we have completely lost our ability to have any kind of civilized discourse …. An Orwellian-like version of 1984’s thought police has descended upon our culture, rendering free speech impossible and subject to shame, ridicule, and occasional violence. Until we can find a new forum and protocol to safely debate these issues, … the situation will continue to worsen amongst ourselves as Americans.”
Less than six months later, the environment has deteriorated faster and further than I could have ever imagined. We are in a dangerous moment when it is no longer safe to hold or express ideas that don’t fit nicely into the orthodoxy of the radical left of the Democratic Party. Ordinary Americans are being threatened. Many are literally losing their jobs because of who they voted for in the election, or because they went to DC to peaceably assemble and have their voices heard (and broke no laws in doing so). Leading liberals are advocating that anyone who was a visible supporter of President Trump should be blackballed from further employment.
Why is it that thousands of members of our states’ National Guard units (whose assistance was declined before the 6th) have remained deployed in Washington DC long after the inauguration? Who exactly are they protecting, and from whom? Maintaining a police state is a key indicator of insecurity. The unorganized and leaderless mob that rioted on January 6th skulked away long ago in shame and embarrassment. Those who committed crimes are rightly being prosecuted. Yet the incoming administration has made “domestic terrorism” a keystone priority. By domestic terrorism, they do not mean the Antifa/BLM riots and violence that roiled our cities last year and continues on unabated to this date, but rather anyone on the right whose ideas they don’t like and who dares to speak up to say so.
To this end, President Biden has asked the Director of National Intelligence to prepare, in coordination with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, a “threat assessment” of extremist groups, which is code for anyone who organized for Trump or who challenged the election results. At the same time, the NSA has been asked to consider how to best share information on this threat. (That is, they’ve been asked to continue to spy on innocent Americans as they’ve been doing for years, and then report what they find out.) In summary, all of the resources of the deep state have been mobilized to ensure that conservative voices are muzzled, affinity groups are disbanded or rendered unable to communicate efficiently, and information is censored to ensure no dangerous ideas are uttered in the public square.
This is not the stance of a President, administration and party that feels confident in their mandate and secure in their position. Rather, it is the behavior of an anxious and apprehensive leadership which boasts to compensate for its self-doubt. They are acting like a provisional government imposed by coup d’état, insecure in its power, whose members feel they must sleep with one eye open for fear of retaliation from counter-revolutionaries. The inauguration itself spoke of a clandestine lack of legitimacy. Picture it: scarcely any guests and the general public barred, those present shrouded in masks, cordoned off by razor wire and perimeter barriers, guarded by tens of thousands of heavily-armed troops, and constant electronic surveillance.
Rather than focusing on issues that matter to all Americans: defeating the pandemic, opening our economies, getting people back to work, rebuilding our decrepit infrastructure, and defending us against our foreign enemies, the administration seems determined to wield raw power to further the most radical of issues. In further evidence of its insecurity, the administration seems to be willing to repudiate President Biden’s campaign promises and take on the issues offensive to most Americans, in an attempt to calm the angry voices from the radical left which threaten to pull the party apart. In less than three weeks, Biden has signed tens of executive orders that send a clear signal to the country and the world that the administration is going to move away from the center and stoop to the demands of the radical left, which the majority of Americans do not support.
Take the horribly divisive issue of abortion. This has long been a lightning rod political topic for conservatives and liberals alike, with much more heat than light. But in fact, a majority of all Americans have for over a decade taken a pro-life position, even though a majority label themselves as pro-choice. According to a January 2021 poll, “more than three-quarters of Americans support significant restrictions on abortion, including a majority of Americans who describe themselves as pro-choice.” The majority of Americans believe that abortion should be limited to the first trimester, and that there should be legal protections for unborn children. Over three-quarters of Americans oppose federal funding of abortions. Indeed, that was also Biden’s previous position as senator. And yet, with the stroke of a pen, Biden lifted the ban set in place by every Republican president since Reagan on US government funding for foreign non-profits that perform or promote abortions around the world. Further, he moved to reverse what most consider to be common-sense restrictions on domestic abortions. Only fifteen percent of Americans believe that abortions should be allowed in the third trimester, yet this is the position being advocated by the administration and party leadership, against the will of a vast majority of Americans.
At the same time, President Biden moved to cancel the license for development of the Keystone XL pipeline, kicking in the teeth the union workers who have been the historic backbone of the Democratic Party. This action will result in the loss of over 11,000 jobs, and thus the livelihoods of households representing perhaps 50,000 people, at a time when the unemployment situation in this country is grave and getting worse. This action was symptomatic of a greater folly. For the first time in decades, America had finally regained its energy independence under President Trump. Yet the Biden Administration is prepared to squander it – placing us back in servitude – in quixotic pursuit of the noble but presently unattainable dream of a complete migration from fossil fuels to renewables. The US government is extremely powerful, but what it cannot do under any administration is cause the sun to shine at night or the wind blow based on executive order. We are a long way off from the day when renewable energy can power heavy manufacturing and the needs of our cities. In the meantime, the Biden administration’s energy policy changes will hurt American workers and put us back into a place of dependence on foreign powers, which may or may not have any interest in supporting us in the future. It’s hard to think of anything more undermining to the interests of our country.
We see a manifestation of this insecurity in the Democratic obsession in pursuing a show-trial in the form of a second impeachment of Donald Trump, now a private citizen. While it is debatable whether a former president, no longer holding office, can be impeached (the purpose of which is to remove that individual from office), even if it is legal, it has absolutely zero chance of garnering the votes necessary to succeed in the senate. The Democrats know this, just as they did the first time, so why bother? It is reasonable to assume that this is classic misdirection. It creates a villain in the narrative, never mind that it’s one that currently holds no power, a totem for loathing and a target for invective, and most importantly, a distraction from what is going on in government. This complete waste of time and taxpayer resources is intended to keep the same movie on the marquee that has been playing for the past four years: “Trump is the Devil!” Without him to abominate, the media will have to actually start covering the Biden administration, which will eventually require incorporating facts and some semblance of objective reality. More frightfully, without such a unifying enemy, the factions of the Democratic Party will quickly turn on its own, as we’re already seeing.
A further indication of insecurity is the swiftness with which the White House and Democratic Party leadership throws under the bus any internal dissenting voices, including former darlings of the Clinton and Obama administrations, who aren’t quite radical enough. Larry Summers, Clinton’s Treasury Secretary and Obama’s chief economic adviser, was quickly disavowed by the White House and orphaned by the Left for daring to challenge the sensibility of the proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus package. This is, by the way, an amount three times the projected output shortfall it intends to address. Summers’s expressed concern is that “macroeconomic stimulus on a scale closer to World War II levels …” could trigger “…inflationary pressures of a kind we have not seen in a generation, with consequences for the value of the dollar and financial stability.” Summers is not wrong. In fact, his point is patently obvious to anyone willing to look at the numbers. It is almost not an exaggeration to say that the progressives want to outlaw the rules of math and accounting when it comes to our economy, and biology when it comes to our children.
These moves, to pile stimulus on top of yet unspent stimulus from December, are going to pressure the dollar, already under strain. I and other voices have been warning on inflation and devaluation risk for nearly a year now, but even those who traditionally have been more supportive of aggressive fiscal action are showing alarm at the risks we’re running to the dollar’s standing as the world’s reserve currency. But the point is that an illegitimate and thus insecure administration cannot brook dissent. Ever. It’s too dangerous to their precariously perched positions of power.
The Democratic Party appears to be engaged in a fractious civil war for its very soul. The body politic of the oldest political party in the world, tracing its roots all the way back to Thomas Jefferson, has been overshadowed by a demon of the radical left, and there is a violent wrestling for control of its heart and mind. For the moment, this demon appears to be winning, or at least making the most noise, as it viciously lashes out against not just conservatives but anyone within its own party who dares suggest moderation, fairness, reconciliation or compromise for the sake of national unity.
At the same time, we are watching the Republican Party fracture along the very fault lines that opened in 2015-2016. The division is growing between Trump supporters and those, such as Senate Majority Leader McConnell, who would prefer to purge the GOP of even the memory of the One Who Shall Not Be Named and the MAGA-ites who support him. This fault line has existed this entire time, but has been held together by pragmatic expediency and duct tape as the GOP was forced to circle its wagons during a four year onslaught of unprecedented and illegal attacks (Crossfire Hurricane and Russiagate being amongst the more egregious examples). Now, in the face of key losses in Georgia and elsewhere, and the Capitol building riot, the fissure has ruptured once more. It may be that neither party survives this trauma.
All of this must have our foreign adversaries, including China, Russia and Iran, enraptured in ravenous glee, like predators stalking wounded prey. They sense their moment has come. They trust that any challenge will be uncontested in a moment of deep insecurity when the ruling party believes, in the words of House Speaker Pelosi, that “the enemy is within.” They will assert themselves accordingly, as we are already seeing China do in the South China Sea, and Russia in the arrest and conviction of opposition leader Alexei Nalveny. Their dread nemesis is out of office and temporarily powerless, and President Biden doesn’t appear to have the stomach for the fight. A fragile Administration is beavering away to restore the same failed policies that played right into their hands. Meanwhile, in a deeply divided America, whose citizens are now turning their swords on each other, we’re too distracted to notice.
President Biden said, “We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors.” While perhaps well-intended, there is no evidence that the Democratic Party has any intention of seeing most Americans as anything other than as foe. President Biden was right to forewarn that, “without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos.” That was a form of prophetic warning that we’re seeing unfold before our very eyes, instigated by his own party.
For a call to unity to work, there has to be a rallying point around which Americans might gather as one. This is missing from the Biden appeal. So long as half the country and its leadership treats the other as a disdained adversary, unification will never happen. Democrats and Republicans have many points of common interest: reviving the economy, defeating the pandemic, building a more just society for our children’s future. Even the rising threat of an increasingly belligerent Chinese Communist Party is a shared interest where we all can align. It’s time – past time really – for Americans of all political affiliations to take stock of what is going on here. The enemy is not Us. Our country is in trouble, and our future is at stake. No matter who one voted for, most of us share the same ideals. Further radicalization (on either side) will destroy us. But it’s not too late to stand up and make the voices of reason and liberty heard once again in our land.