On September 1, just a few weeks ago, in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, President Biden delivered a chilling speech, where he accuses MAGA Republicans of being enemies of democracy. Here’s the speech on Youtube, in case you haven’t seen it yet:
The setting is highly symbolic. Biden stands alone at the podium, and behind him to his left, are American flags, symbols of the American democratic system. To his right is a blood red area, reminiscent of the flood-of-blood scene in Kubrick’s The Shining. While Biden talks about the MAGA threat to democracy, the background conveys the message that the Red States are poised to flood into Washington an blot out our democracy.
This sense of being under threat is emphasized still further by the small size of the audience and the presence of ’those outside’, a group of conservative protestors. There is only one row of what appear to be ordinary citizens, applauding and cheering repeatedly,, in an otherwise empty hall. In the context of the speech, where Biden accuses the MAGAs of violence and lawlessness, we can’t help but imagine that the ‘mob’ outside might decide to break in and threaten Biden and the audience.
As if that weren’t enough symbolism, we also get a brief view of the Hall from the outside, where we see a mostly blue-lit building being penetrated, so to speak, by a bright red central protrusion. The Blue States, the bi-coastal Real Americans, are being split apart and threatened by the central Red State Horde.
The message is thus conveyed by the medium, as much as by the words of the speech itself. As for the words, I’m at a loss regarding what to emphasize first, the blatant hypocrisy, the self-damning irony, or thee echoes of the Third Reich. I suppose irony is as good a place to start as any.
He talked about the sanctity of the electoral process, and denounced MAGAs for challenging the validity of Biden’s election. He said they were enemies of democracy, because they accept elections only when they win. Did he forget about the ’Not my President’ Democrats who didn’t accept the election of Trump? Let’s compare these two cases of non-acceptance.
The MAGA’s objection to Biden’s election was based on evidence of widespread voter fraud. They are claiming that they didn’t lose the election, and that the will of the majority has been betrayed. Perhaps they are wrong about the fraud, but there is nothin undemocratic about demanding fair elections. On the contrary, democracy cannot exist without fair elections.
The Democrats, on the other hand, didn’t challenge the fact that Trump won that election. They were rejecting the election simply because they didn’t win – the very crime Biden falsely accuses the MAGA’s of in his speech. The Democrats were rejecting the will of the majority, which amounts to a rejection of the very basis of electoral democracy. If anyone has shown themselves to be enemies of democracy by not accepting an election, that would be, ironically, the Democrats themselves.
The speech was delivered at a time when poll after poll was showing that a majority of Americans were fed up with the direction the Democrat establishment has been taking the country, and that Republicans were likely to sweep the upcoming midterm elections. Certainly Biden and the audience were well aware of this, adding to the overall sense of ‘being under threat’ that characterized both the speech and its symbolic setting.
And indeed, the essential theme of the speech and its setting can be seen as a response to this looming electoral threat. The message being conveyed goes along these lines, ‘We are abut to be overrun by the lawless Red State Horde, and we must all do whatever we can to resist their attempts to destroy democracy’.
That is to say, the allegiance of the Democrats is not to the democratic process, but rather to the project of maintaining their own dominance over national affairs, by whatever means are available. One of those means, available to Biden himself, turned out to be the harnessing of the FBI and the Justice Department to begin suppressing and discrediting leaders of the opposition party. Something one would expect to happen only in a third world dictatorship.
The justification for this anti-democratic campaign of suppression is of course based on the events of January 6, 2021. The official interpretation of those events is that they amounted to a pre-planned, systematic attempt to, somehow, seize power in Washington. An elaborate conspiracy theory was constructed, in which Trump was planning to repudiate the election and stay in power as a dictator. This bizarre conspiracy theory was backed up by dramatic testimony from an ‘insider’, which reminded me of the fake testimony used to justify the first war against Iraq, about babies being removed from incubators. This highly dramatic ruse worked in the case of Iraq, and it seems to be working just as well to demonize Trump and his supporters.
However if we leave the baseless conspiracy theories aside, and look at what actually happened ‘on the ground’ on January 6, we see that nothing much actually transpired. The protest itself was nothing unusual, and was based on legitimate concerns about evidence of election fraud. The so-called ’storming of the Capital’ was a choreographed scenario designed to hav a strong emotional impact, if interpreted in the right way by media commentators. Thus would be born the myth of a Jan 6 insurrection.
The choreography began with the absence of an adequate police presence, which one would routinely expect at any gathering of angry protestors, particularly if in the vicinity of the White House or Capital Building. Next we had the presence of FBI provocateurs in the crowd, shouting threats, engaging in violence, and generating a sense of insurrection. The there were the alleged protestors who were let in at a side door, leading to the famous photo-op of weirdly dressed characters posing as extremist.
Like 9/11, Jan 6 was a false-flag event, orchestrated by state agents. 9/11 was followed by unprecedented attacks on our civil liberties, and by an open-ended global ‘War on Terror’. Similarly, Jan 6 has been followed by the unprecedented use of the FBI and Justice Department for undemocratic political purposes, and by what is apparently going to be an open-ended ‘War on Domestic Terrorism’.
Domestic terrorism is frequently mentioned by officials as being a new focus of primary concern, and from Biden’s speech it is clear that the MAGAs are bing set up to be seen as a domestic terrorist group. Biden is evidently aiming to lead us toward a one party autocracy, under the banner of ‘protecting democracy’.
Biden and his administration are able to behave this way because of the nature of their constituency. The woke liberal left has become a fundamentalist religion. They are the righteous; their cause is just; all who disagree even slightly are heretics – right-wing extremists. Those heretical voices must be silenced, and their leaders discredited, so that the woke cause can prevail. Today’s liberals reject the two most important principles of the democratic process – freedom of speech, and respect for the will of the majority.
Such a constituency is ideal for the purposes of any elite faction that aims to create a dictatorial regime. The constituency will not object to questionable methods, if those methods promise to achieve victory. The elite faction need only pay lip service (send virtue signals) to the constituency, and if the faction gains control, they can then pursue whatever their real agenda might be. The woke liberals may live to rue the day they applauded the demise of democracy.
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